Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Shot Heard 'Round The World... Love You, Papa.


One of my Very Few and Very Beloved Friends died on Tuesday night...

Of Lead Poisoning, one could say....

Or, one could just say that he was shot.

(I'm not trying to be funny... The former description just popped into my mind... I only found out about his death about an hour ago and I'm in a really strange state of mind at the moment.)

His name was Mark Guardado.

We who knew him called him "Papa".

He was a big, strong, physically-imposing man and, yes, he might have been intimidating, if you didn't know him.

He was the President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Papa was a dear friend when I needed one and showed me nothing less than kindness and respect. He was like a protective big brother to me and probably never knew that I had the biggest crush on him, although, Thankfully - The last time I saw him, in the Haight Ashbury, I hugged him and he me and I told him that I loved him.

I first met him in the 1990's, at the Hells Angels Clubhouse in San Francisco. I lived in Dog Patch at the time and we shared a sizeable backyard.

My parents weren't exactly thrilled with my having close friendships with members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, but, I can honestly say - I never felt safer in my Life than I did when I was with them.

One memorable night in particular comes to mind. I had been spending time with mutual friends at a friend's home near the ocean. In the evening, Papa offered to give me a ride back home on his motorcycle. There was a light rain and the road was slick. I was wearing a long, black leather trench coat. After we were on the road, roaring our way home - (Harley-Davidson motorcycles make a very distinctive roar - Before too long, I had learned to recognize who was arriving solely by the roar of his motorcycle.) - I realized that my coat-tails were flapping behind me, above the rear of the motorcycle. I started to have unpleasant visions of my lovely coat getting caught by the wheel and yanking me backwards, off of the bike. After much consideration, I decided to fix it. I had just let go of Papa with one hand to try to re-adjust my coat when, without missing a beat, he reached swiftly around behind him and grabbed my arm and pulled it back around his waist and made sure I knew that holding on to him was more important than going for the coat-tails.

I could share a few more stories... Like my jaw-dropping moment of first meeting Papa... but, some stories are for Family Only.

Screw the knee-jerk label of 'dangerous criminals' or 'organized gang' that certain departments or members of the media perpetually and mindlessly slap on the Hells Angels. (Besides, the biggest and best armed 'gang' that terrorizes San Francisco is staffed by certain brutal members of the SFPD.)

I loved Papa with all of my heart. He only showed me love and respect, as did virtually all of the guys. Probably due to the fact that I showed them love and respect. I wasn't one of the ditzy girls who just showed up at parties and got drunk.

We were Neighbors.

We were Friends.

The news of his sudden, violent and senseless death...
Breaks My Heart.

My Deepest Condolences to Papa's Family and Countless Friends.

I Will Miss You Dearly, Papa Mark.

Thank You for your Friendship and Love.

I Love You.

Rest In Peace.

Hells Angels Leader in S.F. Shot Dead
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, September 4, 2008

(09-03) 18:03 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The president of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was shot and killed Tuesday night on a Mission District street, police said Wednesday.

Mark "Papa" Guardado, 45, was shot at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday near 24th Street and Treat Avenue, about a mile from the group's clubhouse where he lived. He died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Witnesses told investigators that Guardado and the gunman struggled before the shooting.

"They had a wrestling match first," said Lt. Mike Stasko of the San Francisco police homicide detail. Then "the guy shot him, and he got on his motorcycle and left."

Police have made no arrests, but said one avenue they are exploring was that Guardado was fighting with a rival in another motorcycle group. "We're looking at all the options," Stasko said.

An attorney who was defending Guardado in a battery case in Sonoma County said that he was "absolutely devastated" by the killing and that "Mark was a wonderful human being."

"His friends loved him," said the attorney, Patrick Ciocca. "He really was an all-around good guy. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are going to miss him dearly."

Members of the Hells Angels at the group's clubhouse on Tennessee Street in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco declined to talk about the killing.

At the street corner where Guardado was shot, across from a bar and a nail salon, there was a makeshift memorial where someone had written in large, black letters, "RIP Papa Frisco."

Nearby, others wrote "never forget" and "we will always love you." Five burned-out candles lay nearby.

Ciocca was unable to say how long Guardado had headed the local chapter. But he stressed that the Hells Angels had been unfairly harassed over the years by authorities who have raided the clubhouse in search of evidence that the group is a criminal enterprise.

"It's outlandish," Ciocca said.

The group's San Francisco chapter - or "Frisco," as its members call it - is the second-oldest Hells Angels club in the country, after Fontana in San Bernardino County. In 2004, it celebrated its 50th anniversary with a party that attracted about a thousand bikers from around the world.

1 comment:

  1. sorry for your loss, he will be missed by many. god bless be well. from a red & white supportter


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