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Burkitt says he feels like he can ride, though his doctors told him it would be at least six weeks before he could start to put pressure on his leg.
"I could ride with one arm. It's just this leg right now."
The Saturday of the Memorial Day run, Burkitt will defy doctors' orders. Burkitt's brother will carry him to the passenger seat of his car. They'll load his wheelchair into the trunk and drive him up to St. Joseph where, he has heard, the Forasteros and Galloping Gooses have something special planned for the weekend run.
At the party, he'll be surprised to see Dresser, whom nurses said would be lucky to live through the weekend.
Shifty will walk over and offer the prospect his patch.
Burkitt will remember it as one of the top moments in his life.
As is tradition, older members will quickly snatch away the clean, white cloth. Burkitt will reach out, one-armed, trying to recapture it. Forasteros will taunt him for a few minutes, then hand it over. Then someone will give Burkitt his cut-off, re-sewn after the wreck, blood staining the right shoulder.
Moose, Shifty and Tom Fugle, the three longest-running members in the club -- and, more important, Dresser -- will be there to see him become a member.
Everyone, young and old, will party together the rest of the weekend.
Burkitt says it feels great to be a full member. He just wishes he could ride to celebrate.
"You've dedicated your life to riding choppers and the brotherhood," Burkitt says. "It's not just for the next couple of years I'm going to do this, then I'm going to get into antique cars. We're not about fishing. We're not about hot-rod cars. We're not about antiquing. We're not about doing anything else but our main thing, which is riding choppers."
On June 12, bikers from around the Midwest congregate at the Sheil Funeral Home off Independence Avenue.
Playing softly on a radio is Foreigner's "Hot Blooded," followed by Lynyrd Skynyrd's "That Smell." Men and women take turns stepping up to Dresser's open casket, where he lies with a pink rose in his hands. His face is gaunt. His stringy white beard reaches his chest. His cut-off, the patch facing up, covers his lower stomach. A folded American flag rests beside his head.
Near the casket, a photo collage shows Dresser in his younger years, smiling with friends and pretty women.
The Rev. Bill McCormack, of the Heart of God Fellowship Motorcycle Outreach, steps to the lectern.
"He said he had two more runs," McCormack says. "Memorial Day was one, and I believe this was his last one."
More than anything else in his life, Dresser enjoyed the time he spent riding and partying with his brothers, McCormack says. But the most important thing was that Dresser was right with God when he died.
"When Dresser gave his heart to the Lord, he was, right then, a new creation. When he received Dresser, he didn't have him bring a résumé. He accepted him as he was."
Afterward, Burkitt wheels himself up to the casket. He puts his weight on his strong leg and reaches out to touch the old man before turning away with red eyes.
In the parking lot outside, Shifty inches his bike to the head of more than 100 riders who are mounting their choppers -- men with gray beards, wearing bandanas and dark sunglasses, rev their engines as their brother is carried to the hearse. When the escort police arrive on their own motorcycles, the Forasteros and Gooses crank back their throttles, growling as the cops circle in front of them on Independence Avenue.