Through out my many years of service within the Lowrider community, I've had the chance to see many obstacles that enthusiasts face while participating in events, and I have to say that there is nothing that can be more frustrating or detrimental to a show than inclement weather. Trust me, I've seen it all. I have even seen Tornado watches in the ominous and lightening-dark skies over Denver while attending a Lowrider show in the city, and I've just recently witnessed a caravan of Lowriders and Car Clubs headed towards the snow - where a Father at a local church in New Mexico blesses their cars as a tradition! Now of course I've lived in Los Angeles my whole life, so I can't help but feel as if my stories of bad weather pale in comparison to the harsh elements that many Midwest, East Coast, and Southern enthusiasts face every season. I know that we, the "West Coast," are on the outside looking in when it comes to the real die hard Lowriders, whose way of life consists of 5.20's, hydraulics, and a fireplace. The only bad weather we get out here is earthquakes, and they only happen when your car is up on jack stands in the garage! Unfortunately, the largest population of Lowriders face and expect these bad conditions all the time. Some of us out here in the west need to recognize those who actually use their windshield wipers. Over here, that is taken for granted, but we need to recognize that so many of our Lowrider brothers and sisters are willing to brave bad weather for the cause. Case in point, we just kicked off the Lowrider Tour Stop in Arizona, where enthusiasts from all over came to support the show, despite knowing in advance that the chance of rain for Sunday's show date was 100%. Nearly 600 rides were laid and displayed, even though they were completely soaked from the cold rain. The turnstiles began to turn, and with wet tickets in hand, 8,000 Green Bay Packer, uh, I mean Lowrider fans showed up to cheer, appreciate, and support the car show. It just goes to show that if you put the fliers and posters up, they will come. I truly wish that those of you who didn't make the trip could have seen this amazing display of dedication for yourselves; I think it would have made you kind of feel guilty that your car wasn't there too. Even if you were there just to back up those guys who were out there that day, I think their determination would have inspired you. Proud and wet, Lowriding has no limits, no weather, no matter.
July's Raza Report focuses on our Soldiers and the battles they face, including citizenship. There are some people who are arguably more American than those who were born here. In fact, there is a large number of Latinos willing to give their all, and still represent this country - even without a green card! Read up.
The Lowrider Image segment is embodied this month by the "Spirit" of Lowriding in the great state of Arizona. Frank Castillo is profiled in this month's segment for good reason; he is the dedicated and hands-on leader of the Spirit Car Club in Phoenix. To this day, as an example of the love he has for his club, he still lines up the cars at every show. If at any time you attend an event and Spirit is showing, you will see the display of cars lined up, perfectly color coordinated, and measured straight, proving that if you want it done right you have to do it yourself. After thirty strong years, the Spirit still lives on!
We also meet the man behind the camera in the "Original" feature part of this magazine, and he is Howard Gribble. Howard takes us back to the late '60's and early '70's, where he owned one of the most dominate Lowriders in his time, proving that the future ain't what it used to be!