image of Hells Angels Sonny Barger and his Hells Angels thundered up Highway One along the California coast one day in the late sixties.  As the story goes, they parked their Harleys in front of the Jenner Inn and entered a redwood structure, which housed the lodge office, post office, tavern, family fish house and a general store.    The owner refused to serve the bikers, cradling a shotgun.  Sonny stood his ground, demanding some liquor.  Another refusal.  An Angel ignored the response and started to circle the counter toward the whiskey rack.

Without warning, shots rang out.  A spray of rock salt hit the biker in the leg.  He moaned and started to raise a fist when the owner said that he had called the sheriff.  Sonny reeled back in his “brother” and the pack exited the store.

Outside, they were greeted by a pair of deputies.  A standoff soon developed.

Hells Angels in Jenner:

Sonny Barger didn’t back down, saying that his Angels outnumbered the deputies ten-to-one.  The sheriff corrected Sonny, pointing to the sun glinting off a dozen or so weapons, which were trained on the bikers from the nearby hillside.  CHP cruisers and local officers escorted the gang to the Mendocino County line where another contingent of lawmen were waiting.  

I’m in the midst of writing a crime novel that in part depicts the above scene.  Some of the information for this blog came from the Press Democrat archives as well as the Russian River Historical Society.  Any corrections, additions, etc., which you may possess, would be most welcomed.  Thanks.

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