Vanning is a compulsion, an obsession, an occupation, an affliction, a fascination, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it, must. Those who don't, think it's a waste of time. For me it is a calling.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flee to Florida

Well , I made it to florida. The van ran like a champ. Went to my vanner friends Lew & Agnes Skokos', in St Cloud wed. Thanks Guys!.Then to Cocoa to work on an early Ford Ranchero,and a cool little cooler to go with the truck, Thanks, Jim. Then to Lake Wales to Judiths house to help get ready for the council meeting. We printed 144 t-shirts (Thats gross) for our group. Been here 2 days and all I've done is work. lots of sun, no fun. This next week will be, though. Goin on a 4 day cruise with 40 vanners before the council meeting. That should prove interesting!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My encounter with Von Dutch.(almost)

Here I am trying to finish off some work so I can get out of town. Sam finished this truck just in time to get me on it, and a few stray bike parts. While doing this I got to wondering just how I ended up here.

My first exposure to the world of pinstriping was an article in a Hot Rod magazine about Von Dutch back in the mid 70's there was a couple pages on the basics of striping and I wanted to try my hand at it. Well the next few years had me struggling to figure out why my lines didn't look like all those other stripers. Purely by chance I was able to get hold of Ed Roth, He began helping me via pictures and phone calls, and I was on my way. Ed was sending me invitations to the Rat Fink reunions for years but, I wasn't able to go. Then the year that Dutch passed away ,I decided that I wasn't going to miss any more. That gave me my first exposure to other stripers and their work, from all over the country. This was a great motivation for me, and still is to this day. but out of all the pinstriping work I have seen, I had never seen a stripe job by Von Dutch. For those of you who don't know. Dutch was the man credited with starting the custom pinstriping form way back in the 50's. Two years ago, after the moon party in L.A., we went to the first Dave Mann tribute bike show. To my surprise there were 2 motorcycles there that sported Von Dutch pinstriping. These stripes were 20 years old but looked like they could have been done a month earlier . woooa. To me, this is like meeting the man himself. Shortly thereafter I got to hold a striping brush that came from Dutches' paint box, owned my my bud Jimmy C. To a guy from the confines of Ohio this was a big deal. Check these out. Dutch laid a great line.
Here I am trying to get this thing back together. then it's off to warm(?) Florida for the vanner council meeting,and other assorted diversions, hope it's better than it is here. stay tuned for an up date if I can get to a computer .....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Green Bay in feb.?

I've been a rail buff since I was a kid. I grew up un the Columbus,Ohio area and saw precious few trains as a kid, I never saw a Steam engine other than on model railroads. So when I went to the Van council meeting in Green Bay 3 years ago. I jumped at the chance to go to the rail museum there. They have a large collection of old steam in restored and unrestored condition, My absolute favorite was the UP 4-8-8-4 Big Boy. Always fascinated by the largest steem locomotive ever built, I was in awe to actually sit in one. I could just imagine how the ground would shake when it rolled by. how you could feel the heat coming off that giant boiler.It is an aweome machine just sitting still and I feel sad that I will never actually see one rolling down the tracks If you ever get to that part of the country, this is well worth the time to see.

once upon a turkey

Several years ago i was working the Turkey Run in florida. Some guy from California was hangin out im my booth and was looking for something to do, so I had him paint a Rat fink cartoon on the back of this 55 chevy.
Not bad for a guy who was drawing Mickey mice for a living. nyuk, nyuk, No I dont have a picture of him with an In-n-Out burger in his mouth, (but i will).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

well as usual,as I prepare to go out of town, I get real busy. The phone is ringing and I'm striping. Got a couple projects to finish & get the van ready. The reason im going to Florida is to attend the vanners counciil meeting. I'm a member of the National truck-in board and we have our winter meeting at the same time. The board is responcible for overseeing the van nationals. its a work meeting but there is some fun too. in the mean time im working. these are todays projects.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How do you paint in this cold?

Off to the local body shop to do a job for one of their customers , .. the humiliation of all humiliation. I am to paint the Florida gators logo on the deck lid of a car. Being a buckeye fan this is tough but, .. the customer didn't bring the whole car, just the deck lid. ill have a couple days to finish it.speaking of the buckeyes, my son and I went to the national title game in New Orleans. We joined a bus trip with a number of the guys that we tailgate with during the season.Had a great time, to bad the bucks didn"t. O well, theres always next year.
here I am at Sam the painters shop working on a set of bike parts.
thank god the heats on. this guy turns a lot of work and is an up and comer in the central ohio area. GO SAM! (the poor boy has never had an in-n-out burger)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Its cold around here and the striping business is slow this time of year.To keep my skills sharp I have been working on some trash cans. I have been making a pinstriping brush with a tiki handle on it for about a year now. and I've been painting a couple cans with a friki tiki theme to them. Cans seem to take forever for me. I've had the first one in the works for about 6 months, although I've only worked on it in my spare time, and I've been real busy the last year.
I've been motivated to do some cans by my good friend Jimmy C, of San Clemente Ca. Jimmy has been painting these cans for a long time. I am always amazed at the detail he puts in one of these pieces of art. I love his stuff! After 15 years I finally acquired a Jimmy can. its a real kool piece. check it out,, yes those are real bullet holes.
well back to work. One of the typical jobs i do is repair work on cars with painted pinstripes. i had one such job today. nothing exciting, but it fills the holes between the custom stuff. now back to painting the can ,, Man i could use a down-n-out burger about now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One thing I want to post here are are photos of the projects I'm working on in my garage. Being a van freak since the early 70's, I've amassed a fair pile of them over the years. my most recent acquisition has been a custom van built in 1976 called the Flying Eagle 2. the van has quite a history and was owned and built by a painter by the name of Greg of Akron . He had a big influence on me as an artist. I really like his graphic style and use of colors. He was credited with painting the first murals on vans, way back when, and was quite famous in the vanning and drag racing circles. To acquire this van was quite exciting for me. It was in nearly every publication of the day.and traveled the U.S. to many shows. Then it was sold in 1978 and we never heard from it again. In 2002 it showed up on ebay as a salvage from a fire. A friend of mine , Blaino from Oregon ,bought it and he later offered it to me. Well to say the least I really wanted to restore the van and jumped at the chance. It had caught fire under the hood and the front was gone. the fire was caused by a fuel line failure. Nearly everything from the seats forward was replaced or repaired. I've posted some pictures of the van when i first got it. and i will post more of the i go along. I want to thank fellow club member Mike Nemic for all his help on the early part of this project. I wouldnt have done it without his help.

The Eagle was one of the first custom vans to have major body modifications including shaving off the drip rail. It won best of show at the 4th van nationals in Bowling Green Kentucky.July 1976. the van was repainted in 1978 , sold, then painted again in 2000 by Greg. which is the paint job on it now. I have plans to restore portions of the origional paint job before the van nats this summer. stay tuned to see if I make it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

After much prodding i have started a blog. thank you Mr. Mitchroney! As I am new at this I will be taking my time to put something of interest up here. This past weekend I made the trip to San Francisco to attend the pinstripers gathering at the cow palace in conjunction with the car show there. There were about 40 pinstripers and automotive artists on hand to paint panels , cans, and other weird stuff, including a car, to be auctioned off at the show, to benifit the make a wish foundation. They raised nearly 15,000 dollars by the time i left. Not bad for a first time event. hats off to everyone there and to artie for running the whole thing. (herbie herbie). thanks kenny for takin me to the sites. rode the cable cars(not enough). took the ferrie across the bay, and ate like a pig all weekend. You gotta have the cake log at the Claim Jumper! auggh.