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That explains his plan for a second rally, a fall version that he hopes will be even bigger than the June party. To help, he has posted fliers in every biker-friendly bar in the area. He'll let booze vendors keep their revenue in exchange for keeping prices low, hoping that $2 beers will entice people to pay the $30 gate fee, which drops as the weekend goes on.
The old-school hustle is paying off. He has gotten calls from people around the Midwest asking about the weekend, and Cycle Connections magazine has promised to spread the word to its Midwestern readers. He has even gotten some attention from "1 percenters." After World War II, when the Hell's Angels were gaining notoriety, the American Motorcycle Association put out a statement saying that 99 percent of all motorcycle riders were law-abiding citizens. The Angels, naturally, started sewing 1-percent symbols on their jackets. Other outlaw clubs did the same.
The presence of 1 percenters can lend a certain credibility and can jack up attendance. But motorcycle clubs (MCs) tend to manufacture tension, marking off turf and threatening people who don't watch where they step.
"I got a call yesterday from this guy, Rocky, who said he was with the Hell's Angels in Illinois," Tally says. "They wanted to know what the rules are. I told him colors are welcome. I'm friends with some guys in 1-percenter clubs myself. The only rule is that this is neutral ground. I want everyone that comes out here to be friends."
It's the last Friday in September, the first night of the rally. I stop at Cassie's on the way to secure provisions: a case of Budweiser cans and a bag of Doritos. My imbalanced diet gives away my destination.
"You going to the rally?" asks the woman behind the counter.
"Yeah. Anyone showing up?"
"We haven't been this busy all year," she says. "We'll probably run out of beer."
But when I arrive, Tally's mother, who's working the gate, isn't so certain.
"It hasn't been as good as I hoped it would," she tells me. "We've got maybe 700 people so far. I just hope the weather holds."
I set up my tent right before the sun goes down and walk to the beer garden. I see a woman with a Confederate flag painted over her bare ass, bending over to give a man with a Flip camera a better angle. Necklace upon necklace of colored plastic beads dangle over her naked breasts. This is standard for a biker rally. It's what society would look like if a Girls Gone Wild crew executed a military coup.
Onstage, a Janis Joplin tribute band is covering "Mercedes Benz." Next to the stage is a dunk tank, and there's a man even bigger than Tally, with the same fashion sense, laughing at the topless woman who just went into the drink. Fat Feeder.
Feeder says he met Tally when both men worked the line at a manufacturing plant. He doesn't remember what company employed them. "I was working on the feeder belt. His first day, he comes up to me and says, 'You sure are fat.' And for the rest of my life, people have called me Fat Feeder. And I'm thinking, This sonofabitch is fatter than I am! So I thought about it for a while and then started calling him Porky, and that stuck on him."
Feeder, whose real name is Mike Cheiner, is Tally's right-hand man. He works on the line at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence. He's 48 years old.