As taken from the Press-Register from June 5 to June 6, 2012 Courtesy of Advance Digital 2012 Alabama Live LLC.

Photo courtesy of  The Riders Lodge 2012

Birney Matheu Jarvis, a larger-than-life adventurer, died of leukemia at his home in Bay Minette, AL on June 3, 2012 with his wife of 42 years, Joyce, by his side. At various times Jarvis, 82, was a Hell's Angel, blue water sailor, boxer, karate instructor, journalist, author-and always a raconteur. He was born Dec. 9, 1929 in San Anselmo, CA. School didn't interest him much and he dropped out in the ninth grade. He got his start in newspapering in 1953 as a motorcycle messenger carrying photographic plates from crime scenes. Jarvis began his career in journalism, at papers in Hollister and Redding,CA before joining the San Francisco Chronicle as a police reporter.

Sometimes the call of adventure was so strong that Jarvis would quit the newspaper and sail off to the Caribbean, to Hawaii, or wherever his fancy took him. Because of his reporting ability, however, he would be rehired upon returning to San Francisco a total of four times at the Chronicle. Jarvis was a charter member and vice president of the San Francisco Hells Angels. At that time the Angels were just a collection of guys who liked to ride bikes, he said.

Jarvis was approached by Hunter S. Thompson and agreed to introduce him to his biker buddies. This got Thompson close to the gang in a way no writer before had managed. In Thompson's book about the Hell's Angels- Jarvis was the character call "Preetam Bobo".

Jarvis, a sometimes street brawler, moved up to amateur boxing having a 56-1-1 record in the ring as a six-foot four-inch middleweight. He won the California Golden Gloves twice. He later went on to earn a seventh degree black belt in karate. Jarvis' solo cross-country travels on a Harley formed the basis for the 1969-70. television series "Then Came Bronson". Although it lasted only one season, it attracted a following that continues to meet in annual conventions.

Jarvis was the guest of honor at two where he sold copies of his Caribbean sailing memoir, "What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor?" In 1987 Jarvis retired from the Chronicle and moved to Orange Beach, AL to be near his wife's family. He continued to write for several local newspapers - The Onlooker, The Islander, Pensacola News Journal, and The Pelican. Jarvis was a past master of Foley Masonic Lodge. He was a charter member and Flotilla Commander of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-10 in Orange Beach.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce, daughters, Marilynn, Colleen, sons, Eric and Kevin and thirteen grandchildren, numerous great-grand-children, and two great-great grandchildren. No formal ceremony is planned. After a long and adventurous life, Jarvis could not win his last fight with cancer, but he had certainly fulfilled his motto of "Live life before it's too late".