Nov 27 2015

A Black Friday in black, white and read

If you care to shop from the convenience of home with the help of modern technology this Black Friday.

Please be sure to find your way over to Amazon and check out my friend’s book… “All Tore UP” by George Brainard

It’s a book any car guy or gal would love own and one fantastic collection of portraits from the Austin Texas, Hot rod and Custom car community.


“The Texas hot rod scene encompasses the exhaust, speed, rust, and chrome beloved not just by greasers and gearheads but also by families and pinup girls, bikers and rockabilly dolls, rockers and regular Joes. The Lonestar Rod & Kustom Round Up, one of America’s premier car shows, attracts hot rod and custom car fans from around the world, bringing them to Austin every spring. George Brainard began photographing the Round Up in 2003 on behalf of the show hosts, The Kontinentals Car Club. Finding himself interested as much in the crowd and the culture as in the cars, he began taking pictures of people at the show.

All Tore Up presents portraits of these people, who are as distinctive as the cars they love. As Brainard observes, “Hot rods and customized cars are works of art. You take an old car, cut it into pieces, and put it back together following your own vision. You bring something to life that previously existed only in your imagination.” The people who do this “are drawn to aesthetic expression, and they materialize it in their own selves, their clothes, and their bodies.” Allowing his subjects to pose themselves against a plain white background and write their own captions for their photographs, Brainard cuts through the visual spectacle of the car show and finds the essence of the people who are a part of it, capturing a fascinating pop subculture of American life.”

I rate this book at five stars… Its a visual feast that leaves you yearning for more.

Nov 26 2015

The Memory machine

Four years ago, on Thanksgiving weekend…

I recorded one of the many holiday events I have experienced. When Thanksgiving rolls back around each year it ushers in the holiday season. I often think upon select times of past holidays. From Wednesday to Sunday Thanksgiving week was always, in years past filled with excitement. Friends and family, events like the Autorama car show and swap meet in Houston Texas. The Impromptu camp outs on the beach, dragging home a recently unearthed old car, sleeping in the back of a truck and nearly freezing to death in Ovilla, Texas… I suppose those stories will have to wait for another day or book.


I invite you to read my short account that occurred Thanksgiving week in 1991.

Please keep in mind the title.

Each year as the holiday season comes around, it is a time for me to reflect upon past memories of friends, family and great “picking” finds.

Years before there was a proper name for it, or a popular TV show featuring it… I was a “picker”. Back then, my friends and I were young and full of “vim and vigor” and would often rise early and hit the roads in search of our next big “find”. However, just as often, we would leave late at night after having met up for dinner and discussions on a new lead or just head out on a gut feeling. Being the instigator of most expeditions, I was often the navigator so I rode shotgun. I would get out the map, find a point 1 to 2 hours away and plot the route. Our departures from Houston took us into Louisiana, deep east Texas, the Texas gulf coast and the Texas hill country. Truly, some of the best times and stories of my life are centered around or on these picking trips. We would travel down the road and someone would spot a car in a field or behind a house and “bam”, it was on. It was just as you see in the show, American Pickers, stopping, knocking on doors, making deals and friends along the way.

It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts…

On one such trip, that began late one Friday night, I told my buddy, “Let’s drive out to Fredericksburg, Texas”. He looked at me strangely and asked, “Why”. At that time, 25 years ago, Fredericksburg was a “in the middle of nowhere town” and not the tourist destination of today. “Well” I said, “I have a gut feeling there is a VW out there that may need rescuing”. (I also had $1,400.00 burning a hole in my pocket after the sale of a recent project.)

He said, “Ok, if you buy the gas”.

We gathered up some tools and rolled out. Gassed up on Taco Bell, cup cakes and fresh coffee… through the night we drove. We arrived in Fredericksburg at sunrise, stopped for breakfast and to pick up the local papers. No leads were found in the papers so we started to canvas the back streets. On the second street we drove down, behind the fourth house on the left, “bam”, there set an old VW bus, a 1967 Kombi, mostly hidden from view behind a tall fence.
My friend exclaimed, “No way, did you know about this?”. “Nope” I said with a smile…
We turned around and drove up to the driveway. I jumped out, walked to the door, and knocked. A lady holding a baby opened the door. I said, “Is the VW bus in your back yard for sale?” (Remember, it was mostly hidden behind a tall fence, with only the front top of the roof being visible from the road recognizable only to someone knowing what they were looking at)
Her face went blank, unreadable… At this moment I thought, “Oh crap”, for you never know about people.
She was quiet for a second, and then she exclaimed, “Yes, YES, did you see the advertisement on TV, or were you sent from the church?”
“Ad on TV?” I asked, puzzled … (and to myself I thought… “church”?) She replied, “Yes, we have advertised the bus on TV; it has been for sale for a year.” She then called her husband to the door, I met him and he began to fill me in on the history of the bus. I did a test drive around the block with him and we made a deal for $1,200.00 for the bus.
After the cash exchanged hands, the husband and wife came out to give me the title.

Written upon the envelope were the words “Our Memory machine”

They both had tears in their eyes… “Oh no ” I thought, here we go; they have changed their minds…
Instead, they began to tell me their story, of the hardships they had experienced the past year since the lady had given birth to their daughter. “Remember this is before Fredericksburg, Texas began to boom” and before jobs were plentiful.
The lady had become very ill shortly after the birth of their daughter, then the man had become unemployed, and 2 months later, he had been injured in a car accident. Their house was about to be foreclosed on and they were in desperate need of $1,200.00 to save it. They had requested prayer at their last church service for the VW bus to sell.
There we three stood in the driveway, as my friend stared at us with his mouth wide open in total disbelief and amazement.
Long story short… We drove the bus back to Houston and my friend never looked at me the same again.
The bus had only one old bumper sticker on it that read,

“It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts…”

20 years later I had occasion to be in Fredericksburg so I took a chance and dropped by the house, hoping the same people would still be living there. There was a red VW camper in the driveway. I knocked on the door and a lady answered. I immediately recognized her as the same woman from years earlier, although the passage of “time” was evident on her as it undoubtedly was on me also.
I told her who I was… the blank look came once more as it had 20 years earlier, but his time it was followed by a large smile as she recognized me. She gave me a big hug and invited me in. She began to tell me the story of what happened after they sold the bus and how selling it had changed their lives.
They saved the house, and then the husband’s business began to take off. He was an extraordinarily gifted carpenter and artesian. He helped restore most of Fredericksburg’s historic buildings and then later had sold his construction company. As she was talking with me a man walked into the room. She turned and said to him, “This is the gentleman we sold the bus to”. I rose to shake his hand and said, “It’s great to see you again”. They both looked at each other then she said, “This is my late husband’s brother”.
As both their eyes began to dampen she continued, “My husband passed a year ago”. “My brother in-law just stopped by for a visit and we were on our way to visit the cemetery… it was a year ago today”. The lump in my throat was quiet large by this time.
As I quickly made my way to the door, I told them how sorry I was for their loss, doing my best to contain my own emotions. I cut the visit short by saying that my family was in the car and I had just wanted to stop for a minute, say Hi, and tell her about the bus.
She gave me a hung with tears in her eyes, and told me to come back and tell her more about the adventures that had been had with the old VW bus.
After I got back into my vehicle and began to drive away the tears began to roll down my face from under my sunglasses.
A year to the day…how ironic…what were the chances of that happening, perhaps about the same as me finding the bus, at just the time I did, some 20 years earlier.
I relayed the story to my family … We all began to leak from our eyes.
If the after-life is spent reliving the best moments of the present. I hope to be spending a good portion of it traveling with my friends and family talking about old “picks”, old times, philosophy and old cars and living in the moment.
While hunting for the past down the next road…



The most important element within the holidays is individuals. The persons that have touched our lives, their actions have molded us and have left an indelible mark upon us forevermore… The times we remember and hope eternity is comprised of.


Nov 25 2015

2015 Lonestar Round up… in the rearview mirror

Moe Ipad photos 1918


They say a photo is worth a thousand words, well we shall see… Photos span from the kick off BBQ and trough the 2015 Lonestar Round up weekend here in Austin Texas.

Moe Ipad photos 1942

Hop Up magazine was on hand this year with a release party held at Austin speed shop… It was a hoot

Moe Ipad photos 2220

Moe Ipad photos 1959

Moe Ipad photos 1945

Moe Ipad photos 1963

Moe Ipad photos 1969

Moe Ipad photos 2246

Moe Ipad photos 1953

Moe Ipad photos 2324

Moe Ipad photos 2345

Are you getting the picture?  The next day…

Moe Ipad photos 2076

Moe Ipad photos 2042

Moe Ipad photos 2003

Moe Ipad photos 2000

Moe Ipad photos 1997

Moe Ipad photos 2083

Moe Ipad photos 2084

Moe Ipad photos 2054

Moe Ipad photos 2049

Moe Ipad photos 2061

Moe Ipad photos 2022

Moe Ipad photos 2031

And into the evening… it went

Moe Ipad photos 2035

Moe Ipad photos 2056

Moe Ipad photos 2070

Moe Ipad photos 2078

Moe Ipad photos 2064


These few photos are only a drop in a bucket, and a very small taste of a great Texas automotive event.


Mar 9 2015

Kreuz Bar-B-Q Cruise…



Two ingredients that fit together well as sugar and spice, are Hot rods and Bar-b-q. Over the last decade, I and few others have shared some very rememberable and flavorful times. Cold and Rainy days can damper most, but it often makes the fellowship that much better when combined with a steaming platter of brisket and sausage. The small group that gathered for the first Meathead run of 2015 to Kreuz Market Bar-b-q had a swell time. The Brisket was good, the sausage was excellent.




If you have an attachment to Bbq sauce or forks this may not be the place for you. The sour kraut and German potatoes were very good. It is for certain every central Texas Bbq establishment has its strong points and personality… Kreuz BBQ strong point… for me it was the sausage, kraut and potatoes…

Kreuz Market … Excellent service, and a great place to try, if you find yourself in Lockhart Texas.


Sep 7 2014

Coming Events…

If you find yourself with some free time in the near future… get a move on and make a plan. Hope to see you there…




Day of the Drags







Feb 10 2014

3rd Annual “Blessing of the rides” March 1st at Top Notch


If you need a little extra help from the other side… or need an extra side of the best fried chicken in Austin, Texas. Make the pilgrimage out to Top Notch drive-in on Burnet rd, for an anointed and deep fried spiritual experience at the “Blessing of the rides” March 1st …. Can I get an amen

Fried Chicken




Feb 10 2014

The 13th Annual Lonestar Round Up

The 13th Annual Lonestar Round Up April 4th & 5th, 2014 Austin, Texas… is on the horizon folks. It has become one of the anchor hotrod and custom events in Texas… and in the world of custom car culture. There are several (opening mid. and closing) offspring events in the mix.  

The Thursday “Meat and Greet” BBQ is a great way to start the weekend. This taste of Texas has helped to solidify the resolve of many, to make the annual pilgrimage from across the globe.

Hope to see Y’all there…



BBQ hall


BBQ meatheads

Aug 30 2013

Austin Texas, September car events

With the temps starting to come down below the century mark, it’s time to roll out and be social… Hope to see you there


Spicewood Demo-derby


Sept. Top notch


Austin Swap Meet

Aug 25 2013

Hill Country Car Culture magazine

If you happen to find yourself in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, be sure to stop by a local parts house or local automotive enthusiast hang out. There sitting on the counter will be the latest publication of HCCC magazine, shove some money in the box… Yes it’s the honor system here in the Heart of Texas, imagine that…


(If caught stealing… well… it’s a big Texas “adios amigo” for you)

hccc mag

 If you happen to be from the Rhineland, visiting Fredericksburg and the lost German state of Adelsverein take a couple home to share…

1966 vw bus

Overseas subscriptions are no problem…


Aug 23 2013

Top Notch

Top notch Hamburgers and Fried chicken on Burnet rd. has risen to the predominate location to gather for car guys and gals in Austin Texas. Throughout the year there are movie nights and Cruz-ins posted a few weeks in advance.

The Car

vw cruz poster

top notch movie night

Top Notch Flyer

Real charbroiled burgers over an open flame have a distinctive flavor and aroma, mixed with rumble of hotrods, custom and vintage cars can truly be intoxicating. Sprinkle that with automotive based fellowship and you begin to forget about the passage of time.


Some have the ability to capture these fleeting moments

DW Coupe


Top Notch has film history, as the meeting point in “Dazed and Confused”. You never know who maybe in the booth next to you eating or hanging out these days, especially around ACL or SXSW.


In-between the big music and movie events of Austin Texas, in the small calm,  Top Notch is a refuge for the pavement pounding local hero in search of a taste of the past…

Top Notch Hamburgers