Without Event Thinking, I Was Standing on the Center Line on Santa Maria Broadway
"Wow..." My knees are shaking.
In both directions, and as far as I can see, it was Rod & Custom. I was consumed in this world.
Standing in the center, the traffic light behind me sending traffic my way from the left was also nothing but Rod & Custom. I couldn't believe it...
In my whole life, this had to be the fastest 2 hours I've ever experienced. The next thing I realized was the sky was dark.
Has this even always been like this? If not since when?
After I had purchased my '61 Falcon I started reading Cruisin' Magazine and remember the first time I read about this event. It was in 2000. Being in Japan, the event was so far away but I used to think about all those cars and people gather in this small town every year. It blew my mind. I remember the event but couldn't remember the name. Even since then, I couldn't throw away the magazine and kept each one.
I still read them now. I love it. My wife of over 10 years always reminds me. When ever I have free time, I can be found sitting on our narrow staircase where my bookshelf is looking through all the past issues. This particular event is one of my more favorites too. From the top of the stairs down I made a bookshelf to hold all the magazines I cherish. I can start at the top and read each one over and over again or think of a particular article and go straight to that issue like a librarian.
In the back of my mind though, I never thought I'd be standing here in person at this event.
May 25 (Fri) 11:00AM MOONEYES USA
Getting ready to leave for Santa Maria, I could feel my heart beating stronger. The night before I had just arrived from Japan and stayed up late. I was so excited it didn't matter that I didn't get any sleep. On the last weekend of May, for three days, West Coast Kustoms held its 31st Annual Cruisin' Nationals. It would be the fifth year since changing locations to Santa Maria (previously held in Paso Robles).
Just before we departed I didn't know what was happening. I didn't know what to expect. I also didn't know how my trip report would turn out or how people reading it might think. From all the past articles I've read about this event, I started getting nervous because now I was here and would be writing about the event.
If I could get one person to feel this excitement through my report, I'd be happy. On this particular day, my mind was racing at full speed and all sorts of things were going through my mind.
Along the way to Santa Maria, there would be people joining up with us to ride together. As we were waiting out side I read, "He's here, he's here, he's here!"
It's Toru! Unlike my senseless self, USA resident Toru appears on the scene in his kind demeanor. I visited with him a few month ago in March for the article I did in MOON ILLUSTRATED Magazine Vol. 9 featuring his day-to-day lifestyle and showcasing the things he loves to do. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to order your copy today! It shouldn't be missed!
Toru owns a 1965 Buick Wildcat. After packing some baggage in his car, we were off. It was exciting that we were heading out but even more exciting that I was riding in this full-size American car. So awesome.
I thought to myself, this is my chance. Be cool, arm out the window, it's all good. But in reality I was like a little kid being so excited of driving in this car.
On the way to Santa Maria, there was a point where you could see the ocean on the left. Soon we'd be cruising together with all the other cars. Santa Maria was just just about hour hours away.
Did you want to come to this event? If so, don't stay in one spot. Move around
Today's cruise spot was near Santa Maria Inn. MOONEYES Boss was here and there were many people coming up to talk with him throughout the day.
I was in a state of ecstasy, I thought I was going to black out. Then I'd get a hold of myself and snap out of it. Why am I here, I got a lot to do. I caught my breath, focused and pumped myself up.
Cars started gathering early, around 7AM along the main roads and around Santa Maria Inn. It seemed to get more and more crowded all the while endless lines of Rod & Custom cars paraded the street. They were driving at a slow pace, all together. Constantly the scene changed with different cars non stop. Police barricade the side streets and the cruise is heavily guided by the event organizers. It's surreal that all these cars and people are together as one. The streets are packed for several hours. At 6PM, the police come through Broadway announcing that the cruise is not finished. Within 30 minutes, not a single car is on the street. Amazing.