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RIP Dee Cameron

May 5, 2014

Dee Cameron died this weekend after heart surgery. He was born I think in 1941 and was quickly propped by by his dad John Cameron on the family Crocker. John was one of the original members of the Boozefighters club, whose exploits in Hollister indirectly and infamously led to the sensational movie The Wild One with Marlon Brando. Dee was his father’s son, and carried the torch in his own way by riding fast bikes, drinking whisky and living a life that was worthy of its own book, if not a movie.

   D2

From his earliest days he was racing bikes and messing about with cars and trucks. He frequented the Max Bubeck rides in Death Valley, raced at the Catalina Grand Prix, drove and repaired big rigs, rode the AMCA road runs in Borrego Springs and the Velocette Club rallies among others. Dee would often arrive with his wife Deanna on their gigantic 1920’s modified Autocar flatbed truck after flying down the freeway for a few hours with a bike or two on the back. Any of the California riders of the past several decades have Dee Cameron stories involving riding bikes on or off road, camping in tents, drinking and telling stories until late in the night, and repeating it all again in the morning.

 

One of my favorite stories is from the Max Bubeck rides through Death Valley. The tradition was the the riders would all go up to the top of the hill above Zabriski Point, then turn off their motors and coast about 20 miles down the hill to the hotel in the bottom of the valley. Dee won the race many times, and not without some controversy. He later told me that if I wanted to win that I needed take his lead and pump up my tires to 100psi to reduce rolling resistance. And to clean all the grease out of the wheel bearings, and take the oil out of the gearbox! Word is that he even would put rocks into his bike’s saddle bags to have additional weight for gravity to act upon! Whatever tricks he tried, they worked and he would typically cruise further and faster that the other guys on his old Velo MAC.

 

Dee welcomed visitors to he and Deanna’s home, and loved to show his photos to visitors.  I snapped these photos during a BBQ there for the 2012 Velocette Rally.  More pics are here: http://occhiolungo.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/dee-cameron/  There are many web pages with info about John Cameron, a few by Dr. Sprocket are here

 

A fair recollection of Dee would include the fact that Dee spoke his mind –often and loudly! He wasn’t concerned if that made him unpopular, and it did have that effect with some people.  And some of the the Dee stories that are commonly told will reflect that. But many people enjoyed Dee for who he was and were not offended. He certainly treated K & I with respect at all times and showed us nothing but kindness. I was glad to be his friend, and I’m sorry to see him go.

 

Rest in peace Dee.

  D13Dee Crocker Drag Trophies 1932 Fisher’s 80” Harley

 

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Mike Jongblood and Dee Cameron

 

D4 John’s Crocker Special

 

D16Dee and Deanna at the top of Pike’s Peak, with the Autocar and the 1917 HD and sidecar

 

D5Boozefighters and 13 Rebels shirts

 

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If you look closely, you can see where Dee recorded his weight as he got in shape and dropped about 50 pounds in 2006.

 

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D8 The Catalina Grand Prix Velocette

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Dee has a laugh showing me some old family photos.

 

 

“On behalf of the SoCal Chapter of the AMCA”

A memorial service for Dee Cameron will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at the Prescott VA Hospital. Viewing at 12:00 PM and Service at 1:00 PM

Northern Arizona VA Hospital
500 Hwy 89N, Building 152 Chapel
Prescott, Arizona 86313
928-445-4860

Enter the Facility off Hwy 89N onto Whipple Parkway and Park in Lot C, T, or S

https://www.google.com/maps/dir//34.554498,-112.452793/@34.5545831,-112.4548078,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m3!4m2!1m0!1m0

Please join us at the Memorial Gathering following the service at 2035 Holly Oak Dr, Prescott, AZ 86305

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/34.554498,-112.452793/2035+Holly+Oak+Dr,+Prescott,+AZ+86305/@34.6033912,-112.5367898,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x872d3197cee7cd89:0xc9b2185468c5ff54!2m2!1d-112.5012771!2d34.661619

Local Lodging/Accommodations
—————————-
Comfort Suites 928-771-2100
Holiday Inn Express 928-445-8900
Hampton Inn 928-443-5500
Buckeys Casino 928-776-1666

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2014 6:21 pm

    What a great tribute to Dee. Thanks for putting this together Pete.

  2. May 5, 2014 9:57 pm

    Pete, you nailed the old man to a tee, very well written. With your permission I would like to narrate this at memorial service this on Saturday

    • May 6, 2014 9:16 am

      Hello Todd. I’m honored that you would like to share my thoughts. I wish that Kim and I could make it over there Saturday to be there in person. Please give our regards to Deanna and all the family and friends.

  3. May 6, 2014 12:46 am

    Thanks for let us know the history. Great respect for this biker

  4. John Ray permalink
    May 7, 2014 6:03 pm

    Pete, thanks for penning this remembrance of Dee. He was quite a guy and quite a rider. Dee will be missed. We shall all raise a glass (or three) to him at the Velocette Club Rally in July.

  5. Carolyn Juran. permalink
    May 10, 2014 12:17 pm

    We will miss the beloved old fart.

  6. Deanna Cameron permalink
    May 12, 2014 9:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your comments. I will cherish them all.

  7. INDIAN JOHN permalink
    May 14, 2014 2:25 am

    he always told me you get out here there is some —-HOT MEXICAN WOMEN—-and—COLD BEER——-happy trails—my friend–and a fellow trucker and biker—-see ya one day—–INDIAN JOHN.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2014 11:01 am

    He will be missed. I still remember the first time I met Dee. It was about 25 years ago in Ojai. A large motor home pulls up and out stumbles a very drunk man. I have no idea who he is. The first words out of his mouth were “do you want a beer?”. About six beers later did I find out his name and who he was. As he lived in Santa Ana canyon which I rode through every day to work, I would stop by once a week on the way home until he moved to Prescott. With the stories he told of his younger days, It’s amazing he made it to 72 years old.

    I remember riding my MAC next to him on Highway 99 heading north from Bakersfield, he thought the pavement was boring so passed me on his Viper scrambler on the dirt shoulder at about 70 MPH.

    Good bye Dee!!!

    Regards,
    Bruce Farren

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