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Thousands flock to Eagles Nest for Sons
There were plenty of custom bikes to look at along Harlan Road Sunday. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

LATHROP – Not even the drive from Elk Grove would have kept Loyd Helmick from his chance to meet some of the stars of the FX action/drama ‘Sons of Anarchy.’

Helmick was one of thousands who ascended on Eagles Nest Harley Davidson on Sunday afternoon for a promotional event that was co-sponsored by the dealership and the network – the product of months of planning and timed to coordinate with the Sept. 8 premier of the show’s second season.

With a shirt replicating the logo that the fictional motorcycle club members wear on the back of their “cut” – the vest worn by members of motorcycle clubs that denotes affiliation, rank, and stature – the self-avowed motorcycle enthusiast waited with anticipation for the doors to open.

“I’m not a ‘one percenter’ per se, and this show gives you a glimpse of what it might be like on the other side of that line,” Helmick said. “You combine the action and the top notch acting and something that you’re interested in and it makes for a great show.

“I respect the brotherhood that they represent, and I’m glad that they’re doing this here for the fans.”

With the script centered in the fictional town of Charming – which is supposedly located within San Joaquin County and thus leads to multiple references to actual Northern California communities – Sunday’s event carried an extra special touch for local residents who felt a connection with the show based on its location.

According to FX Networks Director of Media Relations Dominic Pagone, the event was the only one planned to promote the show and the location of the dealership – right in the heart of the county portrayed in the show – served as the perfect spot.

Coming in on the shuttle with the cast members and seeing all of the bikes lined up outside gave Pagone his first glimpse into how popular the show is with local residents – something that immediately caught him off guard.

“Nip/Tuck was our most popular show, and after the fifth season we had a signing like this in Hollywood and drew a crowd as large as the one we have here today,” Pagone said. “We haven’t even premiered the first show of the second season yet and we’re already reaching that point – it’s incredible.

“Once we saw that and the energy of the people outside, all of the guys were really stoked.”

And getting a glimpse of that other world was enough to bring Harley rider Brian Simon and his two kids to check out the scene – one that was growing larger and larger as the day drew on.

“This is really the first time that I’ve ever been to something like this before with so many different people,” said Brian – an admitted fan of the show. “It’s like a whole lifestyle and you have to see it in person to believe it.”

Mingling with fans on Sunday was show star Charlie Hunnam (who portrays Jackson Teller on the show) as well as Mark Boone Junior (Bobby), Kim Coates (Tig), Tommy Flanagan (Chibs), Ryan Hurst (Opie), Theo Rossi (Juice), and show creator Kurt Sutter (Otto.)

To contact Jason Campbell e-mail, or call (209) 249-3544.