Sunday, June 2, 2013

Get a Lap Dance for a Quarter!

I've been bogged down with motorcycle paint jobs for customers that have kept me from doing any work on my own stuff like the "Baja Bandeeto", my Knuckle Head Chopper and more. I am also on the road now with the "Roswell Rod" for a photo shoot for a big corporate advertising print ad campaign, and modeling gig (blushing). Can you believe that? Working with a production company in NYC providing props for a set as well. Alas this work comes with the fine print of "keep yer trap shut" at the bottom of the contract, so I can't say anything about it until it has already happened. So here I sit In my hotel room, wondering what I can blog to you cats about? Nothing pops in my head cause I am doing so much other stuff, but as I start to clean up the desktop on my laptop, and go through old pics that I forgot my wife and I took years ago, I find some little gems that I should share. On one of the many trips I made while moving to Kansas City, I made a point to stop by my friend Kurt McCormick's place along the way. For those of you that don't know, Kurt has the finest collection of vintage kustom cars you'll ever see. The "Sam Barris Buick", a Valley Custom model "A" Roadster, The "Rod & Custom Dream Truck", even Elvis Presley's Barris built Caddy. I can keep going but you get the point. On this trip I had an old kustom 57' Chevy I found In Buffalo, NY that I wanted to show Kurt. He flipped out over it, and loved the car as I knew he would. He is the truest kustom fan I have ever met, and am proud to call him a friend. As I am showing him the Chevy we open the trunk and inside is a 1960 Caddy quarter panel I had turned Into "wall art". Its metal flake blue with flames, and lettered "Fins & Fannies". Kurt's eyes pop out of his head, and wants me to explain what this is all about! But I am upset cause I notice that in transit, the panel got a gauge in it down to the primer, and I am pissed! Kurt is like, "But, Its still gorgeous, that gauge doesn't take away from it at all. But what is "Fins & Fannies"and how did the Caddy quarter come to be wall art?" Well, kiddos a long time ago, a young fellow named John worked part time for me in my Long Island shop. He comes in one day and says "Hey,on my route today, I saw some rusty piece of a fender with a fin on it out for trash." I am already putting my coat on and getting my keys out, before he is done talking. I told him, "Come on, lock up the garage, get in the truck and show me". As we roll up on a row of trash cans, there sits a '60 Caddy four door quarter panel chunk, cut right up and down the middle of the wheel opening, leaving the taIl section. In the back of the truck it goes, and back to the garage we roll. After some sand blasting and sheet metal work, I rig it so It can hang on the wall, cap off the open end, then do some body work, and get it all into primer. It sat for a while till I had the Idea that it should hang in my office, which just happened to be a room that was 12 by 12 feet, that we had turned into a little, ahem, topless bar. Complete with a small stage with a brass pole, velvet sofa, the works. My wife came up with the name "Fins & Fannies" due to the Caddy fin and the nudie bar pole . . . you get the Idea. Well, that's the story of how it all came to be. I offered the panel to Kurt cause he loved it so much! I am glad I made his day! "Fins & Fannies" now hangs high on the wall of his Barris Brothers tribute room in his home. Look for art where other people only see trash guys. Keep the world beautiful, do something Kustom!