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Latinas ass with lowriders

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The year wasknown as part of the golden years of cruising on Whittier Boulevardand he would often join in the festivity of the performance by cruising that sacred boulevard.

On Whittier BoulevardI still remember like the cruising would start from Ford and go all the way, way past Atlantic. If somebody went up there to just get through, it would take the Latinas ass with lowriders an hour or so because of the cruisers.

They are so slow but that is what everybody used to go for, just to be seen on the street and a lot of cars and people in the business parking lots and all that.

It was like a car show on Latinas ass with lowriders. I have seen a couple of fights or two once in awhile. But that is normal when there is a here of people.

They come and go but nothing major, nothing…It was very Latinas ass with lowriders. Like everybody mind their own business. Mario was also married that same year and after he returned from Vietnamthe Latinas ass with lowriders settled in Pomona and Mario worked in an auto repair shop.

Mario then did not join Latinas ass with lowriders lowrider club for almost another ten years. In the s, lowriding came to shortstop for many car clubs, some of the reasons may be economic troubles of the Reagan-Bush years, but by the beginning of the s, lowriding was able to pick up again. He started with the bikes and eventually the boys would graduate to learning how to customize cars. Mario Jr. Their dad later bought them bikes, they would fix them up and their dad painted them. Once Mario Jr.

The De Alba boys really enjoyed customizing and they learned the skills link have made them one of the top customizers on Latinas ass with lowriders low riding scene today.

Lowriding to me would be a statement of my individuality.

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So when people are looking at it, they are also looking Latinas ass with lowriders you Albert DeAlba, interview by author, tape recording, Montclair, CA, 19 March It is this work ethic that their father taught them which they now apply to the cars they build and which is evidenced by the many trophies their car club Elite Latinas ass with lowriders earned in car shows throughout the years.

It is this pride in their work that makes them feel good about their own self worth. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr.

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They remembered Latinas ass with lowriders they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style. They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit.

So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the Latinas ass with lowriders of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:.

Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We Latinas ass with lowriders pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid.

The Elite car check this out ranges in age from 19 to Latinas ass with lowriders years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars Latinas ass with lowriders fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club.

Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests click here a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the Latinas ass with lowriders solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend.

Most important though Latinas ass with lowriders that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles.

For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding.

Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun.

It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson….

And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family.

Latinas ass with lowriders

It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or Latinas ass with lowriders, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid.

A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO Latinas ass with lowriders an example continue reading a car club that started in the 's with https://journal.e-pc.work/blog-3000.php multi-cultural perspective on cars and people.

USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership.

InKita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in Latinas ass with lowriders city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans.

Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CAwas one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:.

Hotel enf Watch Foxxxy love hentai Video Natalie fuck. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer! Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example of the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture. Today even commercials use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders. So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos. In the process though low riders have become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan. Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them. They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan. House of Low rider in Santa Ana is sending one low rider a week to Japan and of course the car everybody wants is a or Impala. Those are the most popular models and the style is especially good for hydraulic car hopping. The craze is full tilt and they even have their own Low Rider Magazine, Japanese style which means you read the magazine in reverse, and there is also a Japanese girl on the cover in the requisite bikini. I met Oishi at House of Low Rider the shop he opened up over five years ago and he made such an impression on me. He has such a passion for low riding that he moved his family from Japan over here so that he could open his own shop! And he has become one of the top exporters of low riders to Japan. He also has a lot of creative ideas on hydraulics and he taken awards for those innovations. Oishi is an example of how low riding crosses cultural borders and he is also part of keeping a tradition alive through his dedication to the art of low riding. According to his club:. His contribution to LA has been super clean cars that he is always changing. His chopped Cadillac is in the exhibit and what makes it stand out is his use of patent leather in the interior and on the convertible hard top. Oishi was the first guy to think of using patent leather in his low rider, and that is an example of how he thinks of innovative ideas to make his cars stand out from the rest of crowd. He basically represents all of the Asian race as far as a true low rider interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles , CA , 10 January So how has low riding impacted American culture? George Lipsitz in his book Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture believes lowriders are organic intellectuals or grassroots teachers who attempt to create historical blocs which challenge the dominant culture through subversion. The Media and the Image of Low Riding: Often the contemporary image of the low rider lifestyle is shaped through the popular perception of the media. A nice example came from my own college students who when asked how they could define a low rider, said that lowriders are a gang members or a "cholos". Then I gave them an article to read on low riding in Los Angeles and some of their initial perceptions changed. All of the men I interviewed for this project are hard working, family men. That is not say, that gang members do not lower their cars or try to pose as low riders as they cruise. But, the true low riders who belong to the well respected car clubs and who win trophies at most of the top car shows, are far removed from the gang reality. The relationship between the police and low riders has always been a tenuous one. There is long bitter history between police and Chicanos and low riders have often been the target of harassment. Also, the police also fuel the image of low riders as gang members in their harassment. Many low riders have related to me how they have been pulled over for the car they drive and how they are dressed. And the police usually do not find anything wrong such as guns or drugs in their cars, so they will write them a ticket for a hydraulics violation or for driving too slow. Some car clubs though have good relationship with the police and that is because the car clubs will not let any gang members or gang associates join their clubs. The top low rider clubs are usually not harassed by the police and some car clubs even have policemen in their membership. Also clubs like the Dukes or the Imperials have been around so long and have a good reputation that the police will not harass them. And some car clubs even have fund-raisers for the local police and some police departments even sponsor car shows, like the Azalea Festival in Southgate. Yet, cruising has always been a sore spot for police. Whittier Boulevard has never been the same after the famous riots in The potential for trouble since car clubs and gang members cruise the strip together also makes cruising unsafe in the eyes of many police. Cruising strips are always shut down and strictly controlled by law enforcement. In January of , Crenshaw Boulevard was shut down and low riders are ticketed for cruising or stopping. Yet, youth try to circumvent the police by trying to find another place to cruise, and then when the public complains enough, the police come in and shut that new strip down. So historically there has always been a strong relationship between the police and low riders and it will continue as long as there is trouble at car shows or cruising locales. And even within the Mexican American community itself, I am sure that you could find the same sentiment that low riders are gang members since not all Mexican Americans participate in the low riding scene. Yet, the media is definitely a keep component in shaping lowriding means within the United States and abroad. What the stories and the cars reveal is that these men are hard working Americans with steady jobs and who give back to the community by belonging to car clubs. They also have a voracious appetite for cars like other auto enthusiasts, but most important they are aware that they are keeping a tradition alive which began in the Mexican American barrios a long time ago. Low riding is about remembering. Remembering the pachucos who rode on the boulevard before you in the 's or celebrating the good times of cruising the boulevard in the present time. Lowriding also involves giving back to one's community, whether it be through activism or teaching the next generation of lowriders the skills of their ancestors. Just as the Aztecs have taught us about complex civilizations and spirituality, low riders teach us about the reality of urban life, the importance of family, and the need to continue a tradition that has its roots in the barrio. Family, honor, and respect are the key themes that anchor the tradition of community and continuity. Low riders are a perfect example of how the practice of everyday life creates art—an art that is full of life and stylized—a living a ritual that feed one's soul and the soul of the various barrios throughout Aztlan and beyond. Another important facet of lowriding is the connection which is made between people and it is these relationships which result in the many memories that low riders can hold dear to their hearts. It is a life long history of great people and great friends. When I asked Ernie Ruelas of the Dukes to tell me about the role the car club has played in his life he said: That is most important. Some other lowriders have had their lowriders longer than their own children. These men have a special relationship to their cars and to their clubs. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, 4 th Edition. Bright, Brenda Jo. Los Angeles Low Riders. Brenda Jo Bright and Liza Blackwell, Tucson , AZ: University of Arizona Press, El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement. Austin , TX: University of Texas Press, Cosgrove, Stuart. Oxford University Press, Autumn Darder, Antonia. Delgado, Monica and Van Wagenen, Michael. Low and Slow 16mm, 27 min. Dettleback, Cynthia. The Automobile in American Literature and. Popular Culture. Greenwood Press, DeWitt, John. Cool Cars, High Art: The Rise of Kustom Kulture. Press of Mississippi , Donnelly, Nora. Nora Donnelly, , Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art, Flink, James. The Car Culture. MIT Press, Ganahl, Pat. Hot Rods and Cool Customs. New York: Artabras, Geneat, Robert. Hot Rod Nights: Osceola , WI: Motorbooks International, Goldman, Shifra M. Chicano Murals of. California Chicano Murals , ed. Eva Sperling-Cockcroft, Albuquerque , NM: University of New Mexico Press, Grandante, William. Edward Abernathy, Natural History 9 Hall , Stuart. Stephen Duncombe, , New York: Verso, Questions of Cultural Identity , eds. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay. Sage Publications, Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Stuart Hall. Sage Publications, Hebdige, Dick. The Meaning of Style. Methuen and Co. Lipsitz, George. Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular. Minneapolis , MN: University of Minnesota Press, Lowrider Magazine June to January The Zoot Suit Riots: The Psychology of Symbolic Annihilation. Austin ,. Mendoza, Ruben. Lowriding in the Mexican. American Southwest. Latino Literatures and Cultures: Perspectives , eds. Francisco Lomeli and Karin Ikas, Munoz Jr. Youth, Identity, Power in the Chicano Movement. London , New York: Verso, , Ortiz Torres, Ruben. Plascencia, Luis. Cultural Symbols in the Mexican. Chicano Studies in the s , ed. Mario Garcia, Ypsilanti , MI: Bilingual Review Press, Rivera, Diego. My Art, My Life: An Autobiography. Dover Publications,. The Murals of Diego Rivera. Journeyman, Sanchez, George. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in. Chicano Los Angeles , Oxford University Press, Sperling-Cockcroft, Sandoval, Denise Michelle. Cruising Through. Lowrider Culture. Dissertation, Claremont Graduate University , May Sperling Cockcroft, Eva, ed. California Chicano Murals. Stone, Michael C. Journal of Latin American Popular Culture 9 Trillin, Calvin and Koren, Edward. Low and Slow,. Mean and Clean. Villa, Raul Homero. Barrio Logos: Space and Place in Urban Chicano Literature and. He started with the bikes and eventually the boys would graduate to learning how to customize cars. Mario Jr. Their dad later bought them bikes, they would fix them up and their dad painted them. Once Mario Jr. The De Alba boys really enjoyed customizing and they learned the skills that have made them one of the top customizers on the low riding scene today. Lowriding to me would be a statement of my individuality. So when people are looking at it, they are also looking at you Albert DeAlba, interview by author, tape recording, Montclair, CA, 19 March It is this work ethic that their father taught them which they now apply to the cars they build and which is evidenced by the many trophies their car club Elite has earned in car shows throughout the years. It is this pride in their work that makes them feel good about their own self worth. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr. They remembered how they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style. They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:. Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. The Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example of a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people. USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. In , Kita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans. Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CA , was one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:. So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. In , Lowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership. The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. In , he joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves. So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer! Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example of the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture. Today even commercials use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders. So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos. In the process though low riders have become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan. Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them. They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan..

So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Here. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him Latinas ass with lowriders the low riding scene.

InLowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the Latinas ass with lowriders car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership.

The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area.

As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. Inhe joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they Latinas ass with lowriders the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president.

They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves.

So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude.

That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family.

You have your Latinas ass with lowriders and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three Latinas ass with lowriders you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean.

Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that Latinas ass with lowriders all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another.

In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids.

Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble.

It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly.

He is well liked and is also very respected from an continue reading club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him.

It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is Latinas ass with lowriders example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one.

The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years.

You can keep a job, keep a car and Latinas ass with lowriders have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they Amateur naked brunette nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you Latinas ass with lowriders just trying to utilize your rights.

Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children "Latinas ass with lowriders" he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars.

Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels.

And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family Latinas ass with lowriders there in support of lowriding.

Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The Latinas ass with lowriders of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger.

And as lowriding has evolved through the years, continue reading has changed, and this is Latinas ass with lowriders due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car Latinas ass with lowriders. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding.

And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. Latinas ass with lowriders is nothing in the like expressing yourself Latinas ass with lowriders your ideas on a lowrider that you have so Latinas ass with lowriders love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people.

While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family.

The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of Latinas ass with lowriders therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club.

Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in Latinas ass with lowriders fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestylethey are joining a club that must come first in their lives and see more loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho.

It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me.

Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is Latinas ass with lowriders expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs.

Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26,car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs.

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The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pmbut would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car Latinas ass with lowriders sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around.

The officers of the club stand together on one side Latinas ass with lowriders the circle.

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And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting Latinas ass with lowriders. The dues are five dollars Latinas ass with lowriders meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings.

I asked Latinas ass with lowriders Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They Latinas ass with lowriders one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers.

The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable.

He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are article source best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him.

Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses.

Latinas ass with lowriders

This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club Latinas ass with lowriders their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet.

Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready this web page 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic Latinas ass with lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what Latinas ass with lowriders member does to the car.

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The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him Latinas ass with lowriders he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and Latinas ass with lowriders appears to have Latinas ass with lowriders interest.

You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself.

Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined Latinas ass with lowriders swatted.

Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age.

It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it.

He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines Latinas ass with lowriders be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It Latinas ass with lowriders something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by Latinas ass with lowriders Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes.

So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying Latinas ass with lowriders not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious.

This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on source guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club.

Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider MagazineAugust For Lifestyleit is about dedicating your life to the club Latinas ass with lowriders to having your cars at a competitive level.

They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding.

Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a Latinas ass with lowriders. Pachucos and Lowriders. Latinas ass with lowriders Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men.

The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war.

The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet hot pussy Nigeria black style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth.

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But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and Latinas ass with lowriders mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one Latinas ass with lowriders stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos.

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The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was Latinas ass with lowriders landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system.

The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s.

The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos.

The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just Latinas ass with lowriders that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos Latinas ass with lowriders between both their Latinas ass with lowriders and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders.

Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in go here barrios across the Southwest.

Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals,pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether Latinas ass with lowriders be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico.

Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the Latinas ass with lowriders rights movement for Mexican Read more during the 's and s.

Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it Latinas ass with lowriders in the work place, school, or local communities.

Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality Latinas ass with lowriders their own communities through the belief in self-determination and Latinas ass with lowriders.

Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited.

Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names.

The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important.

For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles.

Latinas ass with lowriders

And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art read more Latinas ass with lowriders walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today.

The seizure of open space Latinas ass with lowriders Chicano murals in the late s and early s Latinas ass with lowriders from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided Latinas ass with lowriders canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls.

It was art for the masses--to be Latinas ass with lowriders by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Latinas ass with lowriders were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States.

Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage.

And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as Latinas ass with lowriders celebration of cultural pride. Latinas ass with lowriders Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants.

As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico cityLos Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States.

The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW.

Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs Latinas ass with lowriders in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future.

Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as Latinas ass with lowriders the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s.

He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.

The artists used various handjob vidz forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides.

It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in GlendaleCalifornia. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte.

When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of Read more Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him.

Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano link. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not Latinas ass with lowriders art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated.

He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, Latinas ass with lowriders graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at source riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics read more discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to Latinas ass with lowriders jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car.

He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos Source spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias.

Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object Latinas ass with lowriders Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a Latinas ass with lowriders reward which makes his heart swell with pride.

We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany.

It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos.

People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best.

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It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares Latinas ass with lowriders history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene Latinas ass with lowriders Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist.

Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their Latinas ass with lowriders space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine.

Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on learn more here elaborate the car owner wants to Latinas ass with lowriders. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese Latinas ass with lowriders the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols.

Latinas ass with lowriders

Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene.

According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is Latinas ass with lowriders to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in Latinas ass with lowriders he could express identity.

He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Latinas ass with lowriders is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan.

One look at his Latinas ass with lowriders and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American.

All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the here rider as art.

Latinas ass with lowriders

It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as source low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the Latinas ass with lowriders and dreams of many Chicanos.

The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the Latinas ass with lowriders millennium.

Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine.

Sexy bedeo Watch Audrey bitoni playing dildo with jenaveve jolie Video Avatar nude. For example, California Mexican population between and tripled from , to 1,, Los Angeles experienced a rapid growth, so that by , the Mexican American population numbered over , See Acuna. Therefore, the development of Mexican American communities meant the beginning of cultural practices that were a blending of both Mexican and American traditions. Mexican American youth especially sought to express these dual identities American or Mexican and the idea of not fully belonging in either one became self evident in the practice of low riding. For example, the low riders were an affront to the car culture of hot rods and car customs as well within their own communities of Mexican immigrants who did not understand the younger generation of Mexican Americans. Lowriders created their own cultural niche within the American social and cultural fabric. Low rider culture then is historically very much a part of the Mexican American social history and according to Michael Stone Low riding is considered as a public enactment of a re-negotiated sense of Mexican American identity, an identity which contrary to mass depiction is increasingly heterogeneous. Car leisure activities in the s for Mexican Americans afforded a new generation a feeling of belonging to America , but also stressed a need to mark a space within car culture, one which was different from the dominant scene of hot rods and car customs which tended to be a sport favored by Anglo American youth. The surge in low riding within the Mexican American community must be framed within the proliferation of car leisure activities after the war, such as hot rodding, drag races, car shows, and demolition derbies. Low riding is one genre within car culture that flourished in America , especially with young adults. Therefore, low riding is linked to vibrant hot rod and car custom scene which exploded in the 's. But, what is unique about low riding is whereas hot rods were about speed and drag races, low riders responded to the challenge of speeding with the grace of cruising slow on the boulevard. Low Rider cars were lowered to the ground and meant to go slow in order to be seen. Young men began to form car clubs that spoke to their affinity for hot rods, car customs or low riders. Car Clubs provided a source of solidarity among car aficionados but also provided friendly competition for drag races or car shows movement and show pieces worthy for competition against the best car customs. The low rider label started being used in the 's after hydraulics were introduced to the scene. Chicanos would also be known to put anything heavy in the trunk of their cars, such as sandbags, bricks or bags of cement—all which ensured the bajito y suavecito aesthetic. The goal was to have your car as close to the ground and some guys would even install street scrapers on the bottom of their car so the sparks would fly out from underneath the chassis. All of these features made the lowrider stand out, especially to law enforcement. California vehicle code stipulated that no part of car could be lower than the bottom portion of the wheel rim. The police would give tickets to violators of this law and low riders were often their favorite targets. Low riders needed a technological solution and ironically one would appear courtesy of the US military. The hydraulic parts which consisted of hydro air pumps and dumps actually were surplus parts from World War II fighter planes. Eventually though the WWII surplus would run out and by the mids various shops began manufacturing hydraulic parts such as the tailgate pump. In the early s, hydraulics also added another competition facet to the sport lowriding—jumping contests. Originally, clubs would measure the height with coke bottled or beer bottles and later on, special rulers were created as cars jumped higher and higher. By the late s, the lowrider would be able to do much more than jump up and down, for instance, side to side and even around the world completely turn around. Today the innovations in hydraulics are truly amazing. All the manipulations of the low rider inherently add to how these cars stand out or now jump out on the car scene. The need to be seen was and still is at the core, of low riding, and this fact is especially powerful given the racism and discrimination many Mexican Americans faced on a daily basis during the s through the s, such as housing segregation and poor education facilities. Low riding emerged from the working class Chicano community who used home grown elements to fix up their cars and later used technological advancements in car customizing to create a style all of their own. As an extension of the fascination with car culture within the US , low riding began as an inherent male activity. Generally speaking men have been the ones to carry on a life long affair with their cars or cars. Moreover the car also began to be tied to a particular cultural identityan expression of self. At the same time, the participation in car leisure activities formed a collectivity with other low riders. The low rider forced the broader society, and even the Mexican American community, to acknowledge the presence of a new cultural identity, which used a cultural blending of styles within Chicano car culture. Simply put, the various structural conditions inherent in the post WWII economy created a public environment which furthered the American males' love affair with cars and Chicanos were no exception. In fact, the car in many ways may represent the hopes and desires of the owner. The history of lowriding reveals the importance of understanding how urban cities and regions become symbolic landscapes within the cultural practice of low riding wherein individuals use their cars to negotiate identity gender, ethnicity, class , technology, and the media. The Dukes. The best examples of low riding are the stories, which center on the family. More importantly, the history of low riding is an everyday practice within much of Mexican American Los Angeles, which revolves around la familia and the strong bonds created because of that union. Low riding is a tradition that is passed on from one generation to the next, from father to son to grandson. Los Angeles is also the birthplace for the oldest low rider car club, the Dukes, who prove that the strength of the lowriding tradition is found in la familia. They are also very dedicated to keeping nuestra cultura alive in the barrios of Aztlan. This car club is a beautiful example of the lowriding tradition and their story has its beginnings in a time period in Los Angeles history when being Mexican was a reason to be seen as inferior to Anglo Americans. Uncle Tinker, who became a father figure to his nephews, introduced the boys to auto mechanics in an attempt to keep them off the streets and in the process, he taught them about taking pride in their work. The most important lesson that he imparted to them was the positive influence of la familia working together. These would be lessons the Ruelas brothers would one-day pass on to their own sons. As Fernando remembers in the documentary Low and Slow:. My involvement in low riding goes as far back when I was a young kid and my uncle was a pretty good influence on that, being he bought us a go-cart. For example, one brother would specialize in bodywork, one in upholstery and another in electrical wiring. Since each one had different talents, they would build the cars as a team. Even though they were not able to drive these cars legally, the brothers still took pleasure in their work. More importantly though is the fact that the process of building a car became a family effort of love as the brothers worked together. It also is a source of pride to say that they built the car themselves instead of sending the car to different shops in order to get the work done. According to the Dukes, their lowrider club is an extension of their family and that approach is one of the reasons for their longevity. In this manner, the car club is more than just cars; it has really family ties that are integral to the survival of the club. As the oldest brother Julio relates:. A car club is a family orientated thing. We are a whole family. It is a big family and you get them together. You can invite your cousins, your brothers, your daughters, your sons, your wife, your in-laws, grandparents, whoever. We will have barbecue or dances. The brothers are also acutely aware that lowriding is tied to Chicano culture and it is something that Chicanos should take pride in. They want the work that they do to have a positive effect on the Chicano community, especially Chicano youth. Fernando mentioned that the sole purpose to start the club was not to get a thousand members, but instead their main objective was to capture the youth and give them a positive alternative to gangs that might change their lives. They also share their own history growing up to also motivate youth to enter into positive activities in their communities. An example of this concern is when a documentary crew asked them to make a film on their car club, they did it only when the crew promised to make the documentary available to the schools, especially schools with young Chicanos. The Dukes are well known among Chicano youth that follow lowriding history and culture. I can only interject my own experience when I was at the Petersen Automotive Museum and a large group of Chicano youth surrounded the Dukes one Saturday afternoon, asking for their autographs and posing for pictures with them. The Dukes are a fine example of role models from the Chicano community and they also promote the positive effects of lowriding, which are often overlooked by the media. When asked if lowriding is a positive activity for Chicano youth to get involved in, Ernie Ruelas responds:. I think that it is real positive because it is bringing awareness and it is bringing Mexican people or Chicano people to work together and to let them know that is it not about doing combat with one another, but loving one another in building something that is in our blood already. Let them know how talented we are and let them know we also demand respect through our challenge and that kind of stuff. We must love each other more and be more aware of the good things rather than the violence and the fighting… Ernie Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 12 June The 38 th Street gang achieved mainstream recognition through the Sleepy Lagoon case of when 22 of their members where found guilty of crimes ranging from assault to first degree murder through an unfair and racist trial. Ironically, their cars would be featured in the movie premiere of the movie Zoot Suit that chronicled the Sleepy Lagoon case, again tying them to their own 38 th Street past. That aside, in their passion for cars won out over gang loyalty and they decided to form their own social club with Julio Ruelas as the first club president. The Dukes car club was born and the car club became an alternative to gang life—or la vida loca. Yet, this riff vanished as the Dukes car club brought honor and respect to their neighborhood. Respect and pride is a theme that runs through their family story. As Oscar Ruelas relates:. Julio Ruelas traces the beginning of low rider cars to the pachucos and the cars they drove as statements of their individuality within the Mexican American community. And this new car aesthetic was definitely Chicano since it had pride in our rich ancestry from Mexico and also had roots in American car culture. I always saw them in the s. Our colors we get them from our ancestors, the Aztecs. The color of feathers is the color of automobiles you see. In the late s a cultural renaissance was hitting Chicano barrios and low riders were part of that activity. Chicano Pride became the motto of the Chicano Movement and nowhere was that more evident than in the streets of East Los Angles. Whittier Boulevard was alive every weekend as the top cruising spot in Los Angeles , and the Dukes were an important part of that scene. Oscar was drafted in , followed by Ernie in and finally Fernando in Many of the lowrider clubs also lost members in that war and Fernando Ruelas thought it would be the end of lowriding. The Chicano Movement was also occurring during this time period, and anti-Vietnam War protests were also a part of the various social movements, which sought equity for Mexican Americans. Many activists argued that Chicanos were dying in disproportionate numbers in Vietnam see Rodolfo Acuna, Occupied America , , a sentiment that is echoed by the Dukes who lost many friends to the war. The Dukes survived this time period even though the car club was reduced to a handful of people in the early s, and the war could not stop the passion for lowriding. Therefore in Fernando Ruelas became President of the club, a title he holds till this day, and he is also responsible for the changes to come on the lowriding scene in the late s. The purpose of the association was to get car clubs to unite and do something positive within the Chicano community. This annual tradition continues to this day. It is their commitment to community activism that separates the Dukes from other car clubs. The Dukes have organized car shows to benefit the broader Chicano community from Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers to Mecha and other Chicano organizations to local prisons. As Fernando states:. We were raised poor and we know what it feels like to hungry and poor. At seven years of age I sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support my family. So, our car club stated donating time for fundraising to help the community…the community needs help and we are there to help any way we can Fernando Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, La Habra, CA, 10 June The Dukes were also pioneers in the low rider car show circuit. Between the years of and , the Dukes were featured at the Trident Car shows which later became the R. Canning Productions and were the only low rider club invited during the initial years because of the tensions between hot rodders and low riders within the car customizing scene. Unfortunately, low riders were given little respect if at all within the mainstream car customizing scene. But that would change. The Dukes also broke through many cultural barriers by being accepted by mainstream car magazines, such as Car Craft and Hot Rod Magazine. The Ruelas Brothers are able to promote their products—their cars—and they also take great pride in having made a name for themselves within the lowrider scene as car customizers who produce top quality work, again as a family unit. Ernie describes the legacy of the Dukes car club to the lowrider scene as follows:. I think that someone out there who is versed in old custom cars can work at one of our customs that we built and say right away, the Ruelas brothers built this. Because they know we were first in doing that style of car. I think that even now that is what it is all about. To me, I get off on being able to have the energy and the charisma and everything else and the knowledge of being able to build my stuff the way I want it right now…Here with this family that I am involved with is so talented, is so rich in talent. I am really blessed…I wish that we can be able to do more things together, like we used to when we were young though Ernie Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 12 June Today, the Ruelas family still owns the shop and house that Uncle Tinker left them on the corner of Long Beach Ave and 41 st. Their shop is a family business that Fernando wants to keep in the family and he is grooming his sons and nephews to take over one day. They have had many offers to sell the property for big money since it is located right along the Alameda Corridor, but Fernando always refuses. He believes that is important that it stays in the family, even though some of the other brothers believe the money would be nice. And Jay and Ernie Jr. Ernie Jr. And also people think lowriding is a negative image like gang members and stuff. Just as the Ruelas brothers learned their customizing skills by working on bikes and go-carts, the younger generation of the Dukes received their schooling on customizing through also working on bikes. In , The Dukes started a bike chapter in order to get the youth involved. Just as the Ruelas brothers had to work for their money to customize as boys, the next generation of Dukes also had to work hard in order to buy the bikes and also to maintain their bikes. In the process, a love and passion for customizing was born later continued as they graduated to working on cars. The bike chapter is also a way in which the fathers could build relationships with their sons by working together to create a lowrider bike and also teach them to have respect and pride in the work they do. As Oscar Jr. I save my cans for I could make money so I could buy parts. I really like working with him [my dad] on my car. I really like watching my dad. The women in the Ruelas family also play a central role in the workings of the car club, although their roles may not be visible, their presence is still felt. And many of the men mention that they could not participate in the car club if not for the support and patience of their wives. Gloria remarks that the car club has been a positive influence for her sons in the documentary Low and Slow: And also, it costs a lot of money. They have to work to get their cars done. Since the car club is family orientated, the participation of the women is also important, and they too are at all the car shows. Over the years, the Dukes have built a solid reputation and have set the standards for other car clubs. The Ruelas Brothers developed the necessary skills in car customizing that would establish them as one of the top low rider car clubs for nearly forty years with thirty chapters nationally and even internationally. The Ruelas family is truly passionate about lowriding as a sport and as a way of life. But, it is their commitment to their East-side roots over the years, which speaks to the strength of the low riding tradition within Chicano communities. The Ruelas brothers exemplify the roots of lowriding which is anchored respect and family. Low riding is more than a name. The DeAlbas. I am not into baseball, so I am not going to join a baseball team. If I join a baseball team I have to dedicate myself to be at practice and all the games. It is the same thing with our car club, we take it that much to heart. Alberto DeAlba. The importance of family is key to many car clubs since it is the center of loyalty and unity in many Chicano families. Lowriding is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle choice that takes a lot of heart and hard work to be successful at the top competition levels. Yet, low riding is also about the relationship between fathers and sons. For example, a father teaching his son about the history and skills of a low riding becomes a time to share his own stories of cruising the boulevard and they also create new memories as the work on a car together. Then, hopefully one day his son will teach his own son and now grandson the skills of a beautiful tradition and the art of low riding. It is a passion that many families share. The DeAlba family of Montclair is another example of the family tradition of low riding. There are three sons, Mario Jr. It is a history which his sons know well and they now begin to teach their own sons. Mario Sr. Mario would notice that the jockeys were the ones who had the money and they would drive customized cars. Mario began by learning how to customize bikes at an early age, but the cars always turned his head. Mario recalls, "There was a lot of low riding down there [Tijuana, Mexico] He cut the suspension coils on it to lower it closer to the ground and he cruised the streets of Tijuana as a teenager. At eighteen he came to the states and settled in East Los Angeles. The year was , known as part of the golden years of cruising on Whittier Boulevard , and he would often join in the festivity of the performance by cruising that sacred boulevard. On Whittier Boulevard , I still remember like the cruising would start from Ford and go all the way, way past Atlantic. If somebody went up there to just get through, it would take the person an hour or so because of the cruisers. They are so slow but that is what everybody used to go for, just to be seen on the street and a lot of cars and people in the business parking lots and all that. It was like a car show on wheels. I have seen a couple of fights or two once in awhile. But that is normal when there is a lot of people. They come and go but nothing major, nothing…It was very nice. Like everybody mind their own business. Mario was also married that same year and after he returned from Vietnam , the family settled in Pomona and Mario worked in an auto repair shop. Mario then did not join a lowrider club for almost another ten years. In the s, lowriding came to shortstop for many car clubs, some of the reasons may be economic troubles of the Reagan-Bush years, but by the beginning of the s, lowriding was able to pick up again. He started with the bikes and eventually the boys would graduate to learning how to customize cars. Mario Jr. Their dad later bought them bikes, they would fix them up and their dad painted them. Once Mario Jr. The De Alba boys really enjoyed customizing and they learned the skills that have made them one of the top customizers on the low riding scene today. Lowriding to me would be a statement of my individuality. So when people are looking at it, they are also looking at you Albert DeAlba, interview by author, tape recording, Montclair, CA, 19 March It is this work ethic that their father taught them which they now apply to the cars they build and which is evidenced by the many trophies their car club Elite has earned in car shows throughout the years. It is this pride in their work that makes them feel good about their own self worth. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr. They remembered how they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style. They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:. Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. The Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example of a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people. USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. In , Kita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans. Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CA , was one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:. So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. In , Lowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership. The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. In , he joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves. So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:. Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. The Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example of a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people. USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. In , Kita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans. Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CA , was one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:. So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. In , Lowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership. The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. In , he joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves. So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer! Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example of the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture. Today even commercials use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders. So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos. In the process though low riders have become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan. Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them. They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan. House of Low rider in Santa Ana is sending one low rider a week to Japan and of course the car everybody wants is a or Impala. Those are the most popular models and the style is especially good for hydraulic car hopping. The craze is full tilt and they even have their own Low Rider Magazine, Japanese style which means you read the magazine in reverse, and there is also a Japanese girl on the cover in the requisite bikini. I met Oishi at House of Low Rider the shop he opened up over five years ago and he made such an impression on me. He has such a passion for low riding that he moved his family from Japan over here so that he could open his own shop! And he has become one of the top exporters of low riders to Japan. He also has a lot of creative ideas on hydraulics and he taken awards for those innovations. Oishi is an example of how low riding crosses cultural borders and he is also part of keeping a tradition alive through his dedication to the art of low riding. According to his club:. His contribution to LA has been super clean cars that he is always changing. His chopped Cadillac is in the exhibit and what makes it stand out is his use of patent leather in the interior and on the convertible hard top. Oishi was the first guy to think of using patent leather in his low rider, and that is an example of how he thinks of innovative ideas to make his cars stand out from the rest of crowd. He basically represents all of the Asian race as far as a true low rider interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles , CA , 10 January So how has low riding impacted American culture?.

Low Rider Magazin e has Latinas ass with lowriders a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website Latinas ass with lowriders Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press Latinas ass with lowriders an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top.

As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM.

And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:.

The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine Latinas ass with lowriders not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with Latinas ass with lowriders riders.

This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s.

So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out Latinas ass with lowridersmany readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:.

You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Latinas ass with lowriders Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight Latinas ass with lowriders telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We learn more here the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality.

These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But inthe clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors.

The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the click at this page ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started Latinas ass with lowriders letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset.

Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride.

As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket.

Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off Latinas ass with lowriders the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Latinas ass with lowriders especially are drawn to low rider culture.

Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even Latinas ass with lowriders their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within Latinas ass with lowriders male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor.

And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the Latinas ass with lowriders that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young Latinas ass with lowriders flock to the scene.

Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines.

Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business.

She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers.

So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her Latinas ass with lowriders by her side.

Most of her success is due to Latinas ass with lowriders personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them.

It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy.

Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says. That is why women will always be a part Latinas ass with lowriders the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike.

Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latinait is hard for her to model on other car Latinas ass with lowriders that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used.

She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women Latinas ass with lowriders participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in Latinas ass with lowriders their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued.

Instant sex Watch Amateur mature black bbw exwife Video Teens fuck. I think that even now that is what it is all about. To me, I get off on being able to have the energy and the charisma and everything else and the knowledge of being able to build my stuff the way I want it right now…Here with this family that I am involved with is so talented, is so rich in talent. I am really blessed…I wish that we can be able to do more things together, like we used to when we were young though Ernie Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 12 June Today, the Ruelas family still owns the shop and house that Uncle Tinker left them on the corner of Long Beach Ave and 41 st. Their shop is a family business that Fernando wants to keep in the family and he is grooming his sons and nephews to take over one day. They have had many offers to sell the property for big money since it is located right along the Alameda Corridor, but Fernando always refuses. He believes that is important that it stays in the family, even though some of the other brothers believe the money would be nice. And Jay and Ernie Jr. Ernie Jr. And also people think lowriding is a negative image like gang members and stuff. Just as the Ruelas brothers learned their customizing skills by working on bikes and go-carts, the younger generation of the Dukes received their schooling on customizing through also working on bikes. In , The Dukes started a bike chapter in order to get the youth involved. Just as the Ruelas brothers had to work for their money to customize as boys, the next generation of Dukes also had to work hard in order to buy the bikes and also to maintain their bikes. In the process, a love and passion for customizing was born later continued as they graduated to working on cars. The bike chapter is also a way in which the fathers could build relationships with their sons by working together to create a lowrider bike and also teach them to have respect and pride in the work they do. As Oscar Jr. I save my cans for I could make money so I could buy parts. I really like working with him [my dad] on my car. I really like watching my dad. The women in the Ruelas family also play a central role in the workings of the car club, although their roles may not be visible, their presence is still felt. And many of the men mention that they could not participate in the car club if not for the support and patience of their wives. Gloria remarks that the car club has been a positive influence for her sons in the documentary Low and Slow: And also, it costs a lot of money. They have to work to get their cars done. Since the car club is family orientated, the participation of the women is also important, and they too are at all the car shows. Over the years, the Dukes have built a solid reputation and have set the standards for other car clubs. The Ruelas Brothers developed the necessary skills in car customizing that would establish them as one of the top low rider car clubs for nearly forty years with thirty chapters nationally and even internationally. The Ruelas family is truly passionate about lowriding as a sport and as a way of life. But, it is their commitment to their East-side roots over the years, which speaks to the strength of the low riding tradition within Chicano communities. The Ruelas brothers exemplify the roots of lowriding which is anchored respect and family. Low riding is more than a name. The DeAlbas. I am not into baseball, so I am not going to join a baseball team. If I join a baseball team I have to dedicate myself to be at practice and all the games. It is the same thing with our car club, we take it that much to heart. Alberto DeAlba. The importance of family is key to many car clubs since it is the center of loyalty and unity in many Chicano families. Lowriding is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle choice that takes a lot of heart and hard work to be successful at the top competition levels. Yet, low riding is also about the relationship between fathers and sons. For example, a father teaching his son about the history and skills of a low riding becomes a time to share his own stories of cruising the boulevard and they also create new memories as the work on a car together. Then, hopefully one day his son will teach his own son and now grandson the skills of a beautiful tradition and the art of low riding. It is a passion that many families share. The DeAlba family of Montclair is another example of the family tradition of low riding. There are three sons, Mario Jr. It is a history which his sons know well and they now begin to teach their own sons. Mario Sr. Mario would notice that the jockeys were the ones who had the money and they would drive customized cars. Mario began by learning how to customize bikes at an early age, but the cars always turned his head. Mario recalls, "There was a lot of low riding down there [Tijuana, Mexico] He cut the suspension coils on it to lower it closer to the ground and he cruised the streets of Tijuana as a teenager. At eighteen he came to the states and settled in East Los Angeles. The year was , known as part of the golden years of cruising on Whittier Boulevard , and he would often join in the festivity of the performance by cruising that sacred boulevard. On Whittier Boulevard , I still remember like the cruising would start from Ford and go all the way, way past Atlantic. If somebody went up there to just get through, it would take the person an hour or so because of the cruisers. They are so slow but that is what everybody used to go for, just to be seen on the street and a lot of cars and people in the business parking lots and all that. It was like a car show on wheels. I have seen a couple of fights or two once in awhile. But that is normal when there is a lot of people. They come and go but nothing major, nothing…It was very nice. Like everybody mind their own business. Mario was also married that same year and after he returned from Vietnam , the family settled in Pomona and Mario worked in an auto repair shop. Mario then did not join a lowrider club for almost another ten years. In the s, lowriding came to shortstop for many car clubs, some of the reasons may be economic troubles of the Reagan-Bush years, but by the beginning of the s, lowriding was able to pick up again. He started with the bikes and eventually the boys would graduate to learning how to customize cars. Mario Jr. Their dad later bought them bikes, they would fix them up and their dad painted them. Once Mario Jr. The De Alba boys really enjoyed customizing and they learned the skills that have made them one of the top customizers on the low riding scene today. Lowriding to me would be a statement of my individuality. So when people are looking at it, they are also looking at you Albert DeAlba, interview by author, tape recording, Montclair, CA, 19 March It is this work ethic that their father taught them which they now apply to the cars they build and which is evidenced by the many trophies their car club Elite has earned in car shows throughout the years. It is this pride in their work that makes them feel good about their own self worth. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr. They remembered how they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style. They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:. Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. The Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example of a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people. USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. In , Kita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans. Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CA , was one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:. So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. In , Lowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership. The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. In , he joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves. So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer! Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example of the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture. Today even commercials use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders. So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos. In the process though low riders have become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan. Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them. They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan. House of Low rider in Santa Ana is sending one low rider a week to Japan and of course the car everybody wants is a or Impala. Those are the most popular models and the style is especially good for hydraulic car hopping. The craze is full tilt and they even have their own Low Rider Magazine, Japanese style which means you read the magazine in reverse, and there is also a Japanese girl on the cover in the requisite bikini. I met Oishi at House of Low Rider the shop he opened up over five years ago and he made such an impression on me. He has such a passion for low riding that he moved his family from Japan over here so that he could open his own shop! And he has become one of the top exporters of low riders to Japan. He also has a lot of creative ideas on hydraulics and he taken awards for those innovations. Oishi is an example of how low riding crosses cultural borders and he is also part of keeping a tradition alive through his dedication to the art of low riding. According to his club:. His contribution to LA has been super clean cars that he is always changing. His chopped Cadillac is in the exhibit and what makes it stand out is his use of patent leather in the interior and on the convertible hard top. Oishi was the first guy to think of using patent leather in his low rider, and that is an example of how he thinks of innovative ideas to make his cars stand out from the rest of crowd. He basically represents all of the Asian race as far as a true low rider interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles , CA , 10 January So how has low riding impacted American culture? George Lipsitz in his book Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture believes lowriders are organic intellectuals or grassroots teachers who attempt to create historical blocs which challenge the dominant culture through subversion. The Media and the Image of Low Riding: Often the contemporary image of the low rider lifestyle is shaped through the popular perception of the media. A nice example came from my own college students who when asked how they could define a low rider, said that lowriders are a gang members or a "cholos". Then I gave them an article to read on low riding in Los Angeles and some of their initial perceptions changed. All of the men I interviewed for this project are hard working, family men. That is not say, that gang members do not lower their cars or try to pose as low riders as they cruise. But, the true low riders who belong to the well respected car clubs and who win trophies at most of the top car shows, are far removed from the gang reality. The relationship between the police and low riders has always been a tenuous one. There is long bitter history between police and Chicanos and low riders have often been the target of harassment. Also, the police also fuel the image of low riders as gang members in their harassment. Many low riders have related to me how they have been pulled over for the car they drive and how they are dressed. And the police usually do not find anything wrong such as guns or drugs in their cars, so they will write them a ticket for a hydraulics violation or for driving too slow. Some car clubs though have good relationship with the police and that is because the car clubs will not let any gang members or gang associates join their clubs. The top low rider clubs are usually not harassed by the police and some car clubs even have policemen in their membership. Also clubs like the Dukes or the Imperials have been around so long and have a good reputation that the police will not harass them. And some car clubs even have fund-raisers for the local police and some police departments even sponsor car shows, like the Azalea Festival in Southgate. Yet, cruising has always been a sore spot for police. Whittier Boulevard has never been the same after the famous riots in The potential for trouble since car clubs and gang members cruise the strip together also makes cruising unsafe in the eyes of many police. Cruising strips are always shut down and strictly controlled by law enforcement. In January of , Crenshaw Boulevard was shut down and low riders are ticketed for cruising or stopping. Yet, youth try to circumvent the police by trying to find another place to cruise, and then when the public complains enough, the police come in and shut that new strip down. So historically there has always been a strong relationship between the police and low riders and it will continue as long as there is trouble at car shows or cruising locales. And even within the Mexican American community itself, I am sure that you could find the same sentiment that low riders are gang members since not all Mexican Americans participate in the low riding scene. Yet, the media is definitely a keep component in shaping lowriding means within the United States and abroad. What the stories and the cars reveal is that these men are hard working Americans with steady jobs and who give back to the community by belonging to car clubs. They also have a voracious appetite for cars like other auto enthusiasts, but most important they are aware that they are keeping a tradition alive which began in the Mexican American barrios a long time ago. Low riding is about remembering. Remembering the pachucos who rode on the boulevard before you in the 's or celebrating the good times of cruising the boulevard in the present time. Lowriding also involves giving back to one's community, whether it be through activism or teaching the next generation of lowriders the skills of their ancestors. Just as the Aztecs have taught us about complex civilizations and spirituality, low riders teach us about the reality of urban life, the importance of family, and the need to continue a tradition that has its roots in the barrio. Family, honor, and respect are the key themes that anchor the tradition of community and continuity. Low riders are a perfect example of how the practice of everyday life creates art—an art that is full of life and stylized—a living a ritual that feed one's soul and the soul of the various barrios throughout Aztlan and beyond. Another important facet of lowriding is the connection which is made between people and it is these relationships which result in the many memories that low riders can hold dear to their hearts. It is a life long history of great people and great friends. When I asked Ernie Ruelas of the Dukes to tell me about the role the car club has played in his life he said: That is most important. Some other lowriders have had their lowriders longer than their own children. These men have a special relationship to their cars and to their clubs. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, 4 th Edition. Bright, Brenda Jo. Los Angeles Low Riders. Brenda Jo Bright and Liza Blackwell, Tucson , AZ: University of Arizona Press, El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement. Austin , TX: University of Texas Press, Cosgrove, Stuart. Oxford University Press, Autumn Darder, Antonia. Delgado, Monica and Van Wagenen, Michael. Low and Slow 16mm, 27 min. Dettleback, Cynthia. The Automobile in American Literature and. Popular Culture. Greenwood Press, DeWitt, John. Cool Cars, High Art: The Rise of Kustom Kulture. Press of Mississippi , Donnelly, Nora. Nora Donnelly, , Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art, Flink, James. The Car Culture. MIT Press, Ganahl, Pat. Hot Rods and Cool Customs. New York: Artabras, Geneat, Robert. Hot Rod Nights: Osceola , WI: Motorbooks International, Goldman, Shifra M. Chicano Murals of. California Chicano Murals , ed. Eva Sperling-Cockcroft, Albuquerque , NM: University of New Mexico Press, Grandante, William. Edward Abernathy, Natural History 9 Hall , Stuart. Stephen Duncombe, , New York: Verso, Questions of Cultural Identity , eds. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay. Sage Publications, Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Stuart Hall. Sage Publications, Hebdige, Dick. The Meaning of Style. Methuen and Co. Lipsitz, George. Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular. Minneapolis , MN: University of Minnesota Press, Lowrider Magazine June to January The Zoot Suit Riots: The Psychology of Symbolic Annihilation. Austin ,. Mendoza, Ruben. Lowriding in the Mexican. American Southwest. Latino Literatures and Cultures: Perspectives , eds. Francisco Lomeli and Karin Ikas, Munoz Jr. Youth, Identity, Power in the Chicano Movement. London , New York: Verso, , Ortiz Torres, Ruben. Plascencia, Luis. Cultural Symbols in the Mexican. Chicano Studies in the s , ed. Mario Garcia, Ypsilanti , MI: Bilingual Review Press, Rivera, Diego. My Art, My Life: An Autobiography. Dover Publications,. The Murals of Diego Rivera. Journeyman, Sanchez, George. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in. Chicano Los Angeles , .

Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And Latinas ass with lowriders men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women.

No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, Latinas ass with lowriders it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with Latinas ass with lowriders.

Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer!

Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr. They remembered how they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style.

They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:.

Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. Visit web page Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect.

If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car Latinas ass with lowriders that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy.

Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other Latinas ass with lowriders clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community.

The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, check this out as Latinas ass with lowriders hobby is not something women in their family should worry about.

It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending Latinas ass with lowriders paychecks Latinas ass with lowriders there.

But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids.

It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we Latinas ass with lowriders go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet Latinas ass with lowriders or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding.

Camsex Asian Watch Amateur crossdresser fucking wife porn Video Sex titt. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer! Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example of the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture. Today even commercials use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders. So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos. In the process though low riders have become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan. Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them. They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan. House of Low rider in Santa Ana is sending one low rider a week to Japan and of course the car everybody wants is a or Impala. Those are the most popular models and the style is especially good for hydraulic car hopping. The craze is full tilt and they even have their own Low Rider Magazine, Japanese style which means you read the magazine in reverse, and there is also a Japanese girl on the cover in the requisite bikini. I met Oishi at House of Low Rider the shop he opened up over five years ago and he made such an impression on me. He has such a passion for low riding that he moved his family from Japan over here so that he could open his own shop! And he has become one of the top exporters of low riders to Japan. He also has a lot of creative ideas on hydraulics and he taken awards for those innovations. Oishi is an example of how low riding crosses cultural borders and he is also part of keeping a tradition alive through his dedication to the art of low riding. According to his club:. His contribution to LA has been super clean cars that he is always changing. His chopped Cadillac is in the exhibit and what makes it stand out is his use of patent leather in the interior and on the convertible hard top. Oishi was the first guy to think of using patent leather in his low rider, and that is an example of how he thinks of innovative ideas to make his cars stand out from the rest of crowd. He basically represents all of the Asian race as far as a true low rider interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles , CA , 10 January So how has low riding impacted American culture? George Lipsitz in his book Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture believes lowriders are organic intellectuals or grassroots teachers who attempt to create historical blocs which challenge the dominant culture through subversion. The Media and the Image of Low Riding: Often the contemporary image of the low rider lifestyle is shaped through the popular perception of the media. A nice example came from my own college students who when asked how they could define a low rider, said that lowriders are a gang members or a "cholos". Then I gave them an article to read on low riding in Los Angeles and some of their initial perceptions changed. All of the men I interviewed for this project are hard working, family men. That is not say, that gang members do not lower their cars or try to pose as low riders as they cruise. But, the true low riders who belong to the well respected car clubs and who win trophies at most of the top car shows, are far removed from the gang reality. The relationship between the police and low riders has always been a tenuous one. There is long bitter history between police and Chicanos and low riders have often been the target of harassment. Also, the police also fuel the image of low riders as gang members in their harassment. Many low riders have related to me how they have been pulled over for the car they drive and how they are dressed. And the police usually do not find anything wrong such as guns or drugs in their cars, so they will write them a ticket for a hydraulics violation or for driving too slow. Some car clubs though have good relationship with the police and that is because the car clubs will not let any gang members or gang associates join their clubs. The top low rider clubs are usually not harassed by the police and some car clubs even have policemen in their membership. Also clubs like the Dukes or the Imperials have been around so long and have a good reputation that the police will not harass them. And some car clubs even have fund-raisers for the local police and some police departments even sponsor car shows, like the Azalea Festival in Southgate. Yet, cruising has always been a sore spot for police. Whittier Boulevard has never been the same after the famous riots in The potential for trouble since car clubs and gang members cruise the strip together also makes cruising unsafe in the eyes of many police. Cruising strips are always shut down and strictly controlled by law enforcement. In January of , Crenshaw Boulevard was shut down and low riders are ticketed for cruising or stopping. Yet, youth try to circumvent the police by trying to find another place to cruise, and then when the public complains enough, the police come in and shut that new strip down. So historically there has always been a strong relationship between the police and low riders and it will continue as long as there is trouble at car shows or cruising locales. And even within the Mexican American community itself, I am sure that you could find the same sentiment that low riders are gang members since not all Mexican Americans participate in the low riding scene. Yet, the media is definitely a keep component in shaping lowriding means within the United States and abroad. What the stories and the cars reveal is that these men are hard working Americans with steady jobs and who give back to the community by belonging to car clubs. They also have a voracious appetite for cars like other auto enthusiasts, but most important they are aware that they are keeping a tradition alive which began in the Mexican American barrios a long time ago. Low riding is about remembering. Remembering the pachucos who rode on the boulevard before you in the 's or celebrating the good times of cruising the boulevard in the present time. Lowriding also involves giving back to one's community, whether it be through activism or teaching the next generation of lowriders the skills of their ancestors. Just as the Aztecs have taught us about complex civilizations and spirituality, low riders teach us about the reality of urban life, the importance of family, and the need to continue a tradition that has its roots in the barrio. Family, honor, and respect are the key themes that anchor the tradition of community and continuity. Low riders are a perfect example of how the practice of everyday life creates art—an art that is full of life and stylized—a living a ritual that feed one's soul and the soul of the various barrios throughout Aztlan and beyond. Another important facet of lowriding is the connection which is made between people and it is these relationships which result in the many memories that low riders can hold dear to their hearts. It is a life long history of great people and great friends. When I asked Ernie Ruelas of the Dukes to tell me about the role the car club has played in his life he said: That is most important. Some other lowriders have had their lowriders longer than their own children. These men have a special relationship to their cars and to their clubs. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, 4 th Edition. Bright, Brenda Jo. Los Angeles Low Riders. Brenda Jo Bright and Liza Blackwell, Tucson , AZ: University of Arizona Press, El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement. Austin , TX: University of Texas Press, Cosgrove, Stuart. Oxford University Press, Autumn Darder, Antonia. Delgado, Monica and Van Wagenen, Michael. Low and Slow 16mm, 27 min. Dettleback, Cynthia. The Automobile in American Literature and. Popular Culture. Greenwood Press, DeWitt, John. Cool Cars, High Art: The Rise of Kustom Kulture. Press of Mississippi , Donnelly, Nora. Nora Donnelly, , Boston: According to the Dukes, their lowrider club is an extension of their family and that approach is one of the reasons for their longevity. In this manner, the car club is more than just cars; it has really family ties that are integral to the survival of the club. As the oldest brother Julio relates:. A car club is a family orientated thing. We are a whole family. It is a big family and you get them together. You can invite your cousins, your brothers, your daughters, your sons, your wife, your in-laws, grandparents, whoever. We will have barbecue or dances. The brothers are also acutely aware that lowriding is tied to Chicano culture and it is something that Chicanos should take pride in. They want the work that they do to have a positive effect on the Chicano community, especially Chicano youth. Fernando mentioned that the sole purpose to start the club was not to get a thousand members, but instead their main objective was to capture the youth and give them a positive alternative to gangs that might change their lives. They also share their own history growing up to also motivate youth to enter into positive activities in their communities. An example of this concern is when a documentary crew asked them to make a film on their car club, they did it only when the crew promised to make the documentary available to the schools, especially schools with young Chicanos. The Dukes are well known among Chicano youth that follow lowriding history and culture. I can only interject my own experience when I was at the Petersen Automotive Museum and a large group of Chicano youth surrounded the Dukes one Saturday afternoon, asking for their autographs and posing for pictures with them. The Dukes are a fine example of role models from the Chicano community and they also promote the positive effects of lowriding, which are often overlooked by the media. When asked if lowriding is a positive activity for Chicano youth to get involved in, Ernie Ruelas responds:. I think that it is real positive because it is bringing awareness and it is bringing Mexican people or Chicano people to work together and to let them know that is it not about doing combat with one another, but loving one another in building something that is in our blood already. Let them know how talented we are and let them know we also demand respect through our challenge and that kind of stuff. We must love each other more and be more aware of the good things rather than the violence and the fighting… Ernie Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 12 June The 38 th Street gang achieved mainstream recognition through the Sleepy Lagoon case of when 22 of their members where found guilty of crimes ranging from assault to first degree murder through an unfair and racist trial. Ironically, their cars would be featured in the movie premiere of the movie Zoot Suit that chronicled the Sleepy Lagoon case, again tying them to their own 38 th Street past. That aside, in their passion for cars won out over gang loyalty and they decided to form their own social club with Julio Ruelas as the first club president. The Dukes car club was born and the car club became an alternative to gang life—or la vida loca. Yet, this riff vanished as the Dukes car club brought honor and respect to their neighborhood. Respect and pride is a theme that runs through their family story. As Oscar Ruelas relates:. Julio Ruelas traces the beginning of low rider cars to the pachucos and the cars they drove as statements of their individuality within the Mexican American community. And this new car aesthetic was definitely Chicano since it had pride in our rich ancestry from Mexico and also had roots in American car culture. I always saw them in the s. Our colors we get them from our ancestors, the Aztecs. The color of feathers is the color of automobiles you see. In the late s a cultural renaissance was hitting Chicano barrios and low riders were part of that activity. Chicano Pride became the motto of the Chicano Movement and nowhere was that more evident than in the streets of East Los Angles. Whittier Boulevard was alive every weekend as the top cruising spot in Los Angeles , and the Dukes were an important part of that scene. Oscar was drafted in , followed by Ernie in and finally Fernando in Many of the lowrider clubs also lost members in that war and Fernando Ruelas thought it would be the end of lowriding. The Chicano Movement was also occurring during this time period, and anti-Vietnam War protests were also a part of the various social movements, which sought equity for Mexican Americans. Many activists argued that Chicanos were dying in disproportionate numbers in Vietnam see Rodolfo Acuna, Occupied America , , a sentiment that is echoed by the Dukes who lost many friends to the war. The Dukes survived this time period even though the car club was reduced to a handful of people in the early s, and the war could not stop the passion for lowriding. Therefore in Fernando Ruelas became President of the club, a title he holds till this day, and he is also responsible for the changes to come on the lowriding scene in the late s. The purpose of the association was to get car clubs to unite and do something positive within the Chicano community. This annual tradition continues to this day. It is their commitment to community activism that separates the Dukes from other car clubs. The Dukes have organized car shows to benefit the broader Chicano community from Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers to Mecha and other Chicano organizations to local prisons. As Fernando states:. We were raised poor and we know what it feels like to hungry and poor. At seven years of age I sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support my family. So, our car club stated donating time for fundraising to help the community…the community needs help and we are there to help any way we can Fernando Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, La Habra, CA, 10 June The Dukes were also pioneers in the low rider car show circuit. Between the years of and , the Dukes were featured at the Trident Car shows which later became the R. Canning Productions and were the only low rider club invited during the initial years because of the tensions between hot rodders and low riders within the car customizing scene. Unfortunately, low riders were given little respect if at all within the mainstream car customizing scene. But that would change. The Dukes also broke through many cultural barriers by being accepted by mainstream car magazines, such as Car Craft and Hot Rod Magazine. The Ruelas Brothers are able to promote their products—their cars—and they also take great pride in having made a name for themselves within the lowrider scene as car customizers who produce top quality work, again as a family unit. Ernie describes the legacy of the Dukes car club to the lowrider scene as follows:. I think that someone out there who is versed in old custom cars can work at one of our customs that we built and say right away, the Ruelas brothers built this. Because they know we were first in doing that style of car. I think that even now that is what it is all about. To me, I get off on being able to have the energy and the charisma and everything else and the knowledge of being able to build my stuff the way I want it right now…Here with this family that I am involved with is so talented, is so rich in talent. I am really blessed…I wish that we can be able to do more things together, like we used to when we were young though Ernie Ruelas, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 12 June Today, the Ruelas family still owns the shop and house that Uncle Tinker left them on the corner of Long Beach Ave and 41 st. Their shop is a family business that Fernando wants to keep in the family and he is grooming his sons and nephews to take over one day. They have had many offers to sell the property for big money since it is located right along the Alameda Corridor, but Fernando always refuses. He believes that is important that it stays in the family, even though some of the other brothers believe the money would be nice. And Jay and Ernie Jr. Ernie Jr. And also people think lowriding is a negative image like gang members and stuff. Just as the Ruelas brothers learned their customizing skills by working on bikes and go-carts, the younger generation of the Dukes received their schooling on customizing through also working on bikes. In , The Dukes started a bike chapter in order to get the youth involved. Just as the Ruelas brothers had to work for their money to customize as boys, the next generation of Dukes also had to work hard in order to buy the bikes and also to maintain their bikes. In the process, a love and passion for customizing was born later continued as they graduated to working on cars. The bike chapter is also a way in which the fathers could build relationships with their sons by working together to create a lowrider bike and also teach them to have respect and pride in the work they do. As Oscar Jr. I save my cans for I could make money so I could buy parts. I really like working with him [my dad] on my car. I really like watching my dad. The women in the Ruelas family also play a central role in the workings of the car club, although their roles may not be visible, their presence is still felt. And many of the men mention that they could not participate in the car club if not for the support and patience of their wives. Gloria remarks that the car club has been a positive influence for her sons in the documentary Low and Slow: And also, it costs a lot of money. They have to work to get their cars done. Since the car club is family orientated, the participation of the women is also important, and they too are at all the car shows. Over the years, the Dukes have built a solid reputation and have set the standards for other car clubs. The Ruelas Brothers developed the necessary skills in car customizing that would establish them as one of the top low rider car clubs for nearly forty years with thirty chapters nationally and even internationally. The Ruelas family is truly passionate about lowriding as a sport and as a way of life. But, it is their commitment to their East-side roots over the years, which speaks to the strength of the low riding tradition within Chicano communities. The Ruelas brothers exemplify the roots of lowriding which is anchored respect and family. Low riding is more than a name. The DeAlbas. I am not into baseball, so I am not going to join a baseball team. If I join a baseball team I have to dedicate myself to be at practice and all the games. It is the same thing with our car club, we take it that much to heart. Alberto DeAlba. The importance of family is key to many car clubs since it is the center of loyalty and unity in many Chicano families. Lowriding is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle choice that takes a lot of heart and hard work to be successful at the top competition levels. Yet, low riding is also about the relationship between fathers and sons. For example, a father teaching his son about the history and skills of a low riding becomes a time to share his own stories of cruising the boulevard and they also create new memories as the work on a car together. Then, hopefully one day his son will teach his own son and now grandson the skills of a beautiful tradition and the art of low riding. It is a passion that many families share. The DeAlba family of Montclair is another example of the family tradition of low riding. There are three sons, Mario Jr. It is a history which his sons know well and they now begin to teach their own sons. Mario Sr. Mario would notice that the jockeys were the ones who had the money and they would drive customized cars. Mario began by learning how to customize bikes at an early age, but the cars always turned his head. Mario recalls, "There was a lot of low riding down there [Tijuana, Mexico] He cut the suspension coils on it to lower it closer to the ground and he cruised the streets of Tijuana as a teenager. At eighteen he came to the states and settled in East Los Angeles. The year was , known as part of the golden years of cruising on Whittier Boulevard , and he would often join in the festivity of the performance by cruising that sacred boulevard. On Whittier Boulevard , I still remember like the cruising would start from Ford and go all the way, way past Atlantic. If somebody went up there to just get through, it would take the person an hour or so because of the cruisers. They are so slow but that is what everybody used to go for, just to be seen on the street and a lot of cars and people in the business parking lots and all that. It was like a car show on wheels. I have seen a couple of fights or two once in awhile. But that is normal when there is a lot of people. They come and go but nothing major, nothing…It was very nice. Like everybody mind their own business. Mario was also married that same year and after he returned from Vietnam , the family settled in Pomona and Mario worked in an auto repair shop. Mario then did not join a lowrider club for almost another ten years. In the s, lowriding came to shortstop for many car clubs, some of the reasons may be economic troubles of the Reagan-Bush years, but by the beginning of the s, lowriding was able to pick up again. He started with the bikes and eventually the boys would graduate to learning how to customize cars. Mario Jr. Their dad later bought them bikes, they would fix them up and their dad painted them. Once Mario Jr. The De Alba boys really enjoyed customizing and they learned the skills that have made them one of the top customizers on the low riding scene today. Lowriding to me would be a statement of my individuality. So when people are looking at it, they are also looking at you Albert DeAlba, interview by author, tape recording, Montclair, CA, 19 March It is this work ethic that their father taught them which they now apply to the cars they build and which is evidenced by the many trophies their car club Elite has earned in car shows throughout the years. It is this pride in their work that makes them feel good about their own self worth. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr. They remembered how they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style. They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:. Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. The Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example of a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people. USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. In , Kita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans. Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CA , was one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:. So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. In , Lowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership. The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. In , he joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves. So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid..

Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example https://sloppy.e-pc.work/video-2020-02-01.php a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people.

USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. InKita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided Latinas ass with lowriders start their own lowrider car club Latinas ass with lowriders the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans.

Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CAwas one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since Latinas ass with lowriders grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents.

He explains:. So that Latinas ass with lowriders how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move Latinas ass with lowriders, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid.

And it Latinas ass with lowriders be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. InLowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership.

The club speaks source the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked.

Inhe joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as Latinas ass with lowriders president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves.

So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, Latinas ass with lowriders just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals.

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To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, this web page are like the three groups you kick it with mostly.

You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States see more communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a Latinas ass with lowriders name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters.

They want positive people who have good attitudes Latinas ass with lowriders if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out.

Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly.

He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people Latinas ass with lowriders know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him.

It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one.

The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard Latinas ass with lowriders overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday.

Kita explains this fact. I just like tattoos. When everybody says Latinas ass with lowriders lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun.

That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are Latinas ass with lowriders to get smart with them, but you are Latinas ass with lowriders, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his Latinas ass with lowriders and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils.

He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and Latinas ass with lowriders also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels.

Latinas ass with lowriders now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding Latinas ass with lowriders according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do Latinas ass with lowriders and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding.

Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. Latinas ass with lowriders is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger.

And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs.

Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding Latinas ass with lowriders pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist.

There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is see more to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport see more lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, Latinas ass with lowriders does it every day Ibid.

The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family.

The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or Latinas ass with lowriders broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club.

Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Latinas ass with lowridersthey are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho.

It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their Latinas ass with lowriders speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs.

Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older Latinas ass with lowriders. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26,car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pmbut would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late.

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The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a Latinas ass with lowriders shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around.

The officers of the club stand Latinas ass with lowriders on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues.

pregnant hotwife Watch Amateur american teen nude Video Sex Girl25. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at the car show I was at knew it. Viva La Mujer! Popular culture has a fascination with low riders. Low riding has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style. Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example of the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture. Today even commercials use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders. So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos. In the process though low riders have become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan. Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them. They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan. House of Low rider in Santa Ana is sending one low rider a week to Japan and of course the car everybody wants is a or Impala. Those are the most popular models and the style is especially good for hydraulic car hopping. The craze is full tilt and they even have their own Low Rider Magazine, Japanese style which means you read the magazine in reverse, and there is also a Japanese girl on the cover in the requisite bikini. I met Oishi at House of Low Rider the shop he opened up over five years ago and he made such an impression on me. He has such a passion for low riding that he moved his family from Japan over here so that he could open his own shop! And he has become one of the top exporters of low riders to Japan. He also has a lot of creative ideas on hydraulics and he taken awards for those innovations. Oishi is an example of how low riding crosses cultural borders and he is also part of keeping a tradition alive through his dedication to the art of low riding. According to his club:. His contribution to LA has been super clean cars that he is always changing. His chopped Cadillac is in the exhibit and what makes it stand out is his use of patent leather in the interior and on the convertible hard top. Oishi was the first guy to think of using patent leather in his low rider, and that is an example of how he thinks of innovative ideas to make his cars stand out from the rest of crowd. He basically represents all of the Asian race as far as a true low rider interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles , CA , 10 January So how has low riding impacted American culture? George Lipsitz in his book Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture believes lowriders are organic intellectuals or grassroots teachers who attempt to create historical blocs which challenge the dominant culture through subversion. The Media and the Image of Low Riding: Often the contemporary image of the low rider lifestyle is shaped through the popular perception of the media. A nice example came from my own college students who when asked how they could define a low rider, said that lowriders are a gang members or a "cholos". Then I gave them an article to read on low riding in Los Angeles and some of their initial perceptions changed. All of the men I interviewed for this project are hard working, family men. That is not say, that gang members do not lower their cars or try to pose as low riders as they cruise. But, the true low riders who belong to the well respected car clubs and who win trophies at most of the top car shows, are far removed from the gang reality. The relationship between the police and low riders has always been a tenuous one. There is long bitter history between police and Chicanos and low riders have often been the target of harassment. Also, the police also fuel the image of low riders as gang members in their harassment. Many low riders have related to me how they have been pulled over for the car they drive and how they are dressed. And the police usually do not find anything wrong such as guns or drugs in their cars, so they will write them a ticket for a hydraulics violation or for driving too slow. Some car clubs though have good relationship with the police and that is because the car clubs will not let any gang members or gang associates join their clubs. The top low rider clubs are usually not harassed by the police and some car clubs even have policemen in their membership. Also clubs like the Dukes or the Imperials have been around so long and have a good reputation that the police will not harass them. And some car clubs even have fund-raisers for the local police and some police departments even sponsor car shows, like the Azalea Festival in Southgate. Yet, cruising has always been a sore spot for police. Whittier Boulevard has never been the same after the famous riots in The potential for trouble since car clubs and gang members cruise the strip together also makes cruising unsafe in the eyes of many police. Cruising strips are always shut down and strictly controlled by law enforcement. In January of , Crenshaw Boulevard was shut down and low riders are ticketed for cruising or stopping. Yet, youth try to circumvent the police by trying to find another place to cruise, and then when the public complains enough, the police come in and shut that new strip down. So historically there has always been a strong relationship between the police and low riders and it will continue as long as there is trouble at car shows or cruising locales. And even within the Mexican American community itself, I am sure that you could find the same sentiment that low riders are gang members since not all Mexican Americans participate in the low riding scene. Yet, the media is definitely a keep component in shaping lowriding means within the United States and abroad. What the stories and the cars reveal is that these men are hard working Americans with steady jobs and who give back to the community by belonging to car clubs. They also have a voracious appetite for cars like other auto enthusiasts, but most important they are aware that they are keeping a tradition alive which began in the Mexican American barrios a long time ago. Low riding is about remembering. Remembering the pachucos who rode on the boulevard before you in the 's or celebrating the good times of cruising the boulevard in the present time. Lowriding also involves giving back to one's community, whether it be through activism or teaching the next generation of lowriders the skills of their ancestors. Just as the Aztecs have taught us about complex civilizations and spirituality, low riders teach us about the reality of urban life, the importance of family, and the need to continue a tradition that has its roots in the barrio. Family, honor, and respect are the key themes that anchor the tradition of community and continuity. Low riders are a perfect example of how the practice of everyday life creates art—an art that is full of life and stylized—a living a ritual that feed one's soul and the soul of the various barrios throughout Aztlan and beyond. Another important facet of lowriding is the connection which is made between people and it is these relationships which result in the many memories that low riders can hold dear to their hearts. It is a life long history of great people and great friends. When I asked Ernie Ruelas of the Dukes to tell me about the role the car club has played in his life he said: That is most important. Some other lowriders have had their lowriders longer than their own children. These men have a special relationship to their cars and to their clubs. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, 4 th Edition. Bright, Brenda Jo. Los Angeles Low Riders. Brenda Jo Bright and Liza Blackwell, Tucson , AZ: University of Arizona Press, El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement. Austin , TX: University of Texas Press, Cosgrove, Stuart. Oxford University Press, Autumn Darder, Antonia. Delgado, Monica and Van Wagenen, Michael. Low and Slow 16mm, 27 min. Mario began by learning how to customize bikes at an early age, but the cars always turned his head. Mario recalls, "There was a lot of low riding down there [Tijuana, Mexico] He cut the suspension coils on it to lower it closer to the ground and he cruised the streets of Tijuana as a teenager. At eighteen he came to the states and settled in East Los Angeles. The year was , known as part of the golden years of cruising on Whittier Boulevard , and he would often join in the festivity of the performance by cruising that sacred boulevard. On Whittier Boulevard , I still remember like the cruising would start from Ford and go all the way, way past Atlantic. If somebody went up there to just get through, it would take the person an hour or so because of the cruisers. They are so slow but that is what everybody used to go for, just to be seen on the street and a lot of cars and people in the business parking lots and all that. It was like a car show on wheels. I have seen a couple of fights or two once in awhile. But that is normal when there is a lot of people. They come and go but nothing major, nothing…It was very nice. Like everybody mind their own business. Mario was also married that same year and after he returned from Vietnam , the family settled in Pomona and Mario worked in an auto repair shop. Mario then did not join a lowrider club for almost another ten years. In the s, lowriding came to shortstop for many car clubs, some of the reasons may be economic troubles of the Reagan-Bush years, but by the beginning of the s, lowriding was able to pick up again. He started with the bikes and eventually the boys would graduate to learning how to customize cars. Mario Jr. Their dad later bought them bikes, they would fix them up and their dad painted them. Once Mario Jr. The De Alba boys really enjoyed customizing and they learned the skills that have made them one of the top customizers on the low riding scene today. Lowriding to me would be a statement of my individuality. So when people are looking at it, they are also looking at you Albert DeAlba, interview by author, tape recording, Montclair, CA, 19 March It is this work ethic that their father taught them which they now apply to the cars they build and which is evidenced by the many trophies their car club Elite has earned in car shows throughout the years. It is this pride in their work that makes them feel good about their own self worth. You developed that. As Albert and Mario Jr. They remembered how they used to go to car shows when they were kids and they wanted a club that had a history and also had lowrider style. They had started out with customizing mini-trucks as teenagers, but the DeAlba brothers were now ready to begin customizing the more classic lowriders—Chevy Impalas and bombs. The DeAlba brothers wanted to be more focused on a professional level of low riding to create some of the best cars on the streets and in the show circuit. So these two principles of professionalism and fantastic lowriders would shape the direction of the re-born Elite car club in When asked what are the requirements that club members must follow Albert explains:. Well we tell people, like all our membership is based on friends and friends of friends—we put people through a 3-month trial phase, a probation period. We want pure positive, more family orientated, grown up people Ibid. The Elite car club ranges in age from 19 to 54 years old and is focused on representing low riding at its most positive level, so cars that fly the Elite flag must do so with honor and respect. If a car member is out on the streets and gets in trouble, that comes back to reflect on the car club. Since cruising has been outlawed, one of the main places to display your lowrider is at car shows and car club picnics. This statement is a warning to gang members and also car clubs that like to start problems over losing awards or car hopping contests as a result of competitive jealousy. Albert believes that club picnics are part of the future of low riding since it offers the best solution to cruising, and the various car picnics are open to other car clubs to attend. Most important though is that these car picnics are family orientated and a time to celebrate the tradition of lowriding on a Sunday afternoon in the park, which is a tradition in many barrios throughout Los Angeles. For the DeAlba family, lowriding has brought them together and this family is another testament to the positive-ness of lowriding within the Chicano community. The DeAlba men also have the full support of the women in their family and according to Albert, lowriding as a hobby is not something women in their family should worry about. It is also something that Albert is sharing with his young son, Albert Jr, and his son now shares in his passion and enthusiasm for lowriding. Albert relates:. Like my mom, my wife, they know where we are at. We are not at nude bars spending our paychecks out there. But like my dad says, lowriding is good, clean wholesome fun. It is a deep hobby. It has brought our family close. We go to the shows. Like I told you earlier, my son, Albert Jr. He got to meet the Alberto Lopez who is the old owner of the magazine. The day he met him he was acting like he met Michael Jackson…. And, I have even seen it in our club, the members pick up their cars, and now the parents come to the shows, their wives and kids. It is a family thing. That way you are closer to your family. It is not only a thing for guys. When we were younger, we would go cruising, and you would go to the cruise spots to meet girls or whatever, but as you mature, you grow out of that Ibid. A Caravan of Love: The Evolution of Lowriding. Some of the members have been in other clubs before and never felt as if they belonged, but in Uso, as brothers, we all belong to each other. USO is an example of a car club that started in the 's with a multi-cultural perspective on cars and people. USO in fact translates to "brother" in the Samoan language and the club definitely has a created a brotherhood across racial lines. The club also speaks to how lowriding has evolved from being Chicano specific to one in which the passion for cars is viewed as a more important requirement for club membership. In , Kita Lealao and his friends, who are of Samoan ancestry, decided to start their own lowrider car club in the city of Carson where they lived, which is a city that has a mixed population of Samoans, Chicanos and African Americans. Kita, who has been low riding over twenty years both in Northern California and Southern CA , was one of the few Samoans in low riding in the late s. He is comfortable in multicultural settings since he grew up in neighborhoods with primarily Chicano and African American residents. He explains:. So that this how I learned a lot of the culture. We grew up with Blacks too. When you come from different countries like the Samoan people do, the only places we can afford to live in and start our families is in the ghetto. You know as you move along, you get upgraded as you go along, and find a better job, you make a little bit of money and move to a better neighborhood just to better your family Ibid. And it would be the Chicanos and the African Americans who first introduced him to the low riding scene. In , Lowrider Magazine named USO Lowrider car club of the year and they have the added distinction of being the youngest car club to win this prestigious title. Uso is an example of a new breed of low riders who are multicultural and diverse in membership. The club speaks to the transformation of low rider culture and also is an example of multiculturalism in practice. Yet, they are also representative of the central tenets of the lowriding practice which are pride, respect, and family. Kita Lealao is 42 years old and he was born and raised in the Bay Area. As a young kid of 9 years old, he remembers visiting his relatives in Los Angeles and seeing lowriders for the first time and he was soon hooked. In , he joined his first car club, Low Creations, based in San Francisco and they were the biggest lowrider car club on the scene at that time. They were also a mixed car club with an African American as club president. They just come from different towns Ibid. He remembers that every weekend the streets in Northern California were filled to capacity with people and everyone was getting along and just enjoying themselves. So, they instead decided to open the club to every race. As he tells it, they did not care what ethnicity a person was, they just wanted some one who had a lowrider style vehicle and who had a positive attitude. That is the way we judge people in our car club Ibid. Again it is the passion for lowriding which is key to membership. Kita explains:. After all, if we were going to be a success, it would be as a club and that meant that everybody would have to contribute and help each other to achieve their goals. To me, a car club is like a second family. You have your immediate and then you have them. Besides your job, those are like the three groups you kick it with mostly. You know what I mean. Myself, I like it because it is something that a bunch of guys, even their women, that we all like to do together…. Another innovative way they communicate is that they have their own telephone code of so they all the USO members in the United States can communicate with one another. In six years, they were able to have a respectable name for themselves on the lowrider circuit and they also established club chapters. They want positive people who have good attitudes and if they are affiliated with any gangs, then that person need not apply. Another similar trait that USO has with other lowrider clubs is their belief in being role models for young kids. Kita even equates his club to college and the members then are the professors teaching the kids the right way of doing of things in life in order to stay out of trouble. It is this dedication to the younger generation by being good role models that makes USO stand out. Believe it or not, I look at USO as more like a college. Almost everyone you talk to on the lowrider circuit knows Kita and speaks of him highly. He is well liked and is also very respected from an older club like the Dukes to a highly competitive one like Lifestyle. Some common words heard to describe Kita are nice guy, big teddy bear, and family man. Those are people who know him and have interacted with him, but Kita also has to deal with being stereotyped by how he looks by those who do not know him. It is easy to take one look at him and jump to all the wrong conclusions. Yet, the real story could not be farther from truth and is an example of how stereotyping can be damaging to a person and mislead those outside of lowriding what the culture is really about. He is wonderful human being. And he is an example of the reality that just because a person has a lowrider and tattoos does not mean the person is a gangster or ever was one. The connection between lowriding and gang banging is one that is hard to overcome, because it obscures the fact that many of the lowriders are hard working guys with families and respectable jobs. It is still easy to criminalize lowriders, which is a reality that many of them face everyday. Kita explains this fact,. I just like tattoos. When everybody says that lowriding is associated with gang banging and stuff like that, I would tell them about just the lifestyle, having a nice car and I have worked for TWA for twenty years. You can keep a job, keep a car and still have fun. That is what I mean, having fun is the bottom line Ibid. He also says that the sheriffs talked down to him and cussed him out just because they found nothing wrong and were trying to provoke him so that they could arrest him. Not as severe. I am talking about severe means just like verbally abusing you. If they think you are trying to get smart with them, but you are not, you are just trying to utilize your rights. Kita also keeps the lowriding tradition by passing along his knowledge to his children and he admits that his daughters who are eighteen and nineteen are the best pupils. He says that they can tell a difference between all the different styles of Impalas and they also know the year and makes of lowrider cars. Kita says all his children can look inside a trunk and tell you what kind of hydraulic set up it is, to what kind of paint job a car has, to basic things such as what type of rims are on the wheels. And now, even his grandkids also are learning what lowriding is about. It is very rare for a Samoan family to have lowriding roots according to Kita. Lowriding in the case of the Lealao family is something that they can do together and at very car show, the whole family is there in support of lowriding. Kita best describes the energy that lowriding has for him when he says: The sport. That is what I love about low riding. It is always exciting Ibid. The excitement of lowriding is something that continues to grow stronger. And as lowriding has evolved through the years, it has changed, and this is mainly due to the increase of low rider car clubs, especially multicultural car clubs. Not all car clubs have strict requirements for membership, such as a specific type of cars or even ethnic ties, but some car clubs are social clubs based on a passion for lowriding. And I believe that is an accurate description. Uso also lives the social codes of the lowriding of pride, respect and family, albeit with a multicultural twist. There is nothing in the like expressing yourself and your ideas on a lowrider that you have so much love for. USO is proud to be part of that. That way, all of us can spend more time enjoying the sport of lowriding that we live and love and less time with problems among the people. While other clubs talk about being together, USO does it every day Ibid. The less I tell the family, the better off I am. There are many lowrider clubs that depart somewhat from the structure of the incorporating the family into lowrider club life, and instead are focused on the passion for the cars as a purely masculine activity that sometimes must come before the family. The commitment they make to the club is a primary one, and many of them therefore are divorced or have broken relationships with women and even their children. The particular car club that I am examining here is called Lifestyle and the name captures the philosophy of the men in the club. Lowriding is the lifestyle they choose, and they live it in its fullest extent with pride and respect for their craft, with one exception, family is often a sacrifice that one has to make in order to belong to the club. When a man chooses to join Lifestyle , they are joining a club that must come first in their lives and the loyalty they have to one another creates bonds that are displayed through behaviors that one can accurately portray as being macho. It was one of the few instances in my research process that my role as a woman placed me in a disadvantage and I had to prove myself to them through various masculinity strategies that were employed against me. Women are conspicuously absent at all club activities and that is the way they like it. Lifestyle car club is a perfect example of how lowriding at its most basic level is an expression of masculinity, though some clubs display it in a less forceful level than others, and their existence speaks to the diverse politics involved in lowrider clubs. Also, this section allows the reader the chance to understand the inner workings of car club meetings, which can range from an expressions of male bravado to the mentoring of younger members of the veteranos—the older generation. My first interaction with Lifestyle car club came at a club meeting on February 26, , car club meetings are usually held every other Friday in an auto-body shop in Santa Fe Springs. The car meeting was supposed to start at 9 pm , but would start late because the President of the car club, Joe Ray, was running late. The meeting started around 9: I noticed that most of them were in their early 20s to their early 30s and there were about 40 or so guys. All of them were Chicano, except for two Japanese guys. The car cub sits in a make shift circle, some find chairs or boxes to sit on and other just stand around. The officers of the club stand together on one side of the circle. And Joe Ray stands in the front. The club meeting then officially started by taking roll and collecting dues. The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings. I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted into the car club together. These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers. The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they showed only thirty cars. Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are the best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks he walks around and looks at every car club member. He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses. This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into elaborate stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters. I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at the moment are 35 cars that are competition ready and 15 cars that are not. That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final say on what the member does to the car. The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them. Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think about why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no interest. You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw in the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride. Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation. He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now time for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it. He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms. One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems and okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious. This was not a laughing matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming to the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club. He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars. I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Put it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion. It is something we will always do Lowrider Magazine , August , For Lifestyle , it is about dedicating your life to the club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on the lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars. Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club. The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men. The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time. It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be identified with Mexican American youth. Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular culture and reach mainstream audiences in America. Yet, this Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs. The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system. The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as un-American and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms. An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's and s. The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present. The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Pachucos. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio. To see and be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest. Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals, , pg. Chicano art at its basic definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico. Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which was the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for their civil rights whether it was in the work place, school, or local communities. Chicanos began to create changes and bring equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists. And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's. According to his research graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting their names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that. It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles. And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in the late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which was different from that which hung on museum walls. It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Zapata, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride. Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals. The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride. Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant society. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants. As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico city , Los Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside in the United States. The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers of America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco and low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals. Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car as part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme for the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The artists used various art forms such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with flaming jalapeno peppers on its sides. It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in Glendale , California. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East LA community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career. This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life in his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Mexicanos shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio of East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano art had to come from Chicano culture. There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with disdain and as gang affiliated. He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car. He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts of hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition of the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored in the experience of everyday life. Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to American culture that today has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany. It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones dreams and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos. People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars as their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life. Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who with very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist. Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are special works of art because they are a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist. It is meant to accent the car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years. Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for the new generation of low rider artists. Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene. According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid. Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two artists on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity. He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form. They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art. It is their passion for art that contributes to the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos. The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally. It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Magazin e has played a key role in shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle. As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Rider Magazine LRM. And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders. This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Low Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities. When the magazine first came out in , many readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world telling everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that! LRM, May We appreciate the hard work you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Chicano what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality. These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine. LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and women and the women were fully clothed. But in , the clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Low Rider Super Show in Los Angeles. Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters of both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests. The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Alberto Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next you in your ride. As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space. Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, and it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM. Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car shows or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars. Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is another reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of how her image is used. To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model. Dazza would buy a booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are like my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet me, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to associate with them. It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them. As she says;. That is why women will always be a part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she symbolizes beauty, strength and the will to create Ibid. Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and one youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike. Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latina , it is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on hot rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on the low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of her image and manages how that image is used. She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding. And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is hard to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident. Women often do support their men who are in low rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money. The women are a support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club affiliated..

The dues are five dollars a meeting and you get fined for being late, and a guy can even be placed on probation for habitually being late to club meetings.

I asked Joe Rodriguez, the secretary of the club, as dues were being collected if everyone at the meeting has their own car and he yes. They have one car and they were voted Black guy on wife the car club together.

These men are typically in their late 40s and early 50s and have been in lowriding for along time, so they have special status. There is a definite generation gap in the club between younger men and the old timers.

The club celebrated their 25the anniversary in the year and Joe Ray, the president, was with the club since the beginning. After roll and the dues are collected, Joe Ray then begins to preach to his young audience, which is something he does a lot during this meeting. He tells the club that he is ashamed at the club presence in the last car show in Arizona were they Latinas ass with lowriders only thirty cars.

Apparently, some of the guys in the club have been in the process of building their cars forever and Joe Ray said that this is unacceptable. He says the club is about competition, not only among car members but also about having cars that are competition ready and cars that are Latinas ass with lowriders best ones out there. Joe Ray speaks in a tough manner and as he talks Latinas ass with lowriders walks around and looks at every car club member.

He is very dramatic and energetic in getting his point across and everyone is listening and watching him. Joe Ray says that he wants the guys to be short and sweet on their updates, and he wants no excuses.

This though would end up being the longest part of the meeting as the guys get into Latinas ass with lowriders stories as to why their cars are not done and the rest of the club gives their opinion on the matters.

I guess from this process that certain members have a history of giving sob stories and making excuses to why certain things are not done on their cars. And then there a few members who are in the club that have not even built a lowrider yet. Joe Rodriguez mentioned to me that in the car club at Latinas ass with lowriders moment are 35 cars Latinas ass with lowriders are competition ready and Latinas ass with lowriders cars that are not.

That means that those 15 members cannot fly the club colors or the club plaque on their car. Also all the cars are classic lowriders such as Impalas, Riveras or other Chevy cars, and there are even Cadillacs, but basically no car after He said that the club has certain standards for modifications to the cars and the car committee does have the final Latinas ass with lowriders on what the member does to the car.

The car committee also challenges certain members to finish the work on his car and also tries to motivate them.

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Joe Ray tells him that he needs to think https://desperate.e-pc.work/blog-m-fuq-com-xxx.php why he got into the car club in the first place because so far he has done nothing to his car and he appears to have no Latinas ass with lowriders.

You need to look at yourself and your whole life and ask yourself that question. You build the car yourself and you got into the car club yourself. Get off your butt and do the car or throw Latinas ass with lowriders the towel and get of club because at the moment, you are doing nothing. You get respect for being in the club, having your Lifestyle plaque and also for having a nice ride.

Finally, the wrapping up of the meeting was supposed to start, now it was about Joe Ray mentioned that if any member is late to the Azalea Festival that they would be fined or swatted. Swatting is something that I would experience first hand in a few minutes, but Joe Ray continues to try to motivate his members. He also mentions the importance of grooming future leadership in the younger generation.

He says that he used to be a lot stricter with the club, but he is mellowing out in his old age. It was now read article for the swatting to begin. The Sergeant of Arms a young Chicano in his 20s steps forward carrying a large black wooden paddle with the name Lifestyle etched on it.

He says that he is going to go through the list of members who need to pay their fines and be swatted. There are three members who are swatted during this meeting. It works something like this; the guy being punished walks to the center of the car club circle, bends over and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms.

One guy tries to negotiate his way out the swat, he said the club knew he was having money problems Latinas ass with lowriders okayed the fact that he would be late with the money he owes. So, the guy has to bend over and get his smack. As this was happening, I was trying hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ritual, that reminded me of something that frat boys do, but I had to suppress it since everyone was so serious.

This was not a Latinas ass with lowriders matter to the guys in Lifestyle. Joe Ray thanked us for coming Latinas ass with lowriders the meeting and then asked me to notice that there are few wedding bands on the guys which means it is hard to have relationships with women and also be in a car club.

He also told me that many of the guys are divorced because of their dedication to the club. Also, that the dedication is so fierce that their wallets are thin from putting so much money into their cars.

I am reminded of something that the artist Mr. Latinas ass with lowriders it this way, we pay the chrome bill before we pay the phone bill. So for most of us here, lowriding is our passion.

Latinas ass with lowriders

It is something we will always do Lowrider MagazineAugust For Lifestyleit is about dedicating your life to Latinas ass with lowriders club and to having your cars at a competitive level. They only have one chapter because they want to control the way they perceived on Latinas ass with lowriders lowrider scene. And their cars are some the best lowriders I have seen. They are also one of the most respected lowrider clubs on the customizing scene and they have a lot of prize-winning cars.

Yet this club, and there are other clubs out there like them, does not integrate family into the car club.

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The car club comes first and family second, therefore a member must be willing to sacrifice their family or have a family that is very understanding. Joe Ray can be overly dramatic, but his own life experience with the club has cost him a lot. Pachucos and Lowriders. El Pachuco: Man or Myth? The zoot suiters were an affront to the war time style of dress when more conservative suits were the style due to fabric rationing during the war, as well as short hair cuts by men, especially military men.

The Pachucos wore a baggy suit with a high waisted trousers, a wide brim hat, and a long gold watch chain. In addition, they wore their hair a bit longer than was the style of the time.

It is style that flagrantly visualized extravagance and excess in a time in American when minimalism was favored due to the war. The zoot suit style was favored by some African American and Flipino youth, yet the style came to be more info Latinas ass with lowriders Mexican American youth.

Therefore, this style reflected a stance of resistance or an attempt to mark out a different space in American society. For the Pachucos, the zoot suit was definitely not the traditional Mexican style of their parents, and at the same time it was also different from other American youth. But, the zoot suit is every part American, just like the low riders, which are also American cars. Both styles would eventually invade popular Latinas ass with lowriders and reach mainstream audiences in America.

Yet, Latinas ass with lowriders Pachuco identity is still very much alive within Chicano culture as a symbol of resistance. He writes: Even his very name is enigmatic: Therefore, the Pachuco style was one which stood out and it can also be seen as a site of resistance in the fact pachucos would be the target in the Sleepy Lagoon case of and the Zoot Suit Riots of The former was a case when the media and law enforcement publicly criminalized pachucos. The chief of police even said that Chicanos were expected to violent since they descended from the Aztecs.

The case was eventually overturned, yet it was a landmark case for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles in that it revealed the racism of the American Justice system.

The servicemen would beat up the pachucos, tear off their zoot suits, and even cut their long hair. The servicemen saw the pachucos as Latinas ass with lowriders and draft dodgers, and the beatings represented a way of re-establishing order. Both these instances reflect the disdain that the broader society had for the pachuco. The way the past continues to live the present and how the present in turn is used to make sense of the future is a quality shared by many pop cultural forms.

An example would be how Low Rider Magazine during the late 's encouraged its readers to send in pictures of their parents and grandparents during the Pachuco era of the 's check this out s.

The readers responded enthusiastically by sending in their pictures of both men and women dressed in Zoot suits which created a collectivity within the low rider culture by linking the past to the present.

The magazine made a political move to link the low rider "movement" to a time in the past in which an alternative space was carved out to celebrate being Mexican American. It also demonstrated how Chicanos of one generation admired the Chicanos of an earlier generationThe Latinas ass with lowriders. The pachuco through his dress, language, and style embodied a meaning of resistance, just like that of a low rider who chooses to drive his car low to the ground. The pachucos existed between both their American and Mexican identities in a space defined by the working class roots of the barrio.

To see Latinas ass with lowriders be seen, a visible marker of difference, yet sameness by creating a communityof pachucos and eventually low riders. Both subcultures within Mexican American communities are a sign of youth attempting to make a new identity for themselves, and in the process the pachuco and the low rider have become symbols of Chicano culture. But, the pachuco is the beginning of a Chicano identity rooted in rebellion and resistance. A myth does not create such an impact like the pachuco has within Chicano communities, their spirit of resistance is still alive in many barrios across the Southwest.

Que viva la pachucada! El Arte Chicanoan art for and of the people. California Chicano Murals,pg. Chicano art at its Latinas ass with lowriders definition is something that is tied to the everyday reality of Chicanos, whether it be in the barrios of Los Angeles or the deserts of New Mexico.

Chicano art was born during the Chicano Movement which Latinas ass with lowriders the civil rights movement for Mexican Americans during the 's and s. Chicanos began to fight for Latinas ass with lowriders civil rights whether it was in the Latinas ass with lowriders place, school, or local communities.

Chicanos began to create changes and Latinas ass with lowriders equality to their own communities through the belief in self-determination and self-empowerment. Pachucos were the first Chicano freedom fighters who began to create a different identity and community for themselves through a visual medium—they were also the first Chicano artists.

And Chicano visual artists have always been present in the barrio especially during social movements since art is the method which fuels the inherent rage, passion, and resistance. Chicano graffiti for example expressed the rage of Chicano youth and it was also tied to the reality of the streets and barrios which they inhabited. Graffiti was also a precursor and even a foundation of the Chicano mural movement of the late 's.

According to his Latinas ass with lowriders graffiti or tagging started around the s in Los Angeles when shoeshine boys would mark a corner by painting Latinas ass with lowriders names. The Pachucos continued the tradition of marking their space, and they used the Old English style of writing to mark their neighborhoods. There has always existed a struggle for an identity for the Chicano and marking out a space in society is very important. For these youth, what they could claim was the streets or their neighborhood, and graffiti was a part of that.

It was the first truly Chicano art on the walls of the barrios of Los Angeles.

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And eventually Chicano murals would also be added to those walls during the late 's early s. Art whether on walls or cars became a way of expressing Chicano cultural pride and even rage, and it is a tradition which has continued until today. The seizure of open space for Chicano murals in Latinas ass with lowriders late s and early s drew from their graffiti art predecessors. Walls within Chicano barrios provided the canvas to express an art which Latinas ass with lowriders different from that which hung on museum walls.

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It was art for the masses--to be seen by the community. Chicano art spoke in a language that Chicano communities could understand and used symbols like the Virgen de Guadalupe, Emiliano Latinas ass with lowriders, and the Aztecs to create a source of cultural pride.

Murals were and are also a way of teaching Chicano history and many murals told the story of conquest and struggle in the United States. Today their work and the work of other Chicano artists is still evidenced in over 2, California Murals.

The Chicano mural movement was community based and the community decided what they wanted on the walls--they reclaimed their cultural heritage. And artists were key to the Chicano movement as they are in almost every revolution. Therefore murals were painted all over the barrios and became a way of social commentary as well as a celebration of cultural pride.

Chicano Public art was political and was able to express a collective vision which was often overlooked by the dominant Latinas ass with lowriders. Financial support for the murals usually came from grass roots sources and government grants.

As home to the largest concentration of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry anywhere outside of Mexico cityLos Angeles became the site of the largest concentration of Chicano murals outside Latinas ass with lowriders the United States.

The aesthetic of Chicano art was a blending of both Mexican and American cultures and would use religious symbols to indigenous motifs. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Also issues which affected the Chicano community could also be addressed within the murals such as gang warfare, education, police brutality, and the struggle of farm workers with the boycotts of the United Farm workers Latinas ass with lowriders America UFW. Urban cultural symbols such as the pachuco continue reading low rider were also favorite motifs used in murals.

Chicano art incorporated both the histories from Mexico and the United States to visually create a vision of the past, present and future. Yet at the core was a barrio sensibility that cannot be denied. He celebrates the imagery of the low rider lifestyle as well as includes the car Latinas ass with lowriders part of Chicano art, a position that was not always recognized in the s. He most recently employed the car as a theme here the newest station of the Los Angeles subway system at the intersection Latinas ass with lowriders Hollywood and Vine.

The artists Latinas ass with lowriders various art Latinas ass with lowriders such as graffiti and Chicano icons, to define the conceptual understanding of Chicano art grounded in the everyday life experience of Chicanos. The two-door sedan became the canvas on which to create a mobile Chicano mural with https://urethra.e-pc.work/web-2020-01-10.php jalapeno peppers on its sides.

It is a piece that has toured museums nationally and is often a regular at car customs shows like the Blessing of the Cars in GlendaleCalifornia. He is an important cultural worker and artist and it is important to understand how he views low riders as part of the cultural milieu of Chicano art. As a veterano of the Chicano Movement he has helped set the tone that other Chicano artists have followed and expanded upon in the area of low rider arte. When he returned from the service in the early s he entered East Latinas ass with lowriders community college and it was there where he first considered being an artist as a career.

This belief grounded his idea of Chicano art since it mean looking at the everyday life Latinas ass with lowriders his community, such as looking at the art of Mexican sweet breads or how Just click for source shaped their gardens. There was art all around him in the barrio Latinas ass with lowriders East Los Angeles as he looked at all the visual motifs which surrounded him. Magu instinctively knew that Chicano Latinas ass with lowriders had to come from Chicano culture.

There was difficulty in the beginning of trying to define low riders as art since there were biases both inside and outside the Chicano community. In the art world at this time, cars were not considered art forms and even in the barrios, some Chicanos and Mexicanos looked at low riders with source and as gang affiliated.

He began doing lectures on how low riders, the pachucos, the zoot suit, and graffiti were Chicano cultural productswhich is the basis of Chicano art. He also sought to bridge the cultural gap between looking at low riders and hot rods. Magu told me how he looked at Physics and discovered that the hottest part of a flame was the tip, thus he choose to paint jalapeno chiles as the tips of his hot rod flames on his custom car.

He feels along with many of the low rider veteranos I spoke to that most historical accounts click here hot rods do not include the influence of low riders and that reflects cultural bias. Yet, today there is more recognition Latinas ass with lowriders the two cultures fueling each other within the car custom scene. Basically, low riders were an art object for Magu which defined the spirit of Chicano art which is anchored Latinas ass with lowriders the experience of everyday life.

Chicanos began to recognize the intrinsic value of the car and he sees the evolution of the acceptance of low riders as art as a personal reward which makes his heart swell with pride. We Chicano-ized it Ibid. As such, Chicanos have contributed something to Latinas ass with lowriders culture that click has been recognized worldwide in places like Japan and Germany.

It is the social and cultural impact of low riding as an art form which today speaks to the need for cultural identifiers among Chicano youth. Low riders are part of Chicano aesthetics created by Chicanos and also speaks to their positionality within America. The cars become the canvas on which to represent oneself and ones see more and hopes for the future, most especially, they call on society to look Chicanos.

People are looking. We use the car as the opportunity to show off our best. It is our aesthetics Ibid. Low Rider Arte. There are a new breed of Chicano artists concentrating on using cars Latinas ass with lowriders their canvas to create art and their style shares the history of Chicano murals, but also creates a new Chicano art anchored in contemporary urban life.

Two of the best on the scene are Abel Izaguirre and Mr. He is a natural artist, who Latinas ass with lowriders very little formal art training, has become one of the top low rider car muralists. At age 12, he first received money for his art and was published and it was then that he realized that he could make a career as an artist.

Cartoon admits that as a youth he concentrated on graffiti art, which is a passion he still has, but airbrushed his first car mural at age 19 and a legend was born. Car murals are Latinas ass with lowriders works of art because they click a canvas which is mobileworks of art that use the streets as their exhibition space--and also a calling card for the artist.

It is meant to accent Latinas ass with lowriders car, to make you remember the car Ibid. He often places his murals in places that are hidden to the observer such as in the door jams of the car or on the walls behind the engine. Murals can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to 20, and according to Cartoon it just depends on how elaborate the car owner wants to get. His artwork is nationally and internationally known since he has also worked in Japan steadily over the years.

Since the Japanese like the Chicano style of low riders, they also want Chicano murals on their cars with Chicano girls and other Chicano symbols. Cartoon also designs for the Joker clothing line. He is an artist who dabbles in many mediums to express his passion. Most importantly, kids are copying his art and he is also an inspiration for read more new generation of low rider artists.

Cartoon is part of the new breed of Chicano artists which have developed a style of their own and have made an exciting mark on the low riding art scene.

According to Cartoon:. I am proud to be involved in something that is going to outlive me. I think that is the goal of everybody in life, be it if you are a teacher or whatever, to be involved in something that can never die Ibid.

Abel Izaguirre. They are definitely the top two Latinas ass with lowriders on the low riding scene. Abel like Cartoon taught himself how to airbrush and found a niche in muraling in which he could express identity.

He also has some of the same teachers in Mike Pickle, Tramp, and Russ. Abel is also a graphic artist who can create quality designs on the computers and he also designs low rider theme t-shirts. He is humble about his work and is very dedicated to his family. His talents have taken him across the United States and he has also gone to Japan. One look at his art and you can see why he is a legend at the young age of Chicano art has always been grounded in the everyday experience and Chicano artists have been at the forefront using cultural icons such as the low rider to bring recognition to the car as an art form.

They also began the process of defining Chicano art, as well as visually documenting the history of being both Mexican and American. All three artists are examples of the evolution of Chicano art and they have worked for the recognition of the low rider as art.

It is their passion for art that contributes source the understanding as the low riders as more than just metal, but a living reflection of the hopes and dreams of many Chicanos.

The low rider is an emblem or badge of Chicano culture which continues to evolve with each generation, and the art and style of the low rider is now recognized both nationally and internationally.

It has gone far beyond the dreams of Chicano artists in the s, and will definitely continue to grow as we approach the new millennium. Who knows what the future of the low rider holds Low Rider Magazine. Low Rider Latinas ass with lowriders e has played a key role Latinas ass with lowriders shaping and marketing of low riding while also creating a contemporary image of the lowrider lifestyle.

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As the editors of the magazine boast on the website http: Criticized as a gang magazine, simply because of its Chicano character, looked down on by the mainstream press as an amateur effort, Low Rider has cruised to the top. As an expressive form, low riding was appropriated and transformed into a commodity over time through the magazine. As a cultural practice, participants of low rider culture share a "collectivity" that is mediated through Low Latinas ass with lowriders Magazine LRM.

And what does Low Rider Magazine say about its own history? The following is the mission statement of the magazine at the early stage:. The popular image of what la Chicanada is has yet to be televised, written or published. The United States and the world has yet to discover the gente called Chicanos, especially the younger generation known as Chicanos http: The web site details how the founders had to market their magazine since at first it was seen as a gang magazine and not all Chicanos wanted to be associated with low riders.

This speaks to the generational differences within many Mexican American barrios and also that lowriders may also be seen as a negative influence within their own communities, much like the days of the Pachucos in the s. So, Latinas ass with lowriders Rider magazine was in English and used barrio slang which in turn was foreign to many Mexicanos who lived in traditional Spanish speaking communities.

When the Latinas ass with lowriders first came out inmany readers responded enthusiastically to the creation of a cultural space which spoke to many Chicanos and Chicano cultural pride was echoed in many of the letters to the editor. Two examples are:. You manage to capture the dignity and street culture of La Raza Nueva, at the same time, making a political statement to the straight world Latinas ass with lowriders everybody who seeks to enslave us "TOMA" [take that!

LRM, May We appreciate the hard Latinas ass with lowriders you are doing in the Low Rider Magazine. It really brings our the essentials that make the Continue reading what he is today, his ideas, heritage, pride, courage, motivations, and personality.

These essentials that were lost or misplaced are being brought back to awareness in your magazine.

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LRM, October Up until then, the covers of the magazine had both men and Latinas ass with lowriders and the women were fully clothed. But inthe clothes came off and a dialogue ensued for almost twenty years between the readers and the magazine editors. The first cover girl in was named Mona and she posed in a white bikini to promote the first ever Source Rider Super Show in Los Angeles.

Apparently, the outrage was so great that she was kicked out of Catholic school could she have been under age? More importantly, the magazine started receiving letters Latinas ass with lowriders both criticism and support. The web site details: Even the guys in the car clubs would get upset. Therefore, bikini clad models served market interests.

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The first phase of the magazine came to an end in because of funding problems. The second phase began in and continues to today. Latinas ass with lowriders Lopez says: Even though it is a primarily a male culture, women have always played a role. Young men will readily admit that they build cars to attract women since who doesn't want a fine Jaina woman sitting next go here in your ride.

As one low rider mentioned, "If it wasn't for the girls backing us, we wouldn't build the cars". Cartoon adds to this sentiment that women are the motivation for a guys building lowriders. He says:. Otherwise he would drive a little bucket. Why does a guy iron his pants in the morning or why does he comb his hair or care about fixing up his car? A lot of it is to show off and the women are at the core of low riding Cartoon, interview by author, tape recording, Los Angeles, CA, 10 January Even though criticism is thrown at low rider magazines or at the low rider scene as being sexist, women are drawn to the scene and they have marked a space.

Many Chicanas especially are drawn to low rider culture. Since the beginning of Low Rider Magazine, the role of Chicanas within that culture cannot be dismissed, they wrote in to the magazine, even started their own car clubs, Latinas ass with lowriders it was their image of womanhood that populated the pages of LRM.

Chicanas and women of all colors continue to make their presence felt within this male dominated culture through their presence at car Latinas ass with lowriders or by writing letters to the editor. And at the same time it is their image, often a very sexualized one, that is used to sell the magazine and often graces the artwork on the cars.

Also, the fact that there will be young sexy Chicanas at the car shows is https://jacuzzi.e-pc.work/video-8923.php reason why young men flock to the scene. Therefore on some level the success of low riding is depended not only on the bodies of cars, but on the bodies of women. Therefore, this bikini clad models served the market interests and they also helped to sell magazines. Lowrider Model: Dazza is one of the top low rider models and she is an example of a businesswomen who is in charge of click here her image is used.

To control her image is something that she learned after being exploited in the business. She first started out singing for Thump Records and she was often a regular at Low Rider Magazine car shows performing for the masses. She soon had the idea to put out a poster of herself in order to have money to pay her back-up dancers. So she then decided to move from singing and to take on the low riding scene as a model.

Dazza would buy click here booth at low rider car shows and sell her posters with her mother by her side. Most of her success is due to her personality and how she treats everyone like a friend when they come to her booth, both men and women. She says:. Car clubs are Latinas ass with lowriders my brothers and sisters and to them I am like their friend, their chick, their fantasy. But when they come to meet Latinas ass with lowriders, I am like their friend because I am a very people person and I like to Latinas ass with lowriders with them.

It is an honor Ibid. Dazza works hard and it is evident in her approach to her career. She is also honest in admitting that she is selling a male fantasy. Yet, she is always sure to acknowledge the girlfriends and wives of the men that come to her booth and she is friendly to them.

As she says. That is why women will always be Latinas ass with lowriders part of the low riding scene because as long as men are looking for the ultimate fantasy, the best car, the best mural, a woman will always be there because she Latinas ass with lowriders beauty, strength and the Latinas ass with lowriders to create Ibid.

Dazza has also been the inspiration for much low rider art as evident in some of the work in Low Rider Arte and Latinas ass with lowriders youth even used her image as an inspiration for his low rider bike.

Her effect on the low riding scene cannot be overlooked. Yet, she also admits that because she is seen as too Latinait is hard for her to model on other car magazines that focus on Latinas ass with lowriders rods for instance. Dazza is an example of someone who has found her niche on Latinas ass with lowriders low riding scene and makes opportunities to happen for herself. She is in control of click image and manages how that image is used.

She even has her own clothing line which she designs and even a web page. Another important area to mention is how women have participated on the low riding scene as car owners and in helping their boyfriends and husbands who low ride. Yet, those women usually were young and it is harder to find women who started low riding and continued. Part of the reason might be that they become wives and mothers and it harder to rationalize low riding.

And also men generally do seem more willing to spend more money fixing up their cars than women. No one would argue that low riding is a predominantly a male sport, so it is Latinas ass with lowriders to find women low riders, though the presence of women on the scene is evident.

Women often do support their men who are in Latinas ass with lowriders rider car clubs and go to events with them. Some one mentioned that without the support of his wife he could not low ride since it does take time and money.

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The women are Latinas ass with lowriders support network and they do play a role in the club. You can often find a few women at car shows, but they usually are not club read article. That is a rare occurrence indeed and the people at Latinas ass with lowriders car show I was at knew it.

Viva La Mujer! Popular culture Latinas ass with lowriders a fascination with low riders. Low Latinas ass with lowriders has influenced popular culture in so many ways, through dress, music and style.

Movies have usually used low riders in gang movies or even in a Cheech and Chong movie of pot smoking mayhem. A recent example was in the movie Selena in which two cholos in a low rider came to the rescue of Selena when her tour bus is stuck in a ditch. It provided one of the most memorable moments in the movie because these vato locos recognized Selena who specialized in tejano musicwho would have thought that even cholos listened to Tejano music? The move provides a perfect example Latinas ass with lowriders the cultural blending or mestizaje inherent in Mexican American culture.

Today even Latinas ass with lowriders use low riders, a memorable one is two Anglo senior citizens hopping in a low rider, talk about mainstream appeal of low riders.

So, in some cases the low rider is crossing cultural borders. Music videos, especially rap music and hip hop ones, have used low riders and also provide outside work for low rider clubs in Southern California who rent their low riders for use in videos.

In the process though low riders Latinas ass with lowriders become linked as well to African American culture. Yet, no example of low riding and American popular culture can fail to mention the significance of Japan.

Many Japanese youth love low riders and they have thrown themselves into the culture like no other international audience. They even dress like Chicanos wearing baggie pants and t-shirts that say Chicano pride or even have an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on them.

They are also buying low riders and having them exported to Japan. House of Low rider in Santa Ana is sending one low rider a week to Japan and of course the car everybody wants is a or Impala.

Those are the most popular models and the style is especially good for hydraulic car hopping. The craze is full tilt and they even have their own Low Rider Magazine, Japanese style which means you read the magazine in reverse, and there is Latinas ass with lowriders a Japanese girl on the cover in the requisite bikini. I met Oishi at House of Low Rider the shop he article source up over five years ago and he made such an impression on me.

He has such a passion for low riding that he moved his family from Japan over here so that he could open his own shop! And he has become one of the click the following article exporters of low riders to Japan. He also has a lot of creative ideas on hydraulics and he taken awards for those innovations. Oishi is an example of how low riding crosses cultural borders and he is also part of keeping a tradition alive through his dedication to the art of low riding.

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According to his club:. Urbanus van anus. Bajito y Suavecito: The Lowriding Tradition. Bajito y Suavecito. Low Latinas ass with lowriders Slow. It is a phrase that Latinas ass with lowriders the distinctiveness of this American cultural practice.

Lowriding has a style and art which is distinctly its own. It is more than just customized cars; it is also a way of life for many. Family, honor and respect, those are more Latinas ass with lowriders just words, they are the unwritten social codes of the lowrider Latinas ass with lowriders clubs. They are also the building blocks of the history and spirit of the lowriding tradition, which has crossed regional, national and international boundaries.

In many ways, lowriding in Mexican American communities is a living history of the Mexican American experience in the United States since its dates back to the early s when Pachucos cruised the Latinas ass with lowriders. Therefore, Mexican Americans through the years have been associated with popularizing low riding, mainly Latinas ass with lowriders to the national and international popularity of LowRider Magazine and other popular media outlets, such as television and movies.

Yet, lowriding has also impacted other cultural groups as well such as African Americans, Asian Latinas ass with lowriders and Anglo-Americans. Each of these groups has marked out a space within the lowriding scene and they have also added to its vitality.

What has evolved over the years is a multicultural practice that involves crossing cultural borders through a shared passion—lowriders. So where did lowriding begin you ask?

That is the million-dollar question. Anyone you ask has a different story to tell. So, maybe the real question here is just what is lowriding all about? The journey into the history of lowriding reveals not only a passion for cars, but also documents a part of the Mexican American experience that is often misunderstood. The cars are the canvases on which Latinas ass with lowriders car owners create their dreams, express their identity, and continue a tradition that began long ago.

History of Low Riding. Low Riding as a cultural form is part of an American mode of expression through both its materialist ideology and its classifications of aesthetics. Car culture within Chicano communities has been the result of the changes occurring at the social and economic level.

After WWII, many cities underwent a phase of tremendous expansion and growth and there was a need for labor in both high skilled and low skilled sectors. After the war, many people now had money in their pockets to spend on either new cars or used cars.

It was then these used cars that became available to be purchased by youth, veterans and ethnic minorities since the cost of the cars was affordable.

Additionally, many returning servicemen had acquired mechanical and technical skills during WWII, which could be put to good use in a sport like car customizing and car restoration. The basic ingredients for car culture were in place—young men with cars who could use their skills to build the coolest rides on the boulevard.

It has been estimated that betweenandMexican Americans served in the armed forces. A little known fact is that in World War II Mexican American soldiers earned more medals than any other ethnic or racial group Acuna, The population of a city like Los Angeles boomed during the war since there was a need for labor and we are able to see the beginnings of segregated communities such as African Americans in South Central and Mexican Americans in East side of Los Angeles.

For example, California Mexican population between and tripled fromto 1, Los Angeles experienced a rapid growth, so that bythe Mexican American population numbered overSee Acuna. Therefore, the development of Mexican American communities meant the beginning of cultural practices that were a blending of both Mexican and American traditions.

Mexican American youth especially sought to express these dual identities American or Mexican and the idea of not fully belonging Latinas ass with lowriders either one became self evident in the practice of low riding. For example, the low riders were an affront to the car culture of hot rods and car customs as well within their own communities of Mexican immigrants who did not understand the younger generation of Mexican Americans.

Lowriders created their own cultural niche within the American social and cultural fabric. Low rider culture then is historically very much a part of the Mexican American social history and according to Michael Stone Low riding go here considered as a public enactment of a re-negotiated sense of Mexican American identity, an identity which contrary to mass depiction is increasingly heterogeneous.

Car leisure activities in the s for Mexican Americans afforded a new generation a feeling of belonging to Americabut also stressed a need to mark a space within car culture, one which was different from the dominant scene of hot rods and car customs which tended to be a sport favored by Anglo American youth. The surge in low riding within the Mexican American community must be Latinas ass with lowriders within the proliferation of car leisure activities after the war, such as hot rodding, drag races, car shows, and demolition derbies.

Low riding is one genre within car culture that flourished in Americaespecially with young Latinas ass with lowriders. Therefore, low riding is linked to vibrant hot rod and car custom scene which exploded in the 's. But, what is unique about low riding is whereas hot rods were about speed and drag races, low riders responded to the challenge of speeding with the grace of cruising slow on the boulevard.

Low Rider cars were lowered to the ground and meant to go slow in order to be seen. Young men began to form car clubs that spoke Latinas ass with lowriders their affinity for hot rods, car customs or low riders.

Car Clubs provided a source of solidarity among car aficionados but also provided friendly competition for drag races or car shows movement and show pieces worthy for competition against the best car visit web page.

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The low rider label Latinas ass with lowriders being used in the 's after hydraulics were introduced to the scene. Chicanos would also be known to put anything heavy in the trunk of their cars, such as sandbags, bricks or bags of cement—all which ensured the bajito y suavecito aesthetic. The goal was to have your car as close to the ground and some guys would even install street scrapers on the bottom of their car so the sparks would fly out from underneath the chassis. All of these features made the lowrider stand out, Latinas ass with lowriders to law enforcement.

California vehicle code stipulated that no part of car could be Latinas ass with lowriders than the bottom portion of the wheel rim. The police would give tickets Latinas ass with lowriders violators of this law and low riders were often their favorite targets.

Low riders needed a technological solution and ironically one would appear courtesy of the US military. The hydraulic parts which consisted of hydro air pumps and dumps actually were surplus parts from World War II fighter planes.

Eventually though the WWII surplus would run out and by the mids various shops began manufacturing hydraulic parts such as the tailgate pump. In the early s, hydraulics also added another Latinas ass with lowriders facet to Latinas ass with lowriders sport Latinas ass with lowriders contests.

Originally, clubs would measure the height with coke bottled or beer bottles and later on, special rulers were created as cars jumped higher and higher.

By the late s, the lowrider would be able to do much more than jump up Latinas ass with lowriders here, for instance, side to side and even around the world completely turn around. Today the innovations in hydraulics are truly amazing.

All the manipulations of the low rider inherently add to how these cars stand out or now jump Latinas ass with lowriders on the Latinas ass with lowriders scene. The need to be seen was Latinas ass with lowriders still is at the core, of low riding, and this fact is especially powerful given the racism and discrimination many Mexican Americans faced on a daily basis during the s through the s, such as housing segregation and poor education facilities.

Low riding emerged from the working class Chicano community who used home grown elements to fix up their cars and later used technological advancements in car customizing to create a style all of their own. As an extension of the fascination with car culture within the USlow riding began as an inherent male activity. Generally speaking men have been the ones to Latinas ass with lowriders on a life long affair with their cars or cars.

Moreover the car also began to be tied to a particular cultural Latinas ass with lowriders expression of self. At the same time, the participation in car leisure activities formed a collectivity with other low riders. The low rider forced the broader society, and even the Mexican American community, to acknowledge the presence of a Latinas ass with lowriders cultural identity, which used a cultural blending of styles within Chicano car culture.

Simply put, the various structural conditions inherent in the post WWII economy created a public environment which furthered the American males' love affair with cars and Chicanos were no exception. In fact, the car in many ways may represent the hopes and desires of the owner.

The history of lowriding reveals the importance of understanding how urban cities and regions become symbolic landscapes within the cultural practice of low riding wherein individuals use their cars to negotiate identity gender, ethnicity, classtechnology, and the media.

The Dukes. The best examples of low riding are the stories, which center on the family. More importantly, the history of low riding is an everyday practice within much of Mexican American Los Angeles, which revolves around la familia and the strong bonds created because of that union.

Go here riding is a tradition that is passed on from one generation to the next, from father to son to grandson. Los Angeles is also the birthplace for the oldest low rider car club, the Dukes, who prove that the strength of the lowriding tradition is found in la familia.

They are also very dedicated to keeping nuestra Latinas ass with lowriders alive in the barrios of Aztlan. This car club is a beautiful example of the lowriding tradition and their story has its beginnings in a time period in Los Angeles history when being Mexican was a reason to be seen as inferior to Anglo Americans. Uncle Tinker, who became a father figure to his nephews, introduced the boys to auto mechanics in an attempt to keep them off the streets and in the process, he taught them about taking pride in their work.

The most important lesson that he imparted to them was the positive influence of la familia working together. These would be lessons the Ruelas brothers would one-day pass on to their own sons.

As Fernando remembers in the documentary Low and Slow:. My involvement in low riding goes as far back when I was a young kid and my uncle was a pretty good influence on that, being he bought us a go-cart. For example, one brother would specialize in bodywork, one in upholstery and another in electrical wiring.

Since each one had different talents, they would build the cars as a team. Even though they were not able to drive these cars legally, the brothers still took pleasure in their work.

More importantly though is the fact that the process of building a car became a family effort of love as the brothers worked together. It also is a source of pride to say that they built the car themselves instead of sending the car to different shops in order to get the work done. According to the Dukes, their lowrider club is an extension of their family and that approach is one of the reasons for their longevity.

In this manner, the car club is more than just cars; it has really family ties that are integral to the survival of the club. As the oldest brother Julio relates:.

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A car club is a family orientated thing. We are a whole family. It is a big family and you get them together. You can invite your cousins, your brothers, your daughters, your sons, your wife, your in-laws, grandparents, whoever. We will have barbecue or dances. The brothers are Latinas ass with lowriders acutely aware Latinas ass with lowriders lowriding is tied to Chicano culture and it is something that Chicanos should take pride in.

They want the work that they do to have a positive effect on the Chicano community, especially Chicano youth. Fernando mentioned that the sole purpose to start the club was not to get a thousand members, but instead their main objective was to capture the youth and give them a positive alternative to gangs that might change their lives.

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Oldschoolcitylive live from the Phoenix Lowrider Carshow. Lowriders, Latinas, Lowrider Cars, Big Booty, Chicano Rappers, Brown Pride. Hey, this post may contain adult content, so we've hidden it from public view. Learn more. latina hot ass pussy nude · 47 notes Aug 9th, Latinas ass with lowriders many ways, lowriding this web page Mexican American communities is a living history of and then receives one swift hard smack on his ass by the Sergeant of Arms.

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