Danny Joe’s ride to Topeka Part 2
After confronting the Wet-burros at the site of their law office, we decided to take the fight to the front door of their compound. On the ride there, I was thinking of what kind of action we would see. Would the Wet-burros stay inside like recluses or would they show some spine to come out and speak their mind? NOTHING could have prepared me for the scene we saw when we got there. Anybody who has been to their compound knows that you really don't see it until you come right up on it. With that said, when we turned the corner onto the street the compound was on, we heard this deafening noise. As incredible as it may sound, this noise was louder than the pipes on all of our bikes. It was cheers from between 50 -60 people who had congregated on the lawn of the Equality House. This is the scene we rolled up on.
Amzing huh? The group that just happened to be there was a gay rights group that had shown up before we got there and left about a minute after the cops got called. Yes, you read that right. The Wet-burro Baptist Cult had the cops called on us. Not because of the noise of the crowd or our pipes. Topeka's finest were called because we were carrying our American flags too close to their compound! Who would have EVER thought that it would be illegal to wave the American flag in The United States of America?! As absurd as this moment was, leave it to a group of bikers to find the chrome lining behind the darkened cloud...when the Topeka police officer asked for Charley Barnes' liscence, he immediately went inside the compound. Which means, in a twisted sense, that an object that has spent years on Charley Barnes' backside made it into the lair of the Wet-burros! Also, while waiting for the police to do their thing, we found out some pretty inportant infromation from the owners of the Equality House.
This great group of guys shared with Journey 4 Justice the city ordinances regarding display of the American flag or any banner. It stated we had to be at least 50 feet away on public property from their compound while services are in. By the way, their services run daily from 7 am to 10 pm, yeah right. The Equality House is PRIVATE property! Victory for the good guys!
After all the excitement of the day, we headed back to the hotel to unwind and celebrate the 50th birthday of our founder and friend Charley Barnes. We stayed up a little bit after that to share in the tall tales that only bikers and fishermen are known for. The next morning came earlier than I think anyone of us was ready. Just before we left out to come home, Charley pulled me to the side and said that I was going to lead the ride home. He looked me in the eyes and said "It's time. This is YOUR ride." I would be hard pressed to pick another moment that made me feel the pride and honor that I had swelling up in me at that moment. The ride home was a tough one. The wind was gusty, but nowhere near as bad as it was last year. I made a promise to be home in time to tuck my 3 daughters into bed. Sadly a promise I would not be able to keep. I did however, come home to a poster they had made for me. So I had them take a picture the next morning.
Life is good when you have a group of brothers and sisters in the biker community that have the same beliefs I do and a family at home that supports that same passion.