Buffalo Chip vendor sets up at Rally for the 45th year in a row
The Sturgis Rally is celebrating 81 years. One vendor that NewsCenter1's Anya Mueller met has been traveling to Sturgis for over half of those years.
STURGIS, S.D. — Grizzly Taylor of Arizona has been setting up his shop at the Rally for 45 years and some of those years at the Buffalo Chip. He owns Fort Grizzly, where he does patchwork and sewing.
Taylor says, “The Chip, I’ve been coming here about 15 years, but Sturgis -it’s my 45th consecutive year. Yeah, I think that’s a record.”
Grizzly Taylor has been setting up shop in Sturgis over the years to sell and sew patches for customers at the Rally. But this wasn’t his first endeavor.
Taylor says, “By trade, I’m a fashion designer. I used to make high end leather clothing for the stars and rock and roll people and all that. And sometime back I started doing the rallies with my clothing and I did quite well. You have a lot of dead time selling $1000 jackets, so I bought a sewing machine to start sewing rally patches. People like to watch you do things and little by little the patches took over where the clothing used to be. Now I do clothing as a hobby and patches as a living.”
As Grizzly turns 81 this year, the passion for his work and people outweighs the intense workload.
Taylor adds, “It’s a labor of love. Yes, it’s very difficult work. A lot of hours involved Sturgis. I worked 10 to 18 hour days sitting at the sewing machine and you got to tear down and go someplace else set up and do it all over again. The amount of hours we put in for this is unbelievable and people don’t realize that you know.”
What keeps him coming back -in what would have been his retirement years -is the camaraderie of the Buffalo Chip staff and patrons.
“These people are unbelievable. Uh, they treat you like family. I felt that way since the day I came here. To me this is home. This is well in my career right here with Tony and Woody. I cannot picture not coming to Sturgis and I have no foresight of not doing what I’m doing,” says Taylor.
You can find Grizzly’s shop in the Buffalo Chip Amphitheater by the Roadhouse Bar.