“Benny the Bug” (Ron Bennett), who prefers to be known as “Benny Legend” has been a lifelong fan of racing and riding motorcycles. After local flat track races, he took to racing for many years at the Jolly Roger’s Club Grounds as a member of the Seattle Motorcycle Club, followed by his son Bruce while the track evolved favoring motocross. His daughter Veronica, participated in the races, powder puff, trophy distribution, (and cleaning the toilets.) As a family, they enjoyed many years with the club riding, picnicking and camping. After the grounds sold to developers, he was encouraged to join the resurrected Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club by his friend Carmen Tom. He, GreatSeymour and Seymour’s son Dave continued to road ride until the club ascended into a “social” club. With advancing age, those activities permitted by passing youth faded but not the memories.
Ron passed away 12/18/2017 about 7:50 A.M. in his sleep at the V.A. Ron had been there for about 6 weeks. Ron was in his last stage of Alzheimer's. Ron will be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent WA.
Because he loved motorcycles, and because she loved him, CJ supported Great Seymour’s interest in racing and his association with the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club. She did this more after the racetrack sold and Seymour made a great effort to breathe new life into the once famous club. Rare for women, she finally was proudly awarded full membership privileges in recognition for her contributions.
For many years she functioned as the clubs Custodian, and was deluged by the members wanting to give her hundreds of dollars for the club treasury. Initially, the club was about a grand in debt as the result of purchasing promotion materials. As a result of her efforts that debt was erased and the treasury went well into the green. She designed the flag patch still used today, as well as the oval "SINCE 1941".
After many years she gave up her post and her membership was subsequently downgraded. She and a Seymour retain many happy memories about how the club used to be.
Ken and Lila Bulen were part of the founding members of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club, that also contributed to purchasing the club grounds on 216th South in Kent Washington. In support of his interest, she teamed with him hosting events and volunteering in the role that was created for her: “Publicity Director”.
As such, she not only promoted races on the club grounds, but sent the results to the newspapers, particularly the Seattle P.I. The close association with that paper developed the P.I. Christmas Fund Scrambles, a heavily attended charity event lending to the Jolly Rogers fame. The club’s respect was sufficient to even enable her to get Washington’s governor to attend an annual club banquet. The club’s value was well known and respected in those days, in large part as a result of her efforts.
After Ken’s passing, her interest in the club went with him. Having recently turned 100 years old, she represents a life well lived, and says “That’s a good thing.”
Update: Lila Bulen passed away February 16, 2016. She was 102 years old.
Wasco (Richard Wascher) supported the Jolly Rogers club grounds for many decades. His racing career began as a minibike terror in the mid 60’s. Like Mickey Fay and other local notables, he improved his riding skills and daring on our track, which eventually saw him racing professionally. His love for risk and adventure brought him many injuries including breaking his back three times.
He supported his fellow racers by providing them his skill as a fabricator making and repairing motorcycle frames, which was highlighted by an experiment in association with Roger Stanley and Mickey Fay. Wasco made a racing frame and Roger hopped the newly manufactured Honda XL500 engine, which was designed as a dual sport ride. Mickey raced it at the Houston Astrodome to a win its first time out.
In order to raise compression, Wasco built up the top of the piston with weld. The heat of caused the piston skirts to collapse, exceeding their clearance to the cylinder. The cure involved hydraulically pressing them back into shape. When Honda arrived to investigate, they were amazed by this backyard success.
As age and injuries reduced his racing acumen, he continues to use his fame and frame fabricating skills in his business to serve international motorcycling customers.
Wasco Frame Service Inc.
4803 Harbor View Dr NE
Tacoma, WA 98422
In the 50’s and 60’s, the man to beat (or more likely be beat by) at the Jolly Rogers track was Bob Budschat. Sponsored and employed by Dewey’s Cycle shop, he rode Triumph and BSA. It is said he could win a race in 2 seconds less time on his 200cc Triumph Cub than on his 500cc BSA. As a salesman, he made Dewey a ton of money, who always had his hand out for more.
Eventually he started his own shop north of Seattle selling Velocette, Norton and Ducati. Now find him retired in Monroe with his supporting wife.
UPDATE: We are saddened to learn that Bob passed away early Friday morning January 13, 2017.
Preceding his involvement with the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club, the Great Seymour’s racing career started in ‘58 with his new BSA Goldstar scrambler. “In my 1st race, I had just enough time to sign up and start. Before I fell for the 6th time, the 1st place guy was trying to lap me. Losing his lead prompted him to speak harshly to me.” In ‘59 his racing career subsided for 11 years when he married CJ.
Buying a couple of 501 Maico motocross bikes allowed him to race in the Open class at the Jolly Rogers track against 650 British bikes and iron barrel Sportsters. The Maico was a good 100 pounds lighter and did well, securing for him the NMA Open class Championship for 1974. (See a number of old Super 8 movies of the Great Seymour and others racing at the famous Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club race track in Kent, WA). Seymour used to break into the Jolly Rogers grounds to practice but finally joined to obtain legitimate access. He became Secretary and finally Treasurer until the members sold the grounds to a surrounding developer.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s, the membership was down to a handful of people and the Treasury was depleted. Because of the value of its history and fame, Seymour and CJ decided to bring the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club back to life, investing one thousand dollars of their own money toward that end for shirts, membership certificates, etc. The Great Seymour also understood the value of the internet and attempted to create the first iteration of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club website. At that time Lets-Ride.com was offering free website space to motorcycle clubs to hang their sites. Seymour not being a web developer enlisted longtime acquaintance Fingers DeHan to perform the deed in exchange for free membership to the Jollies for the service. After a little less than a year Seymour and Fingers decided that the Jollies web presence should grow and in 2003 the domain name jollyrogersmotorcycleclub.com was purchased and a new website developed. The current site at www.jollyrogersmotorcycleclub.com is still the original, official website of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club with over 150,000 hits. With the help of the famous Carmen Tom they slowly brought in new members and repaid the investment. At that time there were no dues and the club activities consisted of going to other’s events flashing our colors.
After 40 years of past membership and 73 years old, Seymour is bent by arthritis and rarely rides. With his son Dave’s help, his spare time is spent trying to keep up with the work in his back yard machine shop serving
Me in 1966. I was the youngest member of the club when I joined. I had to wait until I was 16 and had a Driver's License. Mom and Dad also joined. Dad served as President, Mom as Secretary and I was Sgt. At Arms.
Fred Bare enjoys the highest seniority active membership of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club. His life membership extends far back into the 50’s when he used to race an English Francis Barnett scrambler on our grounds. His riding style stood out from his competition and was reflected in his personality where he approached the track in a deliberate, upright manner.
Notorious for his frugal nature and affection for thrift shops, he dropped out of racing contention because he was unwilling to spend more money on a newer and better ride. “I already have a race bike.” When the valve mechanism failed on his road Indian his solution was to turn the top of the piston off in the non functioning cylinder and run it as a single.
An avid fan of Indian, he maintained a small collection of the brand. One notable achievement involved dropping an Indian engine into an old Matchless frame.
Always loyal to the club and its existence, he has served for years as its secretary and recently struggled with admitting children and mothers as members to prevent it’s implosion. As the club ascended to its present form concerned with closed social gatherings and road riding, he has maintained his loyalty to comply with its new form. Although he no longer rides, he enjoys being treated with the respect due a senior member.
Jim Jensen a retired machinist and trouble shooter for a local tunnel boring machine company, died August 9, 2012.
El Presidente brought his good friend Jim into the Jolly Rogers Club before it ascended into its present form. Known as a good guy and straight shooter, he remained true to the club. Liked by all, he blended well and enjoyed socializing at the meetings.
Like other absent members, he will be missed.
Local motorcycle racer Jack Enderson died in September 2012. Like many, he was tight with Dewey's Cycle Shop and raced a 200cc Triumph Cub and 250cc BSA Star at the Jolly Rogers grounds in the 50-60s. He went on to race nationally and finally opened his own dealership in Burien selling Triumph, Montessa, Rickman, Harley, and eventually evolved into selling Honda cars. A member of the Seattle Motorcycle Club, he and so many others loved motorcycles and supported the Jolly Rogers track. Similar to Carmen Tom, a visit to his shop would easily engage him in bike stories..
George Irwin was Jolly Rogers President before the club ascended to its present form. He was a gentleman, always giving with a good heart, pouring oil on troubled waters and concerned with preserving the club and accommodating it members.
He passed way Tuesday evening 2/14. He was surrounded by his family and was lucky enough to be able to say his good byes. His wife Jane says she will miss him terribly, as will many others, but he wants everyone to remember the good times.
Members like George, lacking a personal agenda, have served the club well.
CLASSIC THUNDER (formerly) ROLLING THUNDER is now owned by William “Fuzzy” Jamison well known for servicing new and vintage Harleys.
“FUZZY”, is a long time friend of new and old Harleys, Indians and their riders. His is one of the few shops that still services vintage Harleys, performing restorations, upgrades, and hop-ups. As a former employee, he recently acquired the shop and its facilities which has all the tooling to handle Harley Davidson motorcycles from 1912 to the present. He brings 23 years of professional experience, a good portion in association with Rolling Thunder founder, Ray Leffard.
Frugal living and the support of family and friends have served to perpetuate his association with motorcycles longer than many others. His remains one of the few shops still working on vintage bikes. Find him currently operating on 15411 Ambaum Ave SW, Burien, WA 98166. 206-870-7482.
Although embracing work on new machinery, much of his operation comes from referrals by dealers less inclined toward servicing older machines. Some of these require unusual and extraordinary repairs. His years dealing with those problems have left him with surprising insights lending to recovering otherwise expensive restorations, and he is able to effectively communicate these to his vendors.
As a proud member of the Cossacks for 17 years, he regularly helps to maintain the majority of their half century old rides which are a main attraction in their stunt performances. Contributing to keeping these relics alive is a manifestation of his skills and is required as the Cossacks are repeatedly sought by Harley Davidson for official special events, including their 100th anniversary. Other organizations seek them out as well to please appreciating crowds who admire their well practiced riding skills.
Fuzzy has a rare 325cc '65 Mustang motorcycle (with 12" wheels) in his shop for repair, shown. It is the same model former member Dave Seymour used to race at the Jolly Rogers grounds against smaller 50cc 12" wheeled minibikes. (12" wheels defined the class). Picture the Mini trail Hondas going "zama zama" and Dave sounding like "rumble, roar, blam! blam! (backfire). He always led the start but the smaller bikes would pick him off in the corners.
Leroy Imboden Jr. 80, past member and president of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club passed away at the family home October 12, 2010 after a very short illness (cancer). He was born February 27, 1930 to Roy and Genevieve Imboden in Centralia, WA. After joining the United States Navy in 1947 he met and married Helen Litton. After his tour in the Navy he attended Washington State University and later became an engineer with Boeing where he worked on the Lunar Rover Vehicle project. Leroy's passion for motorcycles began at his father's Harley shop in Chehalis in the 1930's and he enjoyed riding until his recent illness. He retired from Boeing in 1974. He enjoyed hill climbing and was a member and President of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club. Leroy was the last club member to win the 80" Novice event at the Jollies club grounds hill climb and was President of the Jollies when the club purchased a house on Military Road, knocked out a wall and made it the Jollies clubhouse. He also created his wood toy business Pat's Toys, where he designed and sold natural wood toys for 25 years.
Leroy is survived by his son, Micheal Glenn, sister Barbara Rickert, brothers Bud, Bob, Mike, grandson Pat, granddaughter Tammie Mitchell and 4 great grandchildren.