In 1939, Lawrence (Monty) Moneghan and Gerald Bullock took off on their brand new motorcycles and headed west. At that time roads were rough, mostly dirt, but being free with the wind in their faces made the ride worth it. They loved the freedom of the road and were like two tumbleweeds drifting in the wind. Legend has it that one night while sitting around a campfire, they decided that when they returned home they would form a club so that others could enjoy the freedom and the wind of the motorcycle rides. So in 1940, they formed a club and called it – what else? – THE TUMBLEWEED MOTORCYCLE CLUB.
That first year, membership started with Monty (Lawrence Moneghan), Jerry (Gerald Bullock), Arthur Van Cor, Joseph Tautkas, Hans Josephson and Francis Paradise. There may have been more members but their names have been lost to time. That was a great year, word got out and more people wanted to ride with THE TUMBLEWEED MOTORCYCLE CLUB. By 1942, there were about 30 members.
The Club was now more than just a group of riders, it was becoming a social club as well. In 1946, the Club became a corporation. The Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was stamped on the paperwork on December 13, 1946 and was signed by Frederic W. Cook, Secretary of the Commonwealth. THE TUMBLEWEED MOTORCYCLE CLUB, INC. was now official. They had meetings at the Bridgewater Fair Grounds and then a place off of Rt. 106 until taxes and vandalism forced them to close the clubhouse and meet at homes and restaurants, which they still do today.
THE TUMBLEWEED MOTORCYCLE CLUB was the first in the area to hold motorcycle scramble events. There were turkey runs, poker runs and field meets. The best meets were at Stella’s restaurant on Rt. 106 and also in Monty’s backyard. The attraction of the day was to watch Big Al Mackinaw scramble through a barrel, hop back onto his 74 and race to the finish, and the famous Monty Memorial Timed Run was always a good way to honor Club founder Monty Moneghan. Trophies were awarded for the most most miles ridden, longest trip taken and other events. As the years went on and the Club grew, Monty’s backyard was getting too small so some of the bigger meets were held at the Brockton Fair Grounds. They also had bowling outings, Halloween parties and chicken barbecues, plus a ham and bean supper, which has become an annual tradition. And there was always a holiday party at the end of the riding season.
Club membership peaked in the 1960′s, but as Club members grew older, few new members came in. It just seemed that by the end of the ’90′s the Club was fading away. If it wasn’t for the annual Christmas dinner and Bob and Betty Ames’ annual cook out, they might have dissolved. They still held meetings and did some rides, but by the late ’90′s there were only about 19 active members. One member, Charles “Beecher” Inman, decided the Club was going to die out if something wasn’t done soon, so he set out to find new members. He started to ride with a small group who seemed to appreciate riding old motorcycles and the spirit of the old ways. He knew this group of riders would keep the tradition alive – the Club was about to be reborn. In 2004, President Jim Slade held a reorganization meeting. With new faces present and talk about the old days and the future, THE TUMBLEWEED MOTORCYCLE CLUB was on its way again.
We are registered with the American Motorcycle Association as an Historic Motorcycle Club, 70 years old and growing again. We remember with reverence the many good members that have passed on and the many good times shared among members over the past 70 years. Then and now we would like to thank Monty and Gerald Bullock for starting something more than just a club.
Dave Neault, President