Independence_Rally+Hollister2With the rally behind me I finally have some time to blog and I want my friends and fans to know how wonderful the event was.

I had faith that the 2013 Hollister Motorcycle Rally run by Mark Cresswell and unanimously sanctioned by the city council would be the best one ever and I was not disappointed. With Dave Westrick as our new police chief my confidence was bolstered by leaps and bounds. With his positive attitude towards the event I knew it could not fail. He surpassed my expectations and I could not be more proud of him. Law enforcement was friendly and helpful and for the first time since the rally’s inception I was at ease when the men and women in blue stopped by. There is no way I can begin to describe how much stress it relieved me of. I don’t think I could have survived another tension filled rally. I am so grateful to Chief Westrick.


I met Mark Creswell of Worldwide Dynamics in December of 2012 and instinctively knew that he was the man that could put our rally back on the map. Besides being recommended to the city council by Mike Corbin whose opinion I respect, he spoke like he knew what he was doing and had plenty of experience to back it up. Despite a few obstacles that were thrown in his path (for once not from law enforcement) he prevailed in making the 2013 rally the best one that I can remember. As the owner of Johnny’s Bar & Grill for more than 17 years I think I am in a strong position to critique the success of the event.


On Monday August 5th the Hollister City Council will discuss whether to approve a five year contract for the rally with Mark Cresswell and the Hollister Downtown Association at the helm. I believe Mark will be back in North Carolina but I look forward to giving my vote of confidence to him and the HDA. I wouldn’t miss this meeting for the world. I’m thrilled to say that Mark and his lovely bride Yvonne are considering buying a home in Hollister. That tells me how serious they are about making our rally the Sturgis of the West Coast.


I love being a part of a place with the rich history that Johnny’s holds and it has been very good to me. I am still however ready to move on with my writing career and hang up my bar owner towel. Handing over a business that has been my life for almost 18 years will not be an easy thing to do. I can say with pride that the relationships I’ve built and the blood sweat and tears I’ve invested in Johnny’s over the years are the reasons for its success. I will be prayerfully looking for the same dedication to my historic bar in any prospective buyers.


Very few people know that when I bought Johnny’s it had been called It’s Showtime for a year. It’s hard to imagine what might have been if I hadn’t purchased it and changed the name back to Johnny’s Bar & Grill. Read my book Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place for that story and many other details about how Johnny’s has come to be the icon that it is. Order your copy at Autographed copies are available at Johnny’s and I love visiting with folks and personalizing their books. I hope to see you there.

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  • Rich

    The Rally was awesome! I’m glad its back and the bike parking on San Benito as well. I must say however, Bolado Park was disappointing to see. It was the official campsite for the Rally in years past with vendors, music, hill climbs, etc. We had to get a room in Morgan Hill because other motels and hotels were raping folks with the rates. You need more hotels to invest in Hollister for future rallies. Keep up the good work and tradition.

    • charisse

      With a five year contract on the horizon I see Bolado getting into the game. If they don’t they have no business sense. I heard about the prices our few local hotels were getting. I guess since they barely survive all year it was a chance for them to get ahead. I stayed in the equivalent of a Motel 6 in Sturgis in 2006 and paid $283 a night with a three night minimum. If they can get it they will and lets face it, they were all filled up. It’s the nature of the game. I got less for my drinks at Johnny’s than any other bar in town and I found myself wondering if I that was good business sense. I hate price gouging so I don’t do it.

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