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Folks Of Interest Gray Baskerville

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wetatt4u, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,146


    Was Mr Gray Baskervlle ever a H.A.M.Ber before he passed away (RIP)?

    I believe the H.AM.B started in or around the year 2000(sic)

    I know Gray Baskerville passed in 2002,

    Was he a HAMBer if so any good story's ?

    If not its a shame because he would have been very entertaining on this board !

    Thanks for any input or Photos.
  2. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,762


    HAMB started in the mid '90's when Ryan was in college.
  3. Really????....damn Ryan is just a young pup
  4. willysguy
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 1,213

    from Canada

    Did they have computers then :confused:.

  5. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,466


    Maybe Pat Ganahl would know?
    He's on here in some variation of "pagan" or something like that?
  6. I really don't think Gray was ever a member of the Hamb.HRP
  7. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    All the good stories involving Gray were in print, as far as I know. And, hell, what great stories!
  8. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,357

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    That guy lived more 'Hot Rod' life than 90% of the tattooed up greaser 50's wannabes out there!

    I never knew you, but I would love to have had the privilege....

    RIP Gray
  9. tinmann
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,588


    I don't think Gray was very computer friendly. He did his hot rodding the old fashioned way.
  10. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,146



    Thats what I have heard many times..he was / lived a simply and fun filled life !

    I love his writing , in my book he made HotRod with his photos and story's .

    hotrodladycrusr<SCRIPT type=text/javascript> vbmenu_register("postmenu_4516117", true); </SCRIPT>

    Thank you Denise,

    I should known , that you knew that bit of information..
  11. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell

    Grey would hang out by my dragster in the early 90's, never heard him say anything about this site, he was a friend of Gene Adams(crew chief), and Don Enriquez(driver), some of my team. But even then , computers were, I'm sure a part of his business. I wasn't aware of the site till 2005 + - a year
  12. Met him once when I was a kid,at Pomona. I walked up and asked,"are you the guy who writes all the neat stories in the magazine?" He said "yes I am,son. You have a car?" I told him,no,but someday I will...
    Wish I could have met him again when I got older.
  13. Hooligan63
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,343


    Axle or any of the shifters might have a story or two if they care to chime in.
  14. He was on Power Tour back in the mid 90s when I met him at K.C.....he had a small crowd around him in the parking lot while detailing the fiasco he had with the distributor in his deuce roadster earlier that day....he was so animated in his speech! Waving his arms around while extolling on the shortcomings of a points distributor....heh heh. I had my video camera but only got the tail end of his rant.
  15. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,146


    Anyone know of any of his story's on line anywhere ?
  16. Freiburger
    Joined: Oct 30, 2005
    Posts: 95


    Nice hijack of photos from They're from my story when Gray died.

    Baskerville left his computer on all the time, and open to a Word document, because he could not turn it on or off or switch documents with flying into a rage. No chance he ever even saw the Internet.
  17. Freiburger
    Joined: Oct 30, 2005
    Posts: 95


    BTW, the hijacked shot at the upper right is Baskerville with Eric Rickman, who is holding a billet flip-flop that Boyd's team made for him for Gray's 25th anniversary with the company. I have it here somewhere.
  18. He was always a good read, I miss his input!
  19. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,762


    Yeah, and you "hijacked" my photo posting thread from one site and posted it in it's entirety on Bang Shift dot com without asking. :rolleyes:
  20. I had the joy of knowing Ol Dad for many years. On one of his photo trips to Speedway to shoot the V-Rod kit, he accepted my invatation to a home cooked dinner. I'm not sure my kids understood some of his stories, but he kept my wife in stitches for hours.
    He really enjoyed just being one of the family, and not having to go out to a restaurant.
    I really miss him.
  21. Back in the Fifties, when I was a teenager, Grey, an older (by a year or two) cousin of a good buddy of mine; would come around the garage, west of the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena CA. He always had a camera; and was incessently taking pictures. I remember his younger cousin telling him to set that camera down; and help us. Grey said he was going to become a photographer. His cousin replied: "If you don't put that camera down; and get to work; you ain't going to become diddly-squat!" Years later, I began to see Grey's byline on photos, initially in aviation publications.
    I guess we didn't appreciate a diamond in the rough. I bet those pics he took, when we were kids, would be worth seeing these days.
  22. flatheadjunk
    Joined: Nov 10, 2006
    Posts: 288

    Member Emeritus
    from Orange CA

    Probably a hundred years ago,we were at the Street Rod Nationals waiting for Gray so we could all go to dinner.He was up in his room,had been indulging in adult beverages and decided to take a bath,forgetting that we were all waiting on him.I forget who it was that went up to see wtf and there he was,in the tub,singing and playing with his rubber duck-----during that time he always took his duck when he was on the road.One of my favorite people !
    RIP 'ol Dad
  23. turbostude
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 342

    from minnesota

    One of my biggest regrets was never getting a chance to meet him. Came pretty close a few times. I was there when Al Teague climbed out of the cockpit of his streamliner after spreading Gray's ashes to the Bonneville winds at 400+ mph. What a way to go.
  24. OUCH! Is that a glass house there Frieburger?
  25. Cut55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,978

    from WA

    You forgot to add: "So blow me." Oh wait, you're a woman. Sorry. :D
  26. Chris 50
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 443

    Chris 50

    I got to meet him briefly on the Power Tour in '95. I still have the T-shirt that he and Boyd signed while sitting in the '53(?) Corvette roadster they were driving on the tour that year.
  27. Gray Baskerville and Tom Cahill have always been my two favorite automotive writers. Both were one-of-a-kind guys that loved what they did, and were far more informative, knowledgeable, and entertaining than ANY current auto writer, period!
  28. I never met Ol Dad but always loved his writing and take on life and rodding in general. I could always tell if I was reading one of his stories with out seeing his by line. He seemed so genuine.
    When he passed it was like losing an old friend.
    Is that true about his ashes?? That's way too cool.
  29. calvinh
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 176


    How cool is it that someone that the large majority of us never met is refered to by all as Ol' Dad?
  30. Billybobdad
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 926


    Xlint tribute article about OL Dad from Hot Rod Magazine

    Just Too Bitchin' - Tribute to Hot Rod's Gray Baskerville

    Hot Rodding's Insiders On The Baskerville They Knew
    By Ro McGonegal
    Photography by The Hot Rod Archives

    <TABLE><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle>[​IMG]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​

    I remember very well the two times that Gray cried unabashedly in front of me. One of those times, I was told to tell him to stay out of the photo archives because he had trashed some superfluous prints that had no historical value. Repeats of reprints were taking a toll on his beloved but space-poor photo archives. He had taken it upon himself to guard this closet of history and preserve it as all the company really has to show for its half-century of calling the shots.
    That&#146;s the kind of passion he operated with, trying to make some sense, some order of the photo collection, and package it so he (being computer-illiterate like the rest of us) could qualify, if not quantify, these priceless images completely. He wept like child that day and bitterly denounced the authority. &#147;So that&#146;s what it comes down to. That&#146;s what I mean to them after all this time.&#148; That simple statement shook me silly.
    The second time, I called him at home when he was sure he wasn&#146;t going to get through It. I was struck dumb by that hateful truth and finally muttered something out of context, and he cried out, &#147;Dammit, don&#146;t pity me&#151;come out and see me.&#148; I didn&#146;t make it in time. Dad, I owe you. We&#146;ll hoist a glass or two of clear and talk about the truths of the day in a little while, pal.
    Everyone who knew Baskerville at all has a story to tell about him, too. I have lots of them from our 30-year friendship. Though Gray would get his flip-flops stunk in the occasional puddle of funk, he was so upbeat and lighthearted most of the time you&#146;d want to swat him good. He began feeling tired about two years ago, and it would conk him for a little while, but he always came right back seemingly sound and fit and ready to get shagnasty. This is one of the ways I remember Gray, but how does the modern core of the hot rodding genre feel about him? Here&#146;s the view from a few of his legion of pals.

    Thom Taylor, Designer
    To me, Gray was Hot Rod magazine. He was sort of like Vin Scully (Dodger announcer); while the team always changed players, he was there. He was ever enthusiastic about someone&#146;s product. Though he acted like a kid, there was much more to him than that. What made him different? His enthusiasm and his writing style, and he was always happy to see you. Gray didn&#146;t play games. He was always down to earth, very knowledgeable on all aspects of the sport. He had a good eye, he could play up that new ground-swell and bring the readers in and make something of it. He was always thinking of something else rather than the norm; he&#146;d zig when everyone zagged, and showed us that there was a bigger world out there. He wanted to open things up. He was right where he wanted to be. He held that if you had a hot rod, you&#146;d have to drive it and drive it. He was smart, educated, and this part I can&#146;t emphasize enough: He would spot a trend and want to expose it, not to start the trend or take credit for it, but to know the right time to bring it to people&#146;s attention.
    John Dianna, Buckaroo Communications
    Gray started working at Petersen a month before I did, and our relationship really goes back to drag racing: he in his Altered, me in my Junior Stocker. He was in love with everything he did, and he built his career out of doing what he loved. After R&C folded the first time, Gray went to Hot Rod, and most of his career at Petersen Publishing Company was working for me at Hot Rod. At staff meetings, he would be as provocative as he was in any environment he was crazy about. He made things happen in creative ways. He was constantly trying to pick the underbelly of everything. Why didn&#146;t he fix up his car? He just wouldn&#146;t have it. Gray had a shop route that he would cover all the places he wanted to be, and when he was finished with it, he&#146;d start all over again. On a work-business level, you heard his tone of voice: He would jump, clap, say silly stuff, his passion had no bounds. His respect in the industry was and still is immense. He only ran on one speed, full crank. Gray was certainly extraordinary at his craft.
    Jeff Smith, Editor, Chevy High Performance
    I &#147;met&#148; Gray by reading the pages of Hot Rod long before I began working there. I realized that he had a wonderful style that sucked you right into the story, but I was afraid to edit his stuff because it was pure him. When the copy editors went apoplectic and said &#147;This isn&#146;t a word,&#148; I&#146;d say &#147;You&#146;re right, it&#146;s pure Baskerville.&#148; Gray loved to have fun with it and play off someone&#146;s name, their car, whatever. He was the voice of the magazine, really, and one of the most selfless individuals I&#146;ve ever known. He was always about the industry or the sport, not himself. When we gave him a gold pocket watch for his 20th anniversary, he looked at it kind of dumbfound and just said thank you. To Gray, it wasn&#146;t about him, it was about the magazine. He never talked about his car; it was always about the other guys&#146; cars. Gray loved to drive his rod, and he hated trailers. His car might have a little road rash on it, sometimes dirty, a rock chip or two, as long as he was enjoying it. He was an action-oriented person.

    Drew Hardin, Former Hot Rod Editor
    How did Dad become Dad? I&#146;m not sure, but he used to call everyone else &#147;dad.&#148; But he was our dad and was the virtual soul of the magazine. He took me under his wing and taught me about hot rodding. My first ride in a &#146;32 was in Gray&#146;s car. He showed me around Pasadena in that car and showed me what Hot Rod and hot rodding was all about. Gray&#146;s signature attire was a short-sleeve shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. That was Dad&#146;s uniform, Dad&#146;s rags. Technically, I was Gray&#146;s boss, but he&#146;d already forgotten more than I&#146;d ever know. His unique writing style drove copy editors crazy, and his approach to the job was on his own schedule. Gray would always be off on his own, doing stuff and handing stories in way before they were due. It was difficult to get a last-minute piece from him, though. Gray was the world&#146;s oldest teenager, and his enthusiasm always came through. Simply, he practiced what he preached. He was an enthusiast, and for a long while, the &#146;32 was his daily driver. It&#146;s chipped, primered, and used&#151;like Gray was, in other words. Being driven was the cat&#146;s ass. Bonneville was his real element because to him they were all hot rods and they were being driven. Gray hated static car shows (&#147;They&#146;re only good for getting bird-crapped on&#148;). To him, hot rodding wasn&#146;t so much about the cars as it was about the people who had them.
    Pete Chapouris, So-Cal Speed Shop
    Today, this industry would not exist without Gray. He had an eye for talent. His power of the press was that he got it right. Gray&#146;s writing was unique and was about his passion for the car. He lived it and breathed it, and understood the art form. Gray never asked for a freebie. He always paid his way. He would make a point of visiting to bring that vision to his writing to share with the world. He did what he called the Golden Triangle. First it would be to Pete & Jake&#146;s, then on to Fat Jack&#146;s and Lil&#146; John Buttera, and finally to Chuck Lombardo. Gray and I went cross-country three times together. On trip days, we&#146;d leave at 6 a.m. and be in the pool with a drink by 3:30 that afternoon. Gray lived his stuff. He didn&#146;t take his work home with him, but he did always take his thoughts about it with him. His wife and daughter also shared it. I am where I am today because of Gray Baskerville, and his passion is what made him what he was. He helped us unwittingly; he was a natural, and was well read on just about any subject. He could have done anything he wanted to do. His car was his signature, and it will always stay that way. He didn&#146;t brag about it. He didn&#146;t have to. He wasn&#146;t much mechanical, but he kept the fluids clean and was adamant about that. Gray spent so much time at the shops with us and was living vicariously through us, and then gave the world his take on it. Gray was about as good a friend as I&#146;ve ever had.
    Vic Edelbrock
    Gray Baskerville was synonymous with hot rods and with Hot Rod magazine. When I built the first replica of my dad&#146;s car, Gray came out and did a piece on it. He was a super guy who really understood the hot rod era and tried to keep that era as it was. We were shooting my car, and an old guy on a bicycle rolled over to us and asked if the car was my dad&#146;s. He said, &#147;I used to race against him at the lakes before the war.&#148; Gray about flipped out. He was just a guy who loved hot rodding and &#146;32s in general. How many people really drive the hell out of their &#146;32? We&#146;d sure like to, but that doesn&#146;t always happen. What&#146;s Gray&#146;s legacy? He&#146;s left his footprint that hot rodding is here to stay. Gray kept the image of hot rodding right in front of us.

    Jerry Kugel, Kugel Komponents
    I can only say that he was difficult to describe. He was a superb person, a nice man, and his irreverence, when you did hear it, was quite unexpected. It helped to set him apart from everyone else. His generosity is legendary. He was always ready to help and give but he never wanted any of it back. He was quite unlike the rest of the industry in that he didn&#146;t want any strings attached to anything. I&#146;ve known him since the &#146;60s, and I know that there won&#146;t ever be another one of him. I miss seeing him here, and I miss him being part of our lives.
    Chuck Lombardo, California Street Rods
    A good old buddy. We had a bond. My shop was the last stop on Gray&#146;s Golden Triangle. When we did the &#146;57 Chevy give-away car (1983), here we were with this raggy car, something I wouldn&#146;t even let in the shop today. That was the Flashback &#146;57 that (then Editor) Pat Ganahl wrote about. Gray laughed, because he knew he was the cat that ate the canary. He thought it was one of the nicest project pieces that we ever did. He thought it was great. I first met him at the Great Western show, and I knew he was out there then. Some of the cars he did, he was very intense about. And according to his style, his own style, he called me Lumbago. I remember my secretary saying to me that there&#146;s a guy on the phone looking for Lumbago and wanted to know where he worked. My precious moment with him was this: John Dianna and I where coming into Lincoln (Nebraska on Americruise), and slowly moving down the off ramp because it was raining so hard. Then we spotted Gray in the weeds shooting his shots. We laughed. As we passed him by, we waved, and he looked up and smiled at us, like it was sunny out.
    Ken Fenical, Posies
    I&#146;ve always admired his ability to do a feature shoot with a handheld 35mm camera and to get it done in a matter of minutes. I&#146;ll always marvel at the way he knew those f-stop settings like he was born with them. He says, &#147;I&#146;m shootin&#146; a car, not the background.&#148; So the car was always outstanding in the photograph. He also taught me to see the effort that must be there to achieve certain effect. He&#146;d capture an image on film that no one else saw as a photograph. He did his work, but at 5:30 it was all over. It was cocktail time. We were in Oklahoma once, and he was getting ready to shoot one of my cars. Where we were was covered with red dirt that would accentuate the car. But he wasn&#146;t happy there and told me that he knew a place where the dirt was even redder. He chose my yellow &#146;36 Ford that I did in 1980 as one of his favorite cars and had a replica of it behind him in his office. That was quite a tribute, I thought. Yep, Gray would flutter his fingers, do a slight toe dance, look one way and then the other, smile at you and wait for your response. I also marvel at the fact that he didn&#146;t want a wake or a memorial service, defending his decision with &#147;My life was my celebration.&#148;

    Roy Brizio, Brizio Street Rods
    I admired Gray for his honesty. Asked his opinion, he would tell it like it was with no frosting, whether you wanted to hear it or not. That&#146;s why we all respected him. And when you got it right, he would always let you know that it was a bitchin&#146; job. I admit that most times I&#146;ll look at an article and only read the captions, but when Gray did his thing, he made his subjects fun and interesting, especially when he used code words that few people were aware of. It was like an insider&#146;s look at the world spinning madly around him, and there would be Gray, centered right in the middle of it. Like many others in this hobby, I appreciate what he did to legitimize hot rodding. He helped pave the way for people like me to be able to make a living at what we love doing. I&#146;m proud to say I was one of Gray&#146;s pals.
    Jack Robinson, Fat Jack Enterprises
    I&#146;m pretty screwed up myself, so not much surprises me. Not even Gray. He was a goofy SOB, but a nice goofy, unlike the real ones in this business. I was shocked when I heard he was sick and never got the chance to fall by and see him, and I regret that. I used to scare him on some of those eastern trips, speeding like hell in rental cars, going through fields, ripping across parking lots. But he never wanted out. I&#146;d known Gray and was pretty tight with him since the late &#146;70s. Gray? Hell, there&#146;s just a bunch of him you can&#146;t put into words.
    Troy Trepanier, Rad Rides
    Gray put me on the map. He&#146;s the guy who got me started when he shot my Chevelle for Hot Rod in 1986, my first feature. On the seven-car Victory Tour (1991), and he stayed with us at Green River, Utah. He showed us how he does things after hours. When he came out with &#147;I&#146;m queer for clear&#148; (translation: He liked gin and vodka), we knew he was unlike any other person we&#146;d ever met. On the &#146;97 Americruise, he drove his &#146;32 (the last time) and wound up at the Cornhusker Motel where we were staying. His car wouldn&#146;t start and so he got us (dad Jack) to help him. In a five-hour thrash, we had replaced everything in the ignition circuit, and it still wouldn&#146;t fire up. All the while you could see him blinking back his doubt yet sinking a little bit more every time the engine wouldn&#146;t respond. He was so attached to the car it was like it was his only child. Finally, we discovered that he&#146;d flat worn out the stock distributor. It was so loose the points would no longer make contact. When it was whole again, he simmered down and got giggly and was so happy when it fired up. He and I got in it and drove it to the fairgrounds, and he told everybody what had happened. I still have that distributor and will for the rest of my days.

    John Buttera
    When I first started working in California after moving from Wisconsin, I was camped out in my garage at home. My favorite story about Gray was when he first came to my house to see what I was doing. He loved my dog. It was like they were connected at the hip. He&#146;d throw something, and the dog would bring it back, and they&#146;d keep doing this until they were both literally shaking. Then Gray would follow the dog into the gutter water and cool his feet off. He was just doing something that appealed to him. Hey, he was Gray. He had no agenda, no axe to grind. Being around him, I always wondered how it felt to have the whole world love you. He spent so much time seeing after other guys&#146; pieces that he never got his own stuff finished. Anyone who&#146;s ever moved to California from anywhere else will know where I&#146;m comin&#146; from with this: He was the nicest (native born) person I ever met here.
    Dave Wallace, Hot Rod Nostalgia
    I came to Hot Rod in &#146;77. John Dianna picked me up as a freelancer, and at Gray&#146;s urging, Jim McCraw and CJ Baker rubberstamped the idea and got me in despite the fact that my hiring had just used up any bonus money they might have gotten. But in order to get the job, I&#146;d grossly over-represented my photographic skills, and my equipment was kind of light, too: a Pentax 35mm and normal lens. Hot Rod had just begun the Bracket Racing USA series, and Gray was doing it but Dianna wasn&#146;t happy, so he asked me to take it over. Gray turned over all his files and info, and then he took me to Sloan&#146;s (the local gin mill) for lunch. He, CJ, and McCraw got lit. I could barely down a couple of margaritas, and I wondered how I&#146;d fit in. Then Gray and I started going on the road together, and I admitted that I could handle a race or a tech article but that I knew nothing about shooting car features. He taught me how to do it. He told me to remember that every car has a story if you just ask, and you must accentuate its special element, like if the car&#146;s low, then get low and make it look lower. I remember him shooting a Corvette with a chopped windshield that had split lengthwise on the way to the photo shoot. Gray used the sun to mask the crack, and when the car was reproduced in the magazine, that crack had disappeared. That was my rookie year at HRM, and as the summer wore on, I found that Gray was very generous with his talent and his connections. He took me to Bonneville and initiated me to that world. He would take off his flip-flops and stand barefoot on the salt all day letting what he felt was the purity of Bonneville go into him like that. After Bonneville, he was high for the rest for the year. Like we all did, he never compromised his integrity by accepting free parts or services. He paid for everything because he didn&#146;t want to be beholden to anyone. If you weren&#146;t already that way, you&#146;d be that way after hanging out with Baskerville. He was the spirit of the staff, and he set the tone for the whole place. He was intent on history being served correctly. And that&#146;s where we connected very well. If there was a really cool thing happening, he&#146;d give up his own interest for the common good. That was Gray.

    Pat Ganahl, Former Hot Rod Editor, Freelancer
    Ol&#146; Dad, life was reet wasn&#146;t it? Gray had a kind of halo around him. He could say anything to anyone and not get in trouble for it. This was because it was quite evident that in his whole body he didn&#146;t have a single cynical bone. Gray was never that serious about life in general, and hot rods were simply a way to be different, an expression of yourself. I remember Art Director Charlie Hayward at the time saying: &#147;You go into these staff meetings and get tense and then you scan the table and Gray would be getting bored with the whole thing. Then he&#146;d up and say &#145;Let&#146;s stop talking about this stuff and go out and do some stories.&#146;&#148; As editor, I found that Gray was spot on, where he really nailed it with the &#147;isms&#148; and all that, but sometimes he&#146;d really spin out, too, and you&#146;d wonder just what he meant to say. He wasn&#146;t perfect all the time&#151;nobody is.
    John Baechtel, Former HRM Staffer
    There are a few things I remember very well about Gray. One was standing with him at the 5-mile marker at Bonneville and watching a fuel highboy roadster go by us at 280 or so. Gray would be anticipating the run, and he&#146;d begin to shake like a kid as the car got closer. When it passed, he&#146;d uncover his privates, shake some more, and croon how bitchin&#146; the run just was. Another time at the salt flats, we&#146;re out there at night kickin&#146; back and soaking up the Milky Way because there are no lights of humanity out there to diffuse it. Gray looked over at me and said, &#147;Right now, there isn&#146;t any other place on earth.&#148; He liked to goof a lot, too, so one time at the Street Rod Nats we were having a party on the last night of the event. Charlie Hayward, then the art director, was there when we all got rowdy. Gray launched a piece of cake off his spoon, it hit Charlie pinpoint in the middle of his forehead, and then it started sliding down. Gray cackled, &#147;Ha, I got you. Look at Charlie&#146;s head, it&#146;s bitchin&#146;!&#148;
    Tom Medley, aka Stroker McGurk
    I was at Rod & Custom at the time, and one day I came into the garage at 8490 (Sunset Blvd.) and spotted Gray&#146;s &#146;32. When I asked the attendant who it belonged to, he said some guy with horn-rim glasses and weird footwear who&#146;s working in the Book Division. I hot-footed it up the elevator and found Gray. &#147;You&#146;re in the wrong place,&#148; I told him. &#147;You need to be at R&C.&#148; He said no, that he&#146;d rather get used to being where he was first. Then Pete killed R&C the first time, and we all got hauled to Hot Rod. When the book was reinstated, Gray stayed at Hot Rod. He was a real jazz fiend, you know, and I had found an old book about Bix Biederbeck, but I never told Gray about it. About a week or two before he passed away, I sent the book to him, I just told him to hang in there. We&#146;d go to all the R&C events when I was there. We had an Anglia project car, and we&#146;d bought a small-block Chevy for it. When we put it on the dyno at Edelbrock, it smoked the joint out. Then we did the trick to it, put it in Jerry Kugel&#146;s roadster, and it ran 170 or so. I told Gray to grab the engine and stick it in his roadster before someone else got it. He was a die-hard enthusiast. He used to ask me, &#147;How do you manage to stay around here so long.&#148; I said, &#147;I don&#146;t get involved in the politics.&#148; Neither did Gray, and that&#146;s one big reason why he stayed at HRM for so long.

    De Ette Crow, Rod & Custom
    Gray was quite a man, and one I had the pleasure of working with for 18 years. By quite a man, I mean he was well rounded and well versed in everything he did. One of his hallmarks was that he never accepted praise or credit for his accomplishments. To him, the cars and those who built them were the stars, and as such Gray was humility in its purest form. Though he loved cars, there was another side to him that loved beauty (natural or not) and jazz, jazz, jazz. Nobody knows that Gray and I had the same cotillion teacher in junior high school, but I cannot imagine Gray at a cotillion. Using his home as a palette, he displayed his understanding and love of horticulture. He touched the lives of hundreds of folks, the readers, the manufacturers, all would marvel at the unique being that was Gray. He is the child in all of us, his excitement was contagious, his laugh comedic, and his zest for life exuberant. Undoubtedly, he&#146;s entertaining the angels in Heaven right now with one of his tinged tales. He will be in the hearts and memories of the R&C staff always

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