Life After R&C
What has Mr. Medley been doing since he retired? "I've been campaigning vintage go-carts for the last five years," Tom said. "I was in Quincy, Illinois. I drove 4,000 miles round-trip with Randy Holtz; they have a class for drivers 60 years and over, and Randy won with my engine. All of the old-time cart drivers going back to the '50s get together out here in SoCal. We're called the Geritol Gang.
"I was in Alaska (Tom goes every year) terrorizing the salmon," chuckled Tom. "I was up there for the Fourth of July with my high school classmate friend Ken Eichar. Ken took his mighty Huey helicopter (Ken has a fleet of choppers) and hooked onto an American flag, 25 feet high and 50 feet long. We pulled that thing down over the town of Ketchikan. There were 10,000 or 11,000 people there for the big annual Fourth of July parade. Ken kicked the door off on his side and I rode shotgun with him ... he does this every year."
As you can see, the only thing that will slow down Tom Medley is the CHP. No retirement-home living for this street rodder. Stroker-hats off to you, sir.
Tex splits his time between Kauai, Hawaii, Idaho, and an area of Australia that is billed the street rod capital, Castlemaine. He's working on a number of books.
Bud has returned to his roots working part-time at a model train shop (he's a train nut) near Sacramento. But, after going to the Goodguys event in Pleasanton this past year, Bud said, "It got the juices flowing again." He is about to embark on a roadster project after years of being out of the sport.
Jake had a little business going with a guy named Pete (Pete & Jake's Hot Rod Parts), sold it, and semi-retired to his home garage in Apple Valley, California. I joke with Jake (he's a chum) that he should contact Meals on Wheels and NAPA to make house calls; then he'd never have to leave the premises. Plus, his property is starting to look like that farmer with the stack of old cars in Nebraska-tin everywhere! But you wouldn't expect anything less from Jake.
On A Personal Note
It was important to interview the movers and shakers on Sunset Boulevard who put the Nats together. After so many years, I had to become a sleuth to track down Tex and Bud. It was after many dead ends and a phone call to a publishing house in Australia that I learn Tex was back in the states for Bonneville, where I eventually met with him. The same thing goes for Bud Bryan, until Andy Brizio came through.
The gratifying part in locating the old R&C staff was to get these fellows talking to one another after all these years. They had simply lost contact with one another.
The Rod & Custom Street Rod Nationals got ordinary street rodders like Ken Grimes and his friend Bill Achberger to travel-and not 20 or 30 miles in their rods, but in many cases, thousands of miles to attend a car show.
Thanks to the boys on the 3rd floor who wouldn't take no for an answer.