Pieces Of My Heart: A Review

Pieces Of My Heart: A Review

By

Toker

I officially met Katy Olliff Ishee on the GRMC Avery Facebook page.  It was there that she advertised her autobiography Pieces Of My Heart. An unbelievable true story based on her life experiences.  Thanks very much Katy for sending me an autographed edition.

Pieces Of My Heart

Pieces Of My Heart

The story opens with a young Katy who was rebelling against her parents.  She got pregnant as a teen and was forced by her parents, at age 17, to give her son up for adoption.  Katy spent 27 years searching for her lost baby who had been adopted by an unknown couple. Thrown into this tragic tale was four abusive marriages, nomadic wanderings, and motorcycle escapades.

Katy Olliff Ihee 1962

Katy Olliff Ishee 1962

That is where I come into the story.  My name is Toker and I am a 40 year member of the Ghost Riders motorcycle club.   In Katy’s autobiography she writes about attending a couple of our club functions in 1978 and 1979.  She had a really good time and writes favorably about us.  While reading Katy’s book I was amazed at how much we had in common.

Ghost Riders MC Washington Co,Tn

Ghost Riders MC Washington Co,Tn

(1)  Katy has a love for writing and is a published author.  I have a love for writing and have over 200 articles printed in Edgar Rice Burroughs fan publications and three 60,000 word Science Fiction novels, sadly, unpublished.

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(2)  On page 95 {soft edition} Katy named her son Michael Adam, and my name is James Michael.  My father’s name is also James, so I was always called Michael.

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(3)  On page 109 Katy, in 1967, left Florida and traveled to San Francisco, California, and many places in between, for the Monterey Pop Fest and Haight Ashbury.  In 1989 I left Tennessee and traveled to California, and many places in between, for an Edgar Rice Burroughs convention.  After leaving Los Angeles I drove north to San Francisco on the way home.

Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury

(4)  On page 149 Katy says the first bikers she ever met was in a club from Danville, Va.  She does not mention that club by name in her book.  The club I ride with, the Ghost Riders, parties from time to time with the Scorpions from Danville, Va.

Scorpions MC Danville, Va

Scorpions MC Danville, Va

(5)  On page 150 Katy’s husband’s father told her she looked like actress Loretta Swift who played Hot Lips on M*A*S*H.  In 1973 my first love looked like Loretta Swift, and she played her character, Hot Lips, in a M*A*S*H play at Avery County High School.

Hot Lips Houlihan

Hot Lips Houlihan

(6)  Also on page 150  Katy said her first biker party was in 1974 at Myrtle Beach, SC.  She had to mean North Myrtle Beach because that is where the rally was held in those days.  We had a chapter of Ghost Riders in North Myrtle Beach, SC from approximately 1976 – 1986 and I went there once a year to party with them.

North Myrtle Beach Bike Week

North Myrtle Beach Bike Week

(7) On page 151 Katy left Danville, Va and moved to Lenoir, NC.  My family hometown is in Elk Park, NC which is approximately an hour and half drive to Lenoir, depends on the time of day and traffic.  The Ghost Riders partied with a club called the Restless Riders and the NC Ramblers based in Lenoir starting approximately in 1976.  The Restless Riders were eventually absorbed by the NC Ramblers who we still party with to this day.

NC Ramblers MC Lenoir, NC

NC Ramblers MC Lenoir,NC

(8)  On page 154 Katy moved to Hickory, NC.  Hickory is about the same distance to Elk Park as Lenoir.  The Ghost Riders have partied with a club based out of Hickory called the Street Survivors since approximately 1976 and still party with them to this day.

Street Survivors MC Hickory, NC

Street Survivors MC Hickory,NC

(9)  On page 155 Katy left Hickory and moved to Vaile Crucis which is about 6 miles west of Boone, NC.  Vaile Crucis is approximately 25 miles down hill from my family hometown of Elk Park, NC.

Mast General Store

Mast General Store

(10)  On page 156 Katy wrecks her bike in Greenville, Tn.  Greenville is about 25 miles west from my birth town of Johnson City.  This is where the mother chapter of the Ghost Riders started.  The Ghost Riders party with a club named Iron Riders based out of Greenville.

Iron Riders MC Greenville, Tn

Iron Riders MC Greenville,TN

(11)  On page 158 Katy enrolled in Appalachian State University and got a job at the library.   I did not go to school at ASU, but as a teen in 1970-1975 that is where I went to all the rock concerts.  That is also were my crowd went to obtain our party supplies if you know what I mean.

Appalachian State UniversIty

Appalachian State University

(12)  On page 161 Katy goes to a BMW Riders Rally in Maggie Valley, NC.  As a motorcycle rally vendor I have been selling leather goods at Maggie Valley motorcycle rallies for 24 years.

Thunder In The Smokies

Thunder In The Smokies

(13)  On page 162 Katy was appointed state deputy director of North Carolina for BMWRA.  She hosted the High South Rally on Beech Mountain, NC.  I can stand out at my mailbox and see the Beech Mountain.  Naturally there is a valley between our two mountain ridges.

Beech Mountain, NC

Beech Mountain, NC

(14)  On page 172 Katy attended the Ghost Riders Anniversary party in 1978.  The Ghost Riders mother chapter is actually out of Johnson City, Tn but we had our party on highway 107  just outside of Erwin because it was out in the country directly beside the Nolichucky River.  In Indian that translates to “The River Of Death”.  Locally the spot was called “The Devil’s Looking Glass”.

Devil's Looking Glass

Devil’s Looking Glass

(15) Can’t remember much about Mine and Katy’s casual meeting.  We did meet because she has a club card with my name on it.  There were 25 motorcycle clubs, besides 13 chapters of Ghost Riders, in the field that weekend.  We all had jobs assigned  to us and we were very busy.

Devil's Looking Glass

Devil’s Looking Glass

(16)  What I do remember about Katy that weekend is that she was the only woman on a bike.  Yes Katy, I seen you ride down the field with no top on.  I do remember, Rosie.  She was prospecting for the Smoke Riders, which like Katy says, was unheard of in those days.  I remember the Smoke Riders dragging their prospect down the field roped behind a bike.  We had to stop them.  We didn’t want anyone killed, and us get sued.

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(17)  Katy mentioned 3 of our members by name in her book.  The 1st, Bear.  He is still a member but he is in prison and will probably die there.  The 2nd, Freight Train, is no longer with us but is a member of the Viet Nam Vets and is battling cancer.  The 3rd was Haney.  He was the president of our Taswell, Tn chapter.  Even after Haney got out of our club he played  a large part in Katy’s life.

Nolichucky River

Nolichucky River

(18) On page 180 Katy mentions her then husband, got a job working on the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge on the Grandfather Mountain.  That bridge is in Avery County about 15 miles from my family homestead in Elk Park, NC.  I was living in Johnson City, Tn at the time.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

(19)  On page 182 Katy says she hosted the BMW High South Rally twice a year on Beech Mountain.  I was living in Johnson City at the time and was never aware she was so close.  Thankfully, many years later she joined our GRMC Avery Facebook page where we do socialize quite regularly.

Beech Mountain, NC

Beech Mountain, NC

(20)  On page 204 Katy writes that she returned to party with the Ghost Riders.  That party was our Memorial Day Mandatory of 1979.  She dose not say anything about this 2nd visit and although we were both in the same field I do not recall ever meeting her.

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(21)  On page 220 Katy moved to Bisbee, then Tombstone, Ar.  Although I never lived there I did visit there on my way to Tarzana for the Edgar Rice Burroughs convention in 1989.

Tombstone, Az

Tombstone, Az

(22)  On page 232 Katy goes to Los Angeles/Hollywood to do a Hot Lips job.  As mentioned I was at Los Angeles/Tarzana in the 1st weekend of July 1989 for a Edgar Rice Burroughs convention.

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(23)  On page 241 Katy moves to Custer, SD.  I have never lived in South Dakota, but after Katy’s visit there, I became a motorcycle rally vendor.  I have been to Sturgis Bike Week 13 times and visited all the surrounding areas, including Custer.

Custer, SD

Custer, SD

(24)  On page 245 while in Custer, SD Katy was wearing her Ghost Riders bandanna.  Katy since has requested another one, but we have not been able to come up with one yet.  Notice I said yet.

Katy Olliff  Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(25)  On page 250 Katy tells about her encounter with 1%ers.  For her safety and piece of mind I will not comment outside to say they are not a family working man’s club like the Ghost Riders.

Ghost Riders MC Avery Co, NC

Ghost Riders MC Avery Co, NC

(26)  On page 259 Katy goes to Chicago for another Hot Lips job.  As a motorcycle rally vendor I worked a show at McCormick Place in Chicago at least 9 times.

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

(27)  On page 261 Katy searched by phone for her son, Michael, in Lancaster, Pa.  As a motorcycle rally vendor I worked the National Hog Rally the year it was held in Lancaster, Pa.

Lancaster, Pa

Lancaster, Pa

(28)  On page 356 Katy and Virgil with his band 41 Blues went to Cherokee, NC to the Cherokee Survivors Motorcycle Rally.  I was vending at that rally but I never knowingly met Katy or Virgil.

Cherokee Survivors Rally

Cherokee Survivors Rally

Katy’s book is filled with so many ups and downs I can’t help but feel for her.  Who’s life isn’t.  Katy does find her son after 27 years of searching and I am so happy for her.  Thank you Katy for having the strength to write about all the up and down events of your life.  I know it will help out other unwed mothers who had to give up their child.

Katy Olliff Ishee-17

Katy & her son,Steve

One last thing.  GRMC Avery is bringing Katy to Avery County, NC for a book signing at their Anniversary Party July 26-28, 2013.    Be sure to come out and help us celebrate this 31 year reunion.

Ghost Riders

Ghost Riders

Contact Katy Olliff Ishee

katy@katyishee.com

katyishee@mac.com

http://myspace.com/katyisheepiecesofmyheart

http://katyishee.com

Katy Olliff Ishee

Katy Olliff Ishee

One Response to “Pieces Of My Heart: A Review”

  1. Book Promotion Ideas | Stanley StClair Says:

    [...] Toker, a member of the Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club did a great story on her found at this site http://ghostridertoker.wordpress.com/pieces-of-my-heart-a-review/. She has also been on television and has traveled around the country doing signings to promote [...]

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