My name is
Lloyd Chapin. I am one of the "Original Five" members of ATMC or
AIRTIGHT MOTORCYCLE CLUB.
David Marshall was the founder and leader of our club. I was 34 years old and rode a 1976 Harley Superglide when I met David at the Marine Lounge in Tulsa circa 1978. The Marine Lounge was a biker bar and David was a bartender there and he also rode a 1976 Superglide rat bike. Larry H. was David's close friend and was always with David when not working and also rode a Shovelhead rat bike. Then there was Terry S. whom I had actually met back in '75 or '76. Also a Shovelhead biker. And then came Bear H. Bear was a co-worker with Larry at an airplane plant and he rode a Shovelhead Electra Glide. We were the "Original Five". We had a hang-a-round "Chuck Frost" that followed us everywhere with a van filled with beer, music, and tools.
We were also charter members of ABATE of Oklahoma and rode together to motorcycle events across the Midwest. We were very, very close friends and if we weren't working we were riding or hanging out together. We all had the deepest of RESPECT for one another and were very "tight". In 1982 David kicked around the idea of forming our own club. A club of Brothers with closed membership that was airtight. What happens in ATMC stays in ATMC. So in 1983 David decided to make it official and the rest of us approved. In 1983 there was no CoC or Confederation of Clubs in Oklahoma. But, there was a dominate MC in Tulsa, the Mongols MC. MC protocol demands that any new club get approval from the dominate MC in your area before forming. We had no officers and had no cut with colors. However, we did have a mitt or "Love Glove" with our colors stamped on it. Early in 1983 David and Larry had a visit with the Mongols MC President. All of us knew him and were friends with most all the local Mongols MC members during that era. The Mongols MC president gave us his blessing a few days later with the stipulation that we NOT wear colors on a cut but the Love Glove was accepted for our colors. It was official, we were a club.
We had our first official ATMC Run on Memorial Day weekend 1983 at the Tiff City Swap Meet. Later dubbed the "Ass Beat Swap Meet".
a bit to September 1985.
Our lead David Marshal passed away September 29, 1985. Our leader was gone and things "club wise" just sorta fell apart. We had a Memorial Day Weekend Run in 1987 trying to reboot the club and I brought in a new member I had been deer hunting with the last couple years. His name was Brent Salt II. I had met Brent in 1979 at C&C Harley-Davidson. He had ridden with us when we attended ABATE functions and events. The run was uneventful and the club just dissolved shortly after. Bear moved to Florida then Minnesota for 20 or so years. But he would come by to see me when occasionally visiting Oklahoma. Terry moved away and simply disappeared for a couple decades. So that left only me and Larry Hildebrand flying our "Mitt".
Larry and I remained close friends through all those years to date. And we rode our Harleys everyday and everywhere. One day in 1991 Larry called me to say he wouldn't be doing our usual weekend ride together and explained he was gonna throw his son 'Khan Hildebrand' out of an airplane. It was his 18th birthday. Having always wanting to do a parachute jump I immediately said I would like to go with them. So on 13 July 1991 Larry, Khan, and I saddled up on our Harleys and rode to Oklahoma Parachute Center in Cushing, OK. That was the most fun we ever had with our clothes on. After our second jump the next weekend I told Larry and Khan that I was gonna own a Dropzone one day. From that moment on we rode to the Dropzone every weekend for the next few years. After acquiring our own gear we had Airtight MC embroidered on our parachute containers, hats, helmets, and jumpsuits. We both had achieved a Jumpmaster rating during our first year and was dubbed 'Airtight JM's'. During our second year we had achieved freefall cameraman status and 'Airtight Visuals' evolved. Larry quit jumping in 1995 but we remained best friends and saw one another regularly.
I continued skydiving and riding my Harleys, I had two. During this time I had achieved a Instructor Assisted Deployment Jumpmaster and Instructor rating as well as Static Line Instructor, Accelerated Freefall Instructor (AFF), FAA Senior Parachute Rigger, and in 1999 I decided, IT'S TIME! I bought and airplane, rented a hangar at Skiatook, OK and Skydive Airtight was born. I hired a FAA pilot instructor and after eight short hours I was flying solo. I had my Pilot's license in three months. I flew that plane over 4,000 hours and unloaded thousands of jumpers at Skydive Airtight before I retired at age 65. Skydive Airtight still lives on and is considered Oklahoma's Premier Skydiving Center.
2008 AIRTIGHT MC to Date