Motorcycle groups are generous

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 24, 2015

By T.J. Ray

The image many folks have in mind when the topic of motorcycles comes up are those brutes in Hell’s Angels. Probably there are gangs of chopper riders who fit that mold, but by no means is it universal.

Take for example a local group of bikers who travel under the moniker of Night Owl Motorcycle Club. I’m not sure how many of them there are or whether they’re all as sturdy as the four I saw recently at The Pantry.

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Several weeks ago a bunch of them showed up in several vehicles, each pretty crammed with bags of food that folks had contributed at their request. It took a very long time to get it sorted and shelved, but it went a long, long way. Not to rest on their generous laurels, back they came today with a humongous load of goods, most of it in plastic bags, but many cases of canned goods still in boxes. Finally we filled over five shopping carts, all loaded above the rim.

As Gene Hartley was filling out an acknowledgement of that generosity, one of the quartet produced a most generous check made out in the name of the group. In my view, the check was way beyond the call of generosity, and it will go a long way at the food bank next year when contributions are not so generous as they are around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

When all the paperwork was finished, we all tried to guess the weight of the groceries they had brought in. The general agreement was that it was a thousand pounds, a half ton at least of foodstuff that will stand someone in good stead in the next week or so.

I’d stop trying to summarize that generous visit, but one more thing needs to be said.

This was the second food drive in two months by these fellows, the first one pretty much matching what they contributed this week.

While the total amount is staggering, one little detail is important. While some of the grocery bags were full of cans or bags or sugar or cereal or corn meal, many were not.

More than one bag was tied shut with a single can in it. Sort of like the widow’s mite?

T.J. Ray, a retired professor of English at the University of Mississippi, can be reached at