Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cruising Main Street, In Remembrance

This is going to be a different kind of post for me, sort of.

I come from a large family, with 4 sisters and 2 brothers.  We grew up in Tempe & Mesa, Arizona, with the family still residing in the area. (except me? awwww *sniff)  Cruising Main was just a right of passage... true "American Graffiti" style. At least until Mesa passed a law against it, sadly my kids never got to experience that thrill.

We lost our oldest brother Bill, (aka "Bull" ) late last month.

As a little girl in Tempe, I remember Dad and Bill working on Dad's race cars. Dirt tracks, ovals and even the demolition derby. Bill always loved his cars.


With the kind of horsepower that rumbles thru your whole body, healthy, deep, loud, raw, loping kind of horsepower. Before I left home, I spent quite a bit of time fetching tools for him while he worked on his car. Even earned grease under my fingernails a time or two. There was the time he let me drive his precious Ford truck.. my very first time behind the wheel. He forgot to explain the lack of power steering to this 14 year old, petite, skinny armed girl, who could barely see over the hood nor did he explain that the slower you go, the harder it is to turn! I nearly ran his truck into the neighbors large decorative boulder.. and I never lived it down. lol.

Over the years Bull restored and customized quite a few projects, then he'd sell it, and start all over on a new one. He also helped start a local car club called "The Pack". Car buffs, old cars, classic cars, new ones, custom rods, works in progress, all were there. Car shows, Rod Runs, awards, ribbons and trophies... his Buddies in The Pack, that was Bull.

Last Saturday Family joined "The Pack" in one last Memorial Rod Run down Main Street in Mesa, in Bill's honor. A perfect tribute.  

 This was Bills last project, the one he'd had the longest. This '56 Bel-air was a labor of love.

My nephew Brian behind the wheel, heading up our cruise.

Brian parking in Bills  spot at The Packs
regular Saturday evening hang out in East Mesa.

Thank you Jack & Nelda.
Bob, thank you.

Sadly, it wasn't until I went thru these pictures that I realized my brother Bull was an artist too. He just used a different type of medium. These cars are works of art. Bill worked on his with his own hands. He put just as much thought and planning into his car as I do a new painting.

 How did I never see that? Oh, how I wish I had!

I would have told him.

To "The Pack" ...

Thank you!


The fuzzy dice above will make it to my easel  ... just not yet.
A final toast to my Big Brother Bull... You will be missed and I love you.

 SEE YA!                                                 


Brenda said...

Lovely, heartfelt post, TJ. I see your pain and your pride.

Hugs, sister...

Meisie said...

Beautiful post...I am so sorry for your loss.

Lene said...

Hi Toni
So sorry for your loss - I can feel your love for your brother all the way through this post.
Fantastic cars, yes I see what you mean, him being an artist too.

Gemma said...

Dear Toni.... first of all... I am so sorry for you lost. Secondly.... this post is a wonderful tribute to your brother, it brought tears to my eyes. He truly was an artist!

Toni James ~ Desert Winds Studio said...

Awwww ... you guys are going to make me cry again *sniff*....

(((hugz to each of you))

Dors said...

Wonderful tribute. I am so sorry for you loss Toni. xx

Jeri Thorpe Artwork and More said...

Well said, Toni, from the heart, and a wonderful tribute!

Gloria Callahan said...

Toni, Your loss is of great magnitude but vast memories will see you thru. Having a "gear head" artist of my own I can appreciate his works. Best to his family.

Gary Keimig said...

a great tribute to your brother Toni. Yep. that too is art

Marilyn said...

His palette was the same. Beauty from the tools of an artist.