The day was finally here, the crown jewel of San Diego car shows… King of Clubs. Some buddies and I had finally agreed on a name and logo for a car club, and this was our first hurrah.
Johnny and I were to meet up over at George’s house.. John conveniently rolled in just after I had finished helping George wash his 55 Ford pickup. We loaded up the chairs, food, beers and new club logo banner into George’s truck and Johnny’s ’59 El Camino and started the drive up the big hill to Barona Drag Strip.
For the past few years, The Lifters car club has hosted the event. Drag racing, car show live music and burlesque. If you get too wasted to drive home, you can camp overnight in your car.
My ’52 Styleline was the slow car, so I was in the lead. On the steepest incline up the hill we passed Jamie in his ’50 Plymouth Business Coupe, broken down on the side of the road… I felt bad for not stopping, but I knew that if I did there was no way my overheating Chevy was going to make it to the top.
We made it to the show at about 11 AM and after the parking confusion and easy-up setup we popped open the first of many Tecates.
It was great wandering around, drinking, eating and hanging out with almost every hot rodder in Southern California.
By about 3 or so a couple of the people in our group wanted to get some Tequila… so I offered to drive. Down the hill Devon, Craze, Glenn and I went, looking for a liquor store in Lakeside. The Barona Station gas station only has beer. The Circle K only has beer… We struck gold at (insert store name here) on Maine St. The store keep turned us on to a bottle of good tequila and recommended that we mix it with Squirt. I didn’t try it, but everyone else thought it was pretty damn good.
Down the street from the liquor store was an early 60’s Econoline Pickup towing a “can-o-ham” travel trailer… It was obvious that it was having problems. It was also pretty obvious to me that only one cat that I knew would be driving a setup like that: It had to be Marvin. So I called him with my cell phone. Yep, it was Marvin. He was overheating and worried about trying to haul the trailer up Wildcat Canyon Rd. No, he didn’t need any help… Later I found out that he has just bought that pickup earlier that day, and the trip with the trailer was the trucks first in a LONG time. Before that it had been parked on the side of someone’s house for years. Wild animal!
Once we were back at the dragstrip and driving back to our parking space, we drove upon a fight that had broken out. Two skinny Mexicans, both in their early 20s, had started pounding on each other. I stopped and waited for them to move the brawl out of the way. Not really a fight, just drunk and burning off steam.
They moved off, I pulled forward. Then they came crashing into the side of my Chevy – one guy with the other in a headlock. I rolled the 50 feet to our parking space and we all got out.
The other guys in my club had watched the whole thing.. We stood there in a line looking at the big new dent in my fender and Glenn says “If you want to go over there, I have your back... but if you do go, it will get ugly.” Glenn was right. It would have been really damn ugly.
I was thinking “If we go over there, there will be a fight. I’m not spending the night tonight, but all my friends are – what will happen after I leave?”
Sal, a real stand up guy that I have known for a few years, walked up to us. The kid whose head had left an impression on my car was his cousin. Sal gave me his number and said that it would be taken care of. (Sal, if you are reading this – call me man, your cousin owes me $200). I called Sal a week later, before he hit my car, the kid’s head had bounced off the asphalt, giving him a concussion. He had no memory of my car. The doctors made him say out of work for a week to heal up.
We spent the rest of the day drinking and watching George take passes down the strip in his Ford.