The club was hitting its peak of popularity when club president Butch Martinez began to show signs of failing health. Most of the club did not know that Butch had been battling a respiratory disease since birth, and they were devastated to find out that he had been sick during the times he did not come out with the club. It got to the point that he had to be hospitalized, and he handed the reigns over to someone else to run the club. It did not work out and the club started to falter, and even worse, in 1975 at the tender age of twenty three, Reynaldo "Butch" Martinez passed away. When Butch passed away, the spirit of the club died with him. His leadership, camaraderie, and vision left a void too big for anyone else to fill, and at Butch's funeral, the club members decided to disband the club. The club banner and plaque was buried with Butch. As far as the club members were concerned, Butch was New Life, and there could not be New Life without him. Although the club was only around for about three years, its impact to Lowriding can still be felt today. New Life helped raise the bar of the culture in everything they did, and their organization set the blueprint for the many clubs that would eventually follow in their footsteps. It's safe to say that our way of life is better now, thanks to the efforts of this visionary club. The end of New Life led to the creation of Lifestyle Car Club, which was formed by some of the core members of New Life who were not yet ready to park their Lowriders. While the name of the club had changed, the song remained the same. In the fall of 2009, a reunion of the former members of New Life was held in Southern California. Former members came from all parts of the Southland to reconnect and reminisce about the early days of New Life. Photos, plaques, and flyers from back in the day were passed around, and the guys caught up on each other's lives. A lot of the former members have reconnected since the reunion, but there are no plans to restart the club. Out of respect to Butch, the club will only live on as a memory; a memory in which Lowriding dreams became a reality, and a positive culture was born. Thanks, Butch. « | 1 | 2 | 3 | View Full Article By Jae Bueno Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!