By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times
Tommie “Slim” Essex is no ordinary president of an organization. As leader of Ensley’s #1 Stunnas Motorsports Club, he oversees community service projects, organizes rides and events, and keeps members on the same page.
He has assumed an additional duty, as well. When the club opens to host other clubs and the public on Hang Nights, every Monday evening from 8 p.m. until midnight, Essex serves drinks to attendees—and he has a knack for remembering orders perfectly.
“I try to remember everybody’s drink order,” he said. “It feels more personal when you remember something about them.”
Being a member of a motorsports club has taught Essex the importance of brotherhood and sisterhood.
“There are a lot of things you really don’t understand until you’ve been out there on the road with each other, traveling,” he said. “[When you’re] going from state to state, if you have a problem you see your brothers and sisters put their heads together to figure out the problem and get you there safely.”
Essex, who has been a member of #1 Stunnas for eight years, is in his second two-year term as president. He was initially in a bikes-only motorcycle club before joining the Stunnas, which has bikes and custom cars, such as Mustangs and Corvettes.
“I always said I would never be in a club,” he said. “I always thought you had to be in a club to go to certain places, but here you don’t.”
As president, Essex has learned to be a leader: “You have to be different with every member. You have to get to know them, spend time with and talk to them.”
The position is also rewarding, he said.
“We try to do community service in our area,” said Essex. “We take care of home first. We’re going to do work in Ensley first before we branch out.”
And the brotherhood extends beyond Birmingham.
“If I travel to another city or state and there is a local club, I know I have somewhere I can go,” said Essex. “They’re always opening new clubs.”
He stressed that the club is not exclusive: “Anybody is welcome here. This isn’t just some place where only riders hang out. Any person on the street can come in, and we’re always happy to have them.”
Read more on Birmingham’s motorsports scene:
From Stop the Violence rides to blessing bikes, club member build goodwill
Motorcycle clubs in Birmingham get a handle on community service