Well, it's over. The time when I could just enjoy the ride, watch the scenery. Relax and just taste all the different flavors that are out there. All the colors, shapes, the creative genius. It's gone. I'm toast. I'm being compelled, pulled, hauled off the couch. The vacation is over. I thought that all the years of being bullied and pushed around by this Kustom car stuff could be bargained with.I thought recreating Junior Conway's coupe that haunted me for decades would placate the Kustom Car GOD. No such luck.Put a fork in me, I'm done. The wheel has been thrust into my hands. I'm being told to drive. Last year after finishing Jr's car I started to get an itch and a scratch. Not so's anyone would notice but the wife wanted to know what's going on? I told her I think I need to build another car. After a long pause her reply was "It has to be the right car." Prior to this I had been toying with the idea of restoring Earl's Pearl the famous Texas fifties custom '55 Chev that's been in Austin forever gradually deteriorating. The more I thought about it the more I thought how boring. Everything is there. No creating, no investigating, no discovery. No collaboration, just cold steel. As this project was percolating in my mind I came across Michelley's tribute to Jesse Lopez (Re: Jesse Lopez- Lo! & Behold). I did reply regarding meeting Jesse at the GNRS with Junior and how much I appreciated Junior introducing him to me (post#119). This started a series of PM's that eventually slapped me upside the head with the realization that Jesse's car would be the perfect candidate. After talking it over with Michelle and Junior it was agreed that Junior would be the gate keeper on this deal. The family wasn't sure that Jesse (now in his 80's) could deal with the intensity of an undertaking like this. Jesse is a robust old guy and after getting his meds straightened out all the concerns were gone regarding his strength and stamina for this. Junior did say to me "you did a good job on my car but there's a lot more work to do on a Jesse clone." I told him that I agreed and that and I would need (and get) some help with this project. Jesse wanted me to know that all those pics showing him with a big smile on his face at the GNRS was his way of showing a distain for all this stuff. He'd turned his back on all of this in 1960 when he gave Junior his shop (House of Color). He said to Jr, "here, if you ever make anything of this you owe me." He was making money hand over fist as a bookie at the horse races. He's done a lot of things in his life and, to say that he's kicked back taking it easy would be wrong. He keeps a busy schedule and getting him to answer his phone is not a sure thing most of the time. As we've talked he's come to understand my passion for the authentic original car. His relationship to Junior has certainly helped him understand where I'm coming from. So, this will be (like Junior's) a look at the young Jesse, a young Sam Barris as well as a young Barris Kustom (in Compton). It will be (like Junior's) a fun ride for everyone as well as a tribute to Jesse's early years and those around him and that era. Oh,and of course, THE CAR. Picture's from Rik Hoving.