|Bradley Shane Beatty (May 14, 1971-May 11, 2008) 15yr. member of the Brotherhood M/C
|Bruce David Jatko II
|"B.J." / "HOOK"
By Jennipher Dickens
WINTON, NORTH CAROLINA - He was a biker, a wrestler and a
He was also a father, a brother, a son and a friend.
Bruce David Jatko II, also known as "B.J."
or "Hook" to his close friends and family, died October 20 after sustaining massive injuries in a tragic incident
following a motorcycle wreck the preceding night.
B.J. was 31 years old and left behind three children, his parents,
two brothers, and a beloved girlfriend and her two children.
Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on a snowy January afternoon
in 1977, his life started off eventfully and ended that way as well.
His mom, Linda, recalled, "He was two weeks
overdue and born during a blizzard. We arrived at the hospital with a police escort the night before because his father
was drunk due to a case of the nerves and panicked and called the police department."
The family relocated to Virginia
six months later and then moved to Gates County, North Carolina in 1991 and on to Murfreesboro in Hertford County in 1997.
For the last eight years, B.J. was immersed in the biker world. His family says that he loved to ride and went everywhere
on his white and silver 2005 Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide Custom 1450.
A long-standing member of a local Motorcycle
Club in Ahoskie, he served as secretary for the tightly-knit group of about a dozen. His club President and founder describes
him as a caring soul who would do anything for anybody.
"He would ride anywhere for anybody... he was a great guy".
At B.J.'s funeral, 94 bikers representing seven different clubs from across the region showed up to pay their respects.
His mom, Linda, said they conducted the service as B.J. would have wanted it.
"He loved to ride through Murfreesboro
and make a lot of noise, so that's what we did as part of his service. The procession of bikes was over half a mile
long," she noted.
B.J.'s brother, Danny, added, "When we drove by you could see people in their yards with
video cameras just filming."
His father, Bruce, recalled that the procession of bikes actually rattled the windows
in stores and buildings lining the street.
"All the bikes would rev their engines to make it louder. B.J.
would have loved that," he stated.
The procession was led by B.J.'s brother Bryan, also a biker, who rode B.J.'s
Harley alongside of his club President.
His mother Linda said B.J. died and was buried exactly as he would have wanted
"B.J. always said that if he had to go, he wanted to go on his Harley, and he wanted it buried with him...
we buried a piece of it with him, and now we plan to restore it and put up a building beside his grave to store it."
Bryan added that he planned to take the Harley out every so often to keep it running properly.
was always fanatical about keeping his bike in mint condition.
"He would never go for a run unless it was spotless.
He didn't give a crap about his truck; there was trash all over the place in there, but that bike was always perfectly
clean," his mom said.
B.J. loved children and they loved him right back. He had a set of 9 year old twins,
a boy and a girl, and an 8-year-old girl. His girlfriend Jen, also a biker, has a girl and a boy the same ages.
couple lived together in Winton on the Chowan River in the Tunis subdivision.
Friend and former co-worker Marty Stephens
first got B.J. involved in the motorcycle world, even though Brian had been a biker for years already.
it was just like he fell in love with bikes and everything to do with them," Bryan remembered.
B.J. would travel
far and wide to attend charity events, memorials and funerals for fellow bikers.
He was heavily tattooed, but Linda says
each tat had a special meaning for her son.
"All the way from his neck to his wrists on both arms, and even inside
his ears and on his stomach were covered in tattoos... but they all meant something special," she said.
B.J. as a child was always a daredevil, getting into everything.
From the time he was a baby, it was clear to his family
that B.J. was his own uniquely adventurous person.
He was walking at eight months old and started climbing and getting
into all sorts of mischief shortly after that. At a year old, he took great pleasure in riding his toy dog on wheels
down the stairs in the family home.
"It scared me to death at first but he would get to the bottom and laugh and
say he wanted to do it again," Linda remembered with a smile.
At two years old, he would meet his father at the
door every night with a miniature beer glass and a can of beer.
"Bruce would open his beer and pour a tiny little
sip into B.J.'s very own beer glass... it was a nightly ritual. He wouldn't even go to sleep until his dad got
home from work," Linda recalled.
In the sixth grade, he became a wrestler and was much admired by his coach because
his left-handedness made it difficult for his opponents to figure out his moves.
After the family relocated to Murfreesboro,
North Carolina shortly after that, he and his brothers took up karate.
It was after practice one night that B.J. was
messing around on a palma horse and broke his leg. He was put in a cast and just days after the cast was taken off,
rebroke it in a gym in the exact same place.
In high school, he fell on his head while hanging upside down from a rope
swing in a tree after the branch broke and dropped him head-first onto the ground.
Still, nothing prevented B.J. from
experiencing life to its fullest and enjoying each and every day.
Halfway through his senior year in high school, he
dropped out to take a job at the shipyards. His father had just been laid off and he would bring home his paycheck and
hand it straight to his mother.
"He was so sweet... we never even asked but he would come right home from work and
just hand over his whole check," his mom said.
B.J. met his girlfriend Jen at Jimmie's, and the two instantly
"She had a biking background and they hit it off right from the beginning. They were very much alike,
and they were so happy together," Linda said.
His father and mother were both quick to note that despite the bad
reputation bikers get, the reality is that the biker world is a close-knit and caring one.
"I have found out since
B.J. got into all this that bikers get a very bad rep but they are a close-knit family and they do a lot of good things for
other people," Linda noted.
Bruce added, "Bikers are stereotyped very badly to be the assholes of the world
because of what people see in the movies and they shouldn't be; it's not like that at all."
his nickname as "Hook" during his long career as a roofer. He slipped while working on a roof one afternoon and
caught himself before falling.
"The other guys were teasing him about needing to be hooked to the roof so they started
calling him Hook and it stuck," his brother Danny noted.
A local club even serves a drink called The Hook that B.J.
"He liked Wild Turkey 101, and invented his own drink... red bull and wild turkey. They serve it
at Jimmie's in Murfreesboro now. It tastes kind of like Jolly Rancher watermelon candy," Danny said.
wake was held October 23 at his clubhouse near Ahoskie. Nearly 200 people showed up to view B.J. decked out in his favorite
attire - black leather vest, club shirt, jeans, slip-on shoes with skulls all over them, a Rebel flag bandana wrapped around
his head and sunglasses perched on top.
"That's just the way he would have wanted it," said his mom.
The next day, more than 200 people also attended the funeral, held at his parent's home outside of Murfreesboro where
the family buried him in the backyard.
The family now has plans to fully restore the Harley to its prime condition as
it was before the accident, and keep it as a memorial to B.J.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
"CRUMP" was a member of Southern Iron M/C and was
taken away from us suddenly by a hit and run vehicle
on his way home 3/28/2010. He was well liked by all
that he met and he always had a smile on his face.
Rest in peace "CRUMP"...we will miss you.
|Recorded video performance coming soon!
The 1st Annual Cliff ‘Stonewall' Jackson
By: Johnnie King
Misty rain and cool
temperatures made Saturday, October 18th extremely dreary, but the weather didn't stop the friends of Cliff
‘Stonewall' Jackson from making the run from the Hogs Pen in Macclesfield to the cemetery in Grifton to visit
the grave of their dear friend who lost his life tragically Labor Day weekend. He gave to so many; this was the day
to return the favor with music and motorcycles. The benefit was put together to help his family with the burial expenses,
the ride to remember our brother and friend, the music, which he loved we will continue to play.
was the lead singer for ‘Steel Standing' and was out with a friend and fellow band member Big John Warlick when
they were both shot. Big John was shot in the shoulder while Stonewall received a fatal shot to the head.
Big Mike and Patsy, owners of the Hogs Pen, where Stonewall was shot and killed, put the Memorial Run together.
Along with the ride to the cemetery several other bars: Dinky's Dungeon, Windy Trails (Formerly Fat Boys), Players
Choice, Bachelors, Wilders, and Carolina Billiards set up booths on the vacant lot next to the Hogs Pen and participated
in an in house poker draw with the best hand out of 7 cards. A trophy was presents to Rhonda for worst hand and a
plaque was presented to Patsy Ferrell for best hand of 4 Aces.
Along with door prize tickets, Memorial
t-shirts, CD's of Stonewall playing and memorial stickers were sold, plus orders for patches in remembrance of our fallen
friend and brother.
Stonewalls parents and family attended the event and were extremely impressed
and touched with everyone that came out for this event. They knew how much their son cared for his friends and the
biker community, but until the past several weeks they never fully understood why. However, after seeing everyone
that attended, hearing some of the stories they told them about their fond memories of their son, they realized just how
much he was loved by all. The Jackson's thanked everyone that attended and for his or her participation in the
event remember his or her son. Although they lost a son and we lost a brother and friend, they gained the love and
friendship of everyone that knew Stonewall.
All during the day we enjoyed the music of Straight
Jacket, Smoking Crawdads and Southern Grace. As the day started turning into evening and the rain started coming down
a little harder, Kendall Strickland, Master of Ceremonies called out numbers for the door prizes and other prizes that were
passed out. Afterwards Steel Standing played from 6-8 in remembrance of their fallen friend and Ragged Edge played
for the remainder of the evening to the growing crowd both inside and outside.
The proceeds of this
event will be going to the Jackson family to help with the burial expenses. However, yearly runs will be held to establish
a Scholarship fund in Stonewall's name to be given to a student wishing to follow a music degree.
Stonewall will never be forgotten for as long as he remains in our hearts and memories he will live on in each
of us and in the music that he loved so much.