Happy Dodson (HD) and Taz Roman (TR)
HD: You got 15, 20 bikes rolling down the street, and everybody’s in leather. And some of us shave, and some of us don’t. You know, everybody works, and everybody’s got everything else going on, but we drop all that stuff for that kid.
TR: We have a kid right now, and she goes up to any biker.
HD: And she’ll let you know real quick she’s in our family.
TR: Yeah. [Laughs].
HD: I remember the first day we gave her the vest, just like we wear. She put it on, and her mom said she slept with it for three days—wouldn’t take it off.
TR: It’s nice to see her feel safe. You can see that she feels safe when she’s around us. You know, kids understand that we’re scarier than the person that’s abusing them.
HD: And then they realize that Hey, there are adults that we can trust and will take care of us. There’s just no way to describe the feeling. And normally I’m not a soft person, huh Taz?
HD: So you better not say nothing about this to anybody.
TR: I don’t know nothing about nothing [Laughs].
HD: So why’d you get involved?
TR: My stepdad, you know, he’d come home drunk and start wailing on me every single night. I used to think it was my fault, and it was hard growing up like that for 14 years. I think as a kid, you always feel like you’re alone. You’re going to bed with this burden every single night, and you wake up knowing exactly what’s going to happen the next day. You’re so scared that you don’t know how to go about talking to somebody about it. So, if I can help kids overcome their fear of their abuser, then maybe that’ll help me deal with the history that I came from.
HD: I wish it was something we didn’t have to do.
TR: I feel exactly the same way. You know, at the end of the day, you want these kids to have a better future than you could have possibly had. When I put my kid to bed, that’s what I think about. That’s all you can want. You don’t just want it for your kid, you want it for everybody’s kid. And I think that’s what helps me sleep better at night.