The Mayo issue of Lowrider is a “Classico” cover with a theme to acknowledge and recognize the celebratory occasion and nationwide observance of Cinco de Mayo. As you drop your lime in your favorite imported beverage remember that on Cinco de Mayo, in 1862, a small town in Mexico called Puebla became the place where a small Mexican resistance defeated a very fine army of French soldiers who were twice their size in numbers. This was more of a Mexico’s David defeating the French Army’s Goliath. It was a morale boost that helped establish a much-needed sense of national unity and Patriotism for Mexico. Today, ceremonies and activities in the United States have more of a cultural impact and are greater in significance than anywhere south of the border. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry―much as St. Patrick’s Day, Octoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry, respectfully. Many Americans, regardless of ethnic origin, observe this special day. Here at Lowrider it somehow always feels like it’s Cinco de Mayo, as you can feel the pride, unity, and passion within a culture spread through each issue we publish!

The distant and pasttimes of lowriding should always be remembered, not forgotten. It’s sad when we are reminded of the past only when someone who was an important role and giant influence in our custom culture dies on and goes to a better spot to cruise up above. Robert Rocha was a classic, and was also president of The Classics Car Club from Santa Ana. He leaves us all behind with a legacy that started in the very early RG Canning, ISCA car show days. Back then vans ruled with their muraled and flaked out paint themes, leadsleds were chopped just enough to see the fuzzy dice hang from the rearview mirrors, and then there were the first-ever exhibited lowriders. Robert Rocha and his members from the Classics had a lineup that influenced anyone who owned a Lowrider to go full custom. The Classics went the gamut when it came to molded front ends, shaved door handles, emblems, and frenched taillights. They would amaze the crowds and even the vehicle exhibitors. I remember when I was young, leaving up the escalators when the shows were over, I was so mesmerized like everyone else over all the ideas and designs I got from those one-of-a-kind lowriders. We were never the same again. If you don’t believe me look at the thousands of show cars today! Somebody’s car and club motivated us to the level we are at today. Next time you go to a show, well what are called lowrider shows; remember Robert Rocha and his car club, as they were part of the original showmen, and the pioneers of what is “Full Custom.” God Bless Robert, his family, and friends, and long live the Classics!

Once in a while I receive emails from readers, and most of the time they are positive, and then there are the few negative ones that really pull me down for days. But then there was this special one I received over the past holidays from a soldier by the name of “Bobbo Morris” whose troops are in Afghanistan. It says: “Dear Sir, I have enclosed the pictures of us here in Afghanistan; this is how we ride low in Afghanistan and I hope you will be able to print them in the mag. Here are the names of everyone in the picture. Thanks for everything and if it gets printed, what issue will it be in? Thanks again. You, the whole country, and I celebrated the holidays, and here are some soldiers far away in another world, away from their families, protecting us so we can exchange gifts, decorate trees, and eat tamales. Most of the time we forget to be thankful, or just enjoy being Americans, I know I do.” That day was the greatest Christmas I ever had because of that email. We emailed each other back and forth until I saw the pictures of all these young men and women posing by a cardboard cutout of the lowrider logo with lowrider shades on, along with their big-body Cruiser. Check them out in our “On The Lowrider Blvd” section. When you see the pictures you will have the same feeling I had. You really feel like swapping spots with them, but you can’t. It all reminds you to be grateful for what you have. All we can do is buy a candle from the store and light it in hopes that they will return home safe. Please check out their ride too; you might agree with me that they have the baddest paintjob ever!

Respectfully,

JOE RAY