I have served as the editor of Lowrider magazine for just over 13 years, and to be honest, it all seems like a dream. Throughout those years, I have met countless people who have said, “Joe, you’re blessed,” and to that, I couldn’t agree more. It’s been a blessing to serve as your editor, and they’re right because I am blessed to have this opportunity which is a big part as to why I’m still here.
As I gather my thoughts, the one thing I am sure of is that I am here to lead by example. It’s always been in my heart to preach the good word, pass on the history, and fight for the preservation and growth of lowriding. As I’ve traveled the nation, I have been blessed to meet so many great people, and along the way, many of you have become dear friends that I consider family. While that helps with the day-to-day stresses of the job, what has driven me are the trials, tribulations, and sacrifices that I have experienced firsthand. As a devoted lowrider for more than 45 years, I have endured both the good and the bad, but in the end, the driving force is not only the culture itself, but the limited time we have on this earth.
This limitation of time means that the history and traditions of lowriding have to be handed down with accuracy, and it’s not a one-person job-it’s up to all of us. So, as we continue to share our traditions, know that with each passing generation, we may change as a society, but our devotion to lowriding remains stronger than ever, and that’s thanks to lowriding advocates such as yourself. In light of that, I encourage you to pass on the traditions of lowriding and let not the work of our founding forefathers be forgotten. In light of that, a large part of the reason I wrote this is because of a letter I received. Amy Arellano submitted it about her Uncle Daniel, and below are parts of that heartfelt letter.
Hello! My name is Amy and I just wanted to share something with you guys at Lowrider magazine. My Uncle Daniel “Louie” Martinez was one of your biggest fans. He has every issue [since the early ’80s] and all of them are in pristine condition! If anyone wanted to look at the magazine, he would be right over your shoulder making sure you don’t bend the corner or leave prints on the pages.
On October 1st of this year, my Uncle passed away [after] he lost his battle with cancer. That Saturday before [his passing], he went home from the hospital, and as he was lying in bed, he kept saying he needed to go to the post office to check his mail. His siblings kept asking him what was so important that he had to check the mail, and he replied, “My Lowrider magazine should be here!” His brother agreed to go check the mail for him and as he walked out, my Uncle yells, “Don’t bend the pages!” His brother returned to their house, magazine in hand, and my Uncle with a big smile says, “See, I told you!”
I’m sharing this with you because I wanted to thank you for being a part of my Uncles life for so many years. Your magazine was something he looked forward to each month and was literally the last thing he asked for before he passed away. He lived a short life (11/14/1965 – 10/1/2019), but was loved by so many, so thank you again.
In closing, I want to send good energy to anyone who needs it and take a moment to remember all the fallen riders and legendary icons who have helped pave the way for our culture to thrive. There is no better time than now to create memorable experiences and always remember to share your stories because in the end the stories you share will be the legacy you leave. So, share not only your life stories, but the traditions of the lifestyle that brought us all together because in the end, we’re all we’ve got and gotta keep it moving till the wheels fall off.