Life can be a fleeting moment sometimes. Even if we are lucky to stay on earth well into our eighties or nineties, our days seem to go by within the blink of an eye. Within that blink, many of us the lucky ones, that is often find ourselves touched by the lives of others. Namely, our parents, our brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, friends and sometimes, even our enemies. When we lose these folks, the only phrase that can sum up what they meant to us is Gone but Not Forgotten. It’s a small homage, a nod that in some way, shape, or form, these people made an impact upon us. Losing a mother means losing a piece of your heart that you can never get back. Losing a father means standing without a backbone, forced to handle yourself and your business like a man for the first time. Funeral eulogies are spoken about these special loved ones, and they attempt to put into words our loved ones’ legacies, reflections, and the memories that will ultimately help us continue to go on.

Coping with this change best sums what it feels like to be an adult, and every last one of us longs to feel like we are 12 years old all over again. In those simple times there were toys, sports, bikes, and no responsibilities. Now that we are all adults, we know what our parents went through and our responsibility to them is to honor the legacy they have left us with. They were our mentors and our guides, and even in passing on, we feel an obligation to live in a way that they would be proud of. To carry ourselves with dignity, grace, courage, confidence, and compassion is the least of what we owe to them.

Did you ever stop to think about the forefathers of this culture in that way? It’s deep, but think about that for a minute. We are facing an unprecedented generational shift in our culture. While we are lucky to be involved in a culture that is relatively new to the point where we can still interact with many of our founding fathers, our legends and pioneers are all, or will be cruising Heaven’s Boulevard in due time. Many have passed on as of late, and many other legends are sick and getting older too. What we have to do is appreciate all they have done and continue on graciously. We have to respect the foundation they worked so hard to set; otherwise, put those keys away! Old Memories passed on will always be remembered, but never take advantage of someone’s past who has handed you their torch; make sure that the light in their everlasting passion in life never goes out. We need to assure them that when they let go of the keys, what they are really handing over will never be lost. Those keys define our chance to serve and protect what was once theirs; a lifetime of dedication and hard work to create a lifestyle based around a wonderful love affair with classic automobiles. We need to continue their mission and pay tribute to their lives by becoming guardians of the sanctity of this beautiful passion. The people closest to us all hope that their past can be carried on in a respectable manner, and if we loved them or still yearn for them, then that’s the least we can do. Take the keys and drive the legacy. While you do, keep it proud and shiny, it makes good for the soul. The next time you park your ride and lay it down for a while, reflect on those who did it before you.

Say a prayer in thanks and hang on to those keys we are given to let them know it’s still the same as the day they left.

Traditions live on, as we present to you Old Memories in the Car Club section. Sound the sirens and rap the pipes as we congratulate a Bomb of a car club, family, army, and true friends to the Lowrider way of Life. Though their pristine rides look new like its 1939, you can swear they have been around for that long too, as they never have stopped exploding on the streets and show scenes.

Our Image section has an oldie but goodie too, and I mean good because Hector Oso Rivera has always maintained a good image wherever he’s been throughout his life. That is his artistic way of life and it is also the name of the proud car club he has always represented for most of his years. I’m sure his mother is very proud of him, as he has helped her see the true nature of what guys in Lowriding are really all about. Oso also invites us to his museum-styled garage and here; we let the pictures tell his story.

In this May issue, we also bring back another Original – a deadly one in its time, too. Mario Martinez’ famed custom-built Monte Carlo Lethal Weapon is remembered as one of the show circuit’s top contenders. We drop by Mario’s Custom Shop for a visit and share some old times in the hopes of finding out if there will be a sequel.

Proper toasts go out to Classic Lowriders from the Westside, for the celebration of their 30th anniversary, which is also classic because 30 years is hard to do!

Thank God for all those Lowrider car clubs and Lowrider supporters /enthusiasts who donate their time to community charities, such as Christmas Toys for Tots shows. Kids will never ever forget when they are in time of need for the holidays and will always identify that special toy they received from someone. We all wish that the kindness and Image we project would be remembered too. Sure our Lowrider world is sometimes tarnished, but it shines the brightest when communities receive Lowrider gifts from the heart. Thanks to all for realizing what is really important during the holidays. It’s bigger than the Boulevard.

I speak from experience and the love of life as a Lowrider. I am blessed to write editorials and I truly understand and respect all of our readers’ wishes. I also speak with good intentions and care only about the respect we deserve. I only hope everyone understands.

Joe Ray