Paul H. “Animal” Danaher Jr., a patch holder in the Native Americans Motorcycle Club, died of a heart attack in his sleep February 29.
Animal Danaher had several jobs through the years but he was called, as preachers are called, to run a biker bar.
He named his bar “Animal’s Place” and it was across the street from both the police station and the city hall in Waterford, New York. In the early 1980s, when it was still legal for a man to express himself forcefully in America, after a vigorous argument about what was wrong with government, one of Animal’s customers who was too drunk to ride, walked out the front door and emptied his gun into city hall. After that the police station installed bullet proof windows.
The State Liquor Control Board shut down Animal’s Place just before Christmas in 1986. “We got caught with a poker machine,” Danaher told the Albany Times Union. “I guess we’re an example.” At that time in small town New York, many bars had poker machines.
When Animal’s bar shut down, an old time Waterford cop named J. Normand Bedard said, “Everybody has their prejudices. People associate motorcycles with bad guys. It’s not always true.”
After he lost the bar Animal Danaher’s employers included Jack’s Junkyard in Troy, New York and Tracey Freightliner Road Equipment in Albany. Aging men still talk about that bar.
Paul Danaher is survived by his wife of 30 years, Kat; his daughter Mikayla; his son Garrett; his sister Donna Johnston; his brother David; and his brothers in the Native American Motorcycle Club.
There will be a viewing of his body tonight, March 2 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the John J. Sanvidge Funeral Home, Inc., 565 Fourth Avenue in Lansingburgh, New York. There will be a funeral Mass tomorrow morning, March 3 at 9 a.m. at St. Augustine’’s Church in Lansingburgh. His club brothers will escort his body to St. John’s Cemetery in Lansingburgh for burial at 10:30 Monday morning.
His wife has asked that mourners make contributions in his name to Toys for Tots instead of spending money on flowers.
Nobody ever had a bad word to say about Paul H. “Animal” Danaher Jr. He deserves to be remembered. He was 58.
Requiescant In Pace