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It’s been weeks since I spent any real time at writing. The 2013 Hollister Motorcycle Rally wound up being the best one ever but it used up copious amounts of my time, energy, and brain power.

I finally have some downtime. As I sat in my hot tub praying and enjoying the view of my lovely yard this morning I was overcome with gratitude for the many ways God has blessed me. Publishing the memoir that I spent seven years trying to finish was absolutely huge and the feedback has been phenomenal. Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place has touched people’s lives in amazing ways. I am sure that was God’s plan all along. A gal with a tenth grade education could not have accomplished it without His help. It is so great being used to help others in such an amazing way.

God was also there for me during the entire rally. It is simply not humanly possible for me to accomplish what I did without divine intervention. Between Wednesday July 3rd and Sunday July 7th I got less than fourteen hours sleep but somehow managed to stay on my toes and take care of business the entire time. I’m sure I could have delegated more but I don’t seem to know how. I have it down though, and things went well because of my experience. The Hollister Police department, city manager and planning department all thanked me for a job well done and said I was a good example of how to do it right. I am honored by their comments.

God blessed me with an amazing crew and even when people flaked at the last minute there was someone there to cover for them. Every position on every shift got handled. I had thirty three extra employees and the teamwork was fantastic.
My husband, Tommy, was so helpful this year. With the new beer garden there was plenty of extra work for him and he did it all with very little complaint. In order to know what a miracle that was you would need to read my book. He has grown so much spiritually and I benefited from it in a huge way.

The Hollister Police Department under Chief Westrick’s command was simply amazing. In all of my years I have never had such a pleasant experience with law enforcement during a rally. The officers were friendly and helpful and a peaceful atmosphere permeated the entire event. The stress it relieved knowing that they were looking out for me instead of looking out to get me as in the past was immeasurable. I cannot possibly thank Chief Dave Westrick enough.

The Boozefighters showed up in droves as early as Wednesday. Vern Autry, the club’s only original riding member left to brag about it, arrived around 1:00. I had planned his 88th birthday party and when he stayed until 6:00 before heading to the campsite to get settled in I worried that he wouldn’t make it back for it. I arranged to have a shuttle bus to and from their camp site so the club members could have a good time at Johnny’s and not worry about riding their bikes. It made quite a few trips and thankfully Vern was in one of them. I’d ordered his favorite cake from Nob Hill Foods and he enjoyed it immensely. It was a grand fiesta and kicked off our weekend with a bang.

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By Thursday July 4th the bar was wall to wall all day. It was only a glimpse of what Friday would be and Saturday surpassed even that. The Full Throttle Band rocked the place for hours and they were fantastic. If I heard it once, I heard it a hundred times, “We are so glad your rally is back.” People were so excited to be back in Hollister, The Birth Place of the American Biker. They brought full wallets and smiling faces and I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd. I haven’t had that much on my plate at one time in years and there were times when I wondered if I could still handle it.

Another sure sign of divine intervention was the way I remained pretty peaceful throughout the event. I did go red-head a few times on Saturday and I’m ashamed to say that I used the F-bomb many times. I was very sleep deprived so when some bimbos went under the three foot sign and duct tape that said “Closed for repair. Use porta-potties,” into the restroom, I was a time bomb that exploded with gusto. I won’t even repeat what I said to them and I had my doormen throw them out of my building immediately. I’d actually been taking the plumbing issue in stride up until then. My son was working on finding a plumber and we had two perfectly nice porta-potties outside. I no sooner got my blood pressure close to normal then a man vomited in the middle of the patio. I put a chair over the disgorge to keep people from stepping in it and went and got a huge bucket of water. I yelled, “Step aside,” threw the water on the vomit and it sailed right out the back gate. It couldn’t have gone more directly out of the patio, and I received an ovation from the crowd.

I decided to head to the t-shirt booth to check on my girls and while they were packing up a cat-fight broke out that wound up involving many people and one of my tables plowed into my leg leaving what is still a very nasty bruise. As it usually is, the locals, not the bikers forget how to behave. The cops were all over the situation in seconds and had the culprits carried off. Law enforcement was calm and confident and did an awesome job.
After getting the t-shirt booth all packed up and being sure that all of the bartenders had all of the change they needed, I headed home leaving the place in my crew’s very capable hands. My son, Allen, found a plumber out of Prunedale who showed up promptly and took care of the backup quickly and at a reasonable price. We stayed in business until last call at 1:00 a.m.

We were as busy as I can ever remember being and the lines to get in the door continued through the entire weekend. Not only were the bikers and locals glad to have our rally back, they were thrilled at the new attitude exhibited by law enforcement.
It was the best rally ever. It’s taken me a while to catch up on everything including my sleep, but I couldn’t be more grateful. It was a huge shot in the arm that we really needed. It is only the beginning of what promises to be many years of successful rallies. With a five year contract in place with Mark Creswell of World Wide Dynamics, and a police chief that sees the value of the rally to our city, we are just getting started. We will be the Sturgis of the West Coast.

Please leave your comments and tell us what you thought of the rally.

 

12 Responses to The Best Motorcycle Rally Ever – I’m Blessed Beyond Belief

  1. Ofelia says:

    Best weekend Rally ever! If you missed it, so sad for you…if you were there…CHEERS TO THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME.!!! Hollister folks keep them coming. See ya again next year and a few times in between. We love you city!! We absolutely love Hollister and all the fine people. We met with old friends and new ones too. God bless you <3

    • Charisse says:

      We’re so glad everyone had a good time. It will be a three day event next year I think, as it should be. One more day of fun for everyone and some extra work and income for many:)

  2. Sandy says:

    I was born & raised in Hollister, wish I could have been then. Many great years to follow.

  3. Debra says:

    It was an awesome 2013 rally, Seeing thousands of beautiful bikes, seeing many Christian Bikers was a blessing as well. I’m looking forward to the many more years of rallies to come. God Bless!

  4. Deborah martinez says:

    I was very impressed with everything!! Everyone did outstanding job! How do I sign up for booth next year??

  5. Marguerite Stevens says:

    Charisse, me and my daughter almost came as we were coming home from Santa Cruz, but were lost as to directions so decided not to go. I wish we had. I am happy for you that everything turned out well. You are amazing to be able to handle everything so well.

    • Charisse says:

      It was wild and wonderful. We had lines to get in all weekend. I wouldn’t have been able to visit so you’re better off coming back when the rally isn’t going on. I look forward to seeing you the next time you come this way.

  6. Virginia says:

    I HAD SO MUCH FUN HANGING OUT WITH YOU AND THE CREW. IT WAS JUST WHAT THE DR, ORDERED AND SO GLAD THE RALLY IS BACK AND CANT WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR. I AGREE, IT SHOULD BE 3 DAYS CUZ 2 IS JUST NOT ENOUGH

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Contact Information

Johnny’s Bar & Grill
526 San Benito Street
Hollister, CA 95023

Phone: (831) 637-3683
Email Us HERE

Johnny’s Hours

Grill:
Mon to Sat   11 am – 9 pm
Sunday  Brunch 9 am
Sunday  Bar-B-Que 1 pm

Bar: 
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Sat  & Sun  9 am – 2 am

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