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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hollister in San Benito County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

William Clyde “Wino Willie” Forkner, Jr.

July 11, 1920 - June 23, 1997

 
 
William Clyde "Wino Willie" Forkner, Jr. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 25, 2014
1. William Clyde "Wino Willie" Forkner, Jr. Marker
Inscription. Fueled with a zest largely unknown outside of WW II combat vets, Wino Willie Forkner and other early members of the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club partied with other clubs and the citizens of Hollister at its famous 1947 Gypsy Tour. Prominent at the party, Wino Willie was used later to teach the cast of "The Wild One", a movie inspired vaguely by that event, how to dress and act as bikers. Although the movie in general did not depict Wino Willie's values, its impact enshrined Hollister as the birthplace of the American Biker, and Wino Willie Forkner as its model. As befits a social catalyst, Wino Willie remained unchanged amidst the changes he helped provoke.

His parting words to the Biker community:
"As we now go together on this last phase of our journey on Earth, we must remind you, the destination was never in question - but the trip getting here we will cherish in our hearts forever. Our memories, our friends and family, well it doesn't get any better than that! So Ride free, be loved and God Bless."
 
Erected 2009 by Monterey Viejo Chapter 1846, E Clampus Vitus.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 36° 51.061′ N, 121° 24.142′ 
William Clyde "Wino Willie" Forkner, Jr. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 25, 2014
2. William Clyde "Wino Willie" Forkner, Jr. Marker
A member of a historical society studies indentations in the top of the concrete where 3 military coins once sat. Unfortunately, the 3 coins have been stolen, but the reverse images are readable in the cement.
W. Marker is in Hollister, California, in San Benito County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of San Benito Street (Scenic Route 25B) and Wentz Alley. Touch for map. Marker is located in the covered back patio of Johnny's Bar and Grille in Hollister. Marker is at or near this postal address: 526 San Benito St, Hollister, CA 95023, Hollister CA 95023, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. State Theatre (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hollister Train Service (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of San Justo Ranch Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cottage Corners (approx. 1.3 miles away); Site of the Tres Pinos Hotel (approx. 6.1 miles away); 19th Hole Rendevous (approx. 6.3 miles away); Vineyard School (approx. 6.4 miles away); San Juan Pacific Railway (approx. 7.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hollister.
 
More about this marker. Wino Willie was known to frequent Johnny's in his younger years and made his last visit in 1996, a year before he passed away.
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Wino Willie and Marlon Brando on the Wall image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 25, 2014
3. Wino Willie and Marlon Brando on the Wall
The wall of Johnny's on Wentz Alley depicts Wino Willie and Marlon Brando. Willie was hired to coach Brando on how to act like a biker for the Wild One movie. the entrance to the back patio of Johnny's where the marker sits is just to the left of this picture
"Wino Willie" Shrine image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 25, 2014
4. "Wino Willie" Shrine
A small shrine just inside the door at Johnny's has a picture of Wino Willie on July 4, 1996, his last visit to the bar. A black and white photo lower right is of Willie in his younger days.
Inside Johnny's Bar and Grille image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 25, 2014
5. Inside Johnny's Bar and Grille
A group of visiting historians at Johnny's on a monument trip.
William Clyde "Wino Willie" Forkner, Jr. Marker dedication image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 25, 2014
6. William Clyde "Wino Willie" Forkner, Jr. Marker dedication
A picture on the wall in Johnny's shows the 2009 dedication of the Wino Willie marker. Members of E Clampus Vitus sit with 2 members of the Boozefighters, close friends of the late Wino Willie.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2014, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 616 times since then and 72 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 27, 2014, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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