Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 71: Grim Reapers Pay Respects to Fallen Comrade

June 19th, 2014

On June 16, 1970, about 50 members of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club led a funeral procession for L. Wayne Martin, a 24-year-old Bloomington resident killed in a car-motorcycle accident the previous weekend on U.S. Route 66 near Chenoa.

Martin was a twice-wounded Vietnam War veteran and member of the Pekin chapter of the Grim Reapers. The procession went from the Metzler Memorial Home on East Washington Street in Bloomington to Heyworth Cemetery in Heyworth.

Interestingly, a month earlier, the Reapers served as the security detail for organizers of the Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival, held Memorial Day weekend near Heyworth. This festival drew upwards of 60,000 mostly counterculture types and Woodstock alumni such as Canned Heat, Country Joe & The Fish, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Bill Kemp


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