My name is
Lloyd Chapin. I am one of the "Original Five" members of ATMC or
AIRTIGHT MOTORCYCLE CLUB. This page is mostly about my forming and establishment
of a Motorcycle Club (MC) in Oklahoma and its morphing.
David Marshall was the founder and leader of our club. I was 34 years old and rode a 1976 Harley Superglide when I met David at the Marine Lounge in Tulsa circa 1978. The Marine Lounge was a biker bar and David was a bartender there and he also rode a 1976 Superglide rat bike. Larry Hildebrand was David's closest friend and was always with David when not working and also rode a Shovelhead rat bike. Then there was Terry whom I had actually met back in '75 or '76. Also a Shovelhead biker. And then came Bear. Bear was a co-worker with Larry at an airplane plant and he rode a Shovelhead Electra Glide. We were the "Original Five". We had a hang-a-round "Chuck Frost" that followed us everywhere with a van filled with beer, music, and tools.
We were also charter members of ABATE of Oklahoma and rode together to motorcycle events across the
Midwest. We were very,
very close friends and if we weren't working we were riding or hanging out together. We all had the deepest of RESPECT for
one another and were very "tight". In 1982 David kicked around the idea of forming our own club. A club of Brothers with
closed membership that was AIRTIGHT. What happened in ATMC stayed in ATMC. So in 1983 David decided to make it official and
the rest of us approved. In 1983 there was no CoC or Confederation of Clubs in Oklahoma. But, there was a dominate MC in
Tulsa, the Mongols MC. MC protocol demands that any new club get approval from the dominate MC in your
area before forming. We had no
officers and had no cut with colors. However, we did have a mitt or "Love Glove" with our colors stamped on it. Early in
1983 David and Larry had a visit with the Mongols MC President. All of us knew him and were friends with most all the
local Mongols MC members during that era. The Mongols MC president gave us his blessing a few days later with the
stipulation that we NOT wear colors on a cut. But the Love Glove was accepted for our colors. It was
semi-official, we were a club.
We had our first official ATMC Run on Memorial Day weekend 1983 at the Tiff City Swap Meet. Later dubbed the "Ass Beat Swap Meet".
a bit to September 1985.
David Marshall was killed by a knife wielding punk September 29, 1985. Our Brother was gone and things "club wise" just sort of fell apart. We had a Memorial Day Weekend Run in 1987 trying to reboot the club and I brought in a new member I had been deer hunting with the last couple years. His name was Brent Salt II. I had met Brent in 1979 at C&C Harley-Davidson. He had ridden with us when we attended ABATE functions and events. The run was uneventful and the club just dissolved shortly after. Bear moved to Florida then Minnesota for 20 or so years. But he would come by to see me when occasionally visiting Oklahoma. Terry moved away and simply disappeared for a couple decades. So that left only me and Larry Hildebrand flying our "Mitt". Larry and I remained close friends through all those years to date. And we rode our Harleys everyday and everywhere. One day in 1991 Larry called me to say he wouldn't be doing our usual weekend ride together and explained he was gonna throw his son 'Khan Hildebrand' out of an airplane. It was his 18th birthday. Having always wanting to do a parachute jump I immediately said I would like to go with them. So on 13 July 1991 Larry, Khan, and I saddled up on our Harleys and rode to Oklahoma Parachute Center in Cushing, OK. That was the most fun we ever had with our clothes on. After our second jump the next weekend I told Larry and Khan that I was gonna own a Dropzone one day. From that moment on we rode to the Dropzone every weekend for the next few years. After acquiring our own gear we had Airtight MC embroidered on our parachute containers, hats, helmets, and jumpsuits. We both had achieved a Jumpmaster rating during our first year and was dubbed 'Airtight JM's'. During our second year we had achieved freefall cameraman status and 'Airtight Visuals' evolved. Larry quit jumping in 2005 but we remained best friends and saw one another regularly.
I continued skydiving and riding my Harleys, I had two. During this time I had achieved a Instructor Assisted Deployment Jumpmaster and Instructor rating as well as Static Line Instructor, Accelerated Freefall Instructor (AFF), FAA Senior Parachute Rigger, and in 1999 I decided, IT'S TIME! I bought and airplane, rented a hangar at Skiatook, OK and Skydive Airtight was born. I hired a FAA pilot instructor and after eight short hours I was flying solo. I had my Pilot's license in three months. I flew that plane over 4,000 hours and unloaded thousands of jumpers at Skydive Airtight before I retired at age 65. Skydive Airtight still lives on and is considered Oklahoma's Premier Skydiving Center.
In 2008 I bought a new Harley-Davidson Streetglide. At that time I also had a Harley Softail Chopper and a Harley Ultra Classic. Larry Hildebrand had given his Shovelhead to his son Khan and was bikeless at the time so I offered to sell him one of the older bikes. Larry being short bought the chopper. I mentioned to Larry "you know it would be great to look up our old Airtight Brothers and see if they want to reboot ATMC just to occasionally get us all together again seeing that we were entering the fall and winter of our lives." Great Idea said Larry.
I had seen Brent Salt only one time in the last 17 years. So I rode my bike over to see him at the Dam Saloon in Oologah. There was a couple Harleys there and lots of Jap bikes. We said our howdys and I mentioned I would like him to make some changes on my bike. We agreed and made a deal on some Vance & Hines True Duals. He asked if I would like to join his group and he offered me his official "Titties & Beer" sticker. I replied to him "Brent, you know I am Airtight". And he replied to me, "Airtight is dead." So I went quietly about my business and over the next 2-3 years he did numerous repairs and installed lots of parts on my bike.
I called Terry just before Memorial Day in 2009 and mentioned to him what I was trying to do and suggested we do a 2009 Airtight Run to a resort motel in Branson and take our Ol' Ladies with us. Terry said, "Lloyd, I am not into that lifestyle any more. I have found the Lord and have moved on from that lifestyle." I wished him luck and we said our good-byes.
Meanwhile I was getting ready to do my annual "Trail of Beers Run." I had planned to ride to South Carolina to see my old friend Michael. Just before I got ready to leave Mike called me to say he was getting a divorce and moving back to Oklahoma. I had a three story hangar with a 1200 square foot living area on the second floor. I was living in a house with a gold-digger at the time so I offered the hangar house to Michael until he got settled. I mentioned that I was starting an MC for what was left of us old Airtight members. Mike knew all of us and had ridden with us when he was in Oklahoma. He knew David Marshall real well. After a few months Mike bought a house and later that year we did a "2009 Trail of Beers". We did just over 4,000 miles and went from 105 degrees heat at Four Corners, USA to 2 feet of snow two days later in Yellowstone, Wyoming. It was in 2009 that I mentioned to Brent Salt that I was gonna start another MC for the old ATMC brothers. He replied that the Banditos ran Oklahoma now and that they would never let me start an MC. He was still doing his Titties & Beer thing.
In 2010 one of my pilots crashed my airplane. So the Skydiving ceased for a while. I decided to sell Skydive Airtight and carry the note on the sale myself. Knowing that my business was covered by a prenuptial my wife decided she wanted a divorce. So we got one and I had to buy another house where I now live. In October of 2010 I contacted the secretary at the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs "Cat" about my plans for reforming ATMC.
In 2011 I built a large deck out back and invited Larry Hildebrand, Brent Salt, Michael, Tom Amyx, and their girlfriends and wives over for a cookout thinking all us old timers reuniting at the same time would be cool. At that meeting Larry, Brent, and I voted Michael and Tom Amyx in to the ATMC of old with the Mitt. It was the first ATMC meeting ever. A few weeks later I mentioned I had contacted the CoC about registering our club with them and ask for blessings to wear a back patch. Michael immediately resigned before ever getting started with us. He stated he would NEVER wear a cut with colors for any club. I then contacted my old friend Kenny Fowler. He had done lots of deer hunting, partying and riding with me and we always had a super close relationship. I sponsored Kenny for Airtight membership and he was voted in. He had been close friends with all of ATMC and had attended functions with us. Tom Amyx had mentioned to me that Jack Pennington was dying and it would be nice if we would consider him for membership. I didn't know Jack that well but I talked with him a bit when I was running the ABATE bike show. Jack worked Security for ABATE. So I contacted Jack and set up a meeting and he was voted in.