Blackie’s Last Ride

Today was Blackie Stephens funeral…his last big ride. To the Atlanta film community Blackie was known as THE camera truck driver. He was also known as a Georgia cowboy and could often be found riding his Harley, taking care of his horses or playing his guitar with his friends in out of the way dives. He lived hard and he played hard.

Anytime the crew took over a bar it was certain that Blackie would be one of the last ones out the door. At the graveside service, after the last prayer, one of Blackie’s biker friends climbed up into the bed of a pickup truck into which they’d strapped Blackie’s Harley. The guy cranked the bike up and it bubbled to life, loud and snappy… brap-brap-brap-brap brap brap brap…. when he gave the throttle a twist the engine howled like a banshee, snarling and wailing; a biker’s bagpipe memorial. One of the bikers pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels and they saluted Blackie’s passing, renegade style. The guy running Blackie’s bike must have given it too much gas though because the engine’s growl quickly quavered, sputtered and died – its sound reporting back from the trees on the edges of the cemetery. A biker’s Amen.

Here’s a poem written by a very talented woman named Gayle Rawlins, daughter of J.L. and Cindy Parker, a legendary pioneer couple in Atlanta’s film industry history.


4 Comments on “Blackie’s Last Ride”

  1. I was wondering about Blackie as I recently found a signed 8 X10 by the man himself. He was a tough guy with a big heart. I was lucky enough to work on two films in Atlanta with a wonderful crew. I was surprised to see Blackie almost cry the last day I was there. He was the man. I am obviously 5 years late. I’m sad


  2. You know, I also have one of those VERY collectible headshots of Blackie stored away somewhere. Next time I run across it I’ll post it with this article. Thanks Vahe.

  3. I just found this and i am grateful to whoever posted this and would love to know more if possible.I was the love of his life and gave Blackie a son named Dustin.We denied knowing until too late of his funeral.My son,now 17 so deserves anything personal that can be given to him in memory of his father….the sharing of memories would be appreciated mostly.

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