A common phrase was echoed to me by each person I talked to that spring morning in Bakersfield. Everyone that I spoke with said to me "We need more people like Harvey". His tireless effort in the Lowriding Culture as well as in the communities have made a huge impact on many lives not just the ones mentioned in the article. You have to wonder how Harvey still stays inspired after all these years. He credits his family for keeping him inspired. They have supported and continue to support him the whole time he has been Lowriding which adds up to just about 40 years.
It was also very apparent that when Harvey speaks people listen. He is a man of action and a man of his word. If he says he is going to do something he does it and always comes through. I asked Harvey if his time in the military is where his leadership skills were honed. He credits his leadership skills first and foremost with his parents who taught Harvey to be respectful, honorable and a man of his word. Those are values he lives by today and has passed along to the "Carnales Unidos" and people he has come in contact throughout the years.
I asked Harvey how he felt about being honored by the Lowrider Hall of Fame this year. He was honored and felt that all of his Lowriding years have all been worth the effort. The hard work, dedication and years of sweat and tears that he has put into the movement have paid off. Harvey commented "I am honored to receive this award for all of the thousands of Lowriders all over the world that are my age and have never received recognition. This is for them".
I heard quite a few words used to describe Harvey. Words like dedicated, visionary, catalyst, inspirational and finally the word leader. All of these words are accurate descriptions for an individual like Harvey Reyes but I think leader is the most fitting. He has led the "Carnales Unidos" and the Bakersfield Lowrider movement for over 35 years and is very deserving of this honor. The results of his leadership are apparent all over Bakersfield and Kern County. Congratulations to Harvey Reyes on his Leadership honor for the 2009 Lowrider Hall of Fame induction.