It's All About The Cars...


People Doing Great Things For Car Culture & Their Communities !

The Folks Who Put On
A Car, Hot Rod, and Custom Bike Show to Benefit B.A.R.K of Virginia

If you missed the first-ever Trash-o-Rama show (October 6, 2007) in Richmond, Virginia, you missed a great gig.

I found out about the event just days in advance, when I happened to pick up a small flyer at the Vendettas Car Show, in Raleigh NC. Once I found out the hot rod & custom bike show was a charity event, with all proceeds going to an animal rescue organization, I knew I was in!

Made the 135-mile or so drive from North Carolina that Saturday. The event was somewhat smaller than I envisioned (at that time I didn't know it was the very first Trash-o-Rama! In that context, it was actually a great turnout), with the car show held in a funky old shopping center parking lot on Williamsburg Road, and the music performances taking place inside xxxxx. But the energy made up for the relatively small  number of cars on display---  the vibe was definitely  'Ol Skool hot rods, rat rods, retro, funky, and fun. Vendors included tattoo artists, painters, a photographer specializing in retro pinup girl studio portraits, etc. I got there too late to meet any of the B.A.R.K folks or the rescued dogs up for adoption, but bought a couple of shirts to contribute something to the cause. Plus a ticket to see the bands, of course. And a big cheeseburger-and-fries plate with a couple of PBRs at the sports bar hosting the show.

Met some cool people-- of course!  This cool lady had a bad little 1961 Galaxie and ink to match.

Trophies (for cars, bikes, and tattoos) were the usual rat rod fare---- Chris from Richmond won the "Mr. White Trash trophy", and was also dubbed "Fresh Meat", for his youthful  enthusiasm and rattle-can flat black & Grabber Green 1963 Mercury Meteor.  LOL, Chris said he was honored to receive any "titles", regardless of semantics, as this was the Meteor's first show---great way to break her in!
One of my favorite stories from the event was the unique paint job on this  big lead sled Caddy--- beyond the obligatory matte black, it also sported a matte finish roof in an unusual shade of red, and a great, subtle, all-over red-on-black matte effect. Reminded me of ghost flames, due to the fact that the red was more/less obvious depending on the viewing angle. A great uniform deep red sheen that seemed to float on top of the flat black.

Subtle-but-definitely-rat-rod. I passed on my compliments to the guys sitting around the car, who laughed and said "We're just sitting here in his spot. The guy who owns the car is over there-- he hates the paint job-- the red was an accident-- it's overspray from the roof!". Hours later, the guy I originally spoke with approached me with the Caddy owner in tow: "This is the guy who likes your paint job. Really! I told you I wasn't making it up. He said he thinks it looks good!".  LOL, it took a minute to convince the owner that I was serious. He said he left the car in the care of a friend, "to get the roof painted", and couldn't believe his eyes when the car came back to him with an overall red sheen: "Man, you never heard of a TARP? Get some turpentine and wipe that shit off!".

It was my favorite paint job of the show.  :)

The weather was perfect for the event (albeit sunnier & hotter than expected), and as evening hit, the crowd headed for the bar, just across the parking lot (somebody remind me of the name of the club? Can't find it on the website). From sundown till about 2 a.m it was all about the music--- rockabilly, psychobilly, Ol Skool rock-n-roll, with plenty of upright basses and hair grease. The line-up included The Dregs, The Deadneks, Mean Mean Man and The Brass Knuckle Band, Hamburger James, Hick'ry Hawkins, Memphis Morticians, Black Cash, and Wrenn  Mangum. They all rocked--- my personal favorites were probably Black Cash, an awesome Johnny Cash tribute band, and Hick'ry Hawkins (with Eric on guitar), who'd I'd seen before. I'm gettin' kinda hooked on this guy's music. "Catchy" but definitely not empty. If you like Merle and Dwight, check out Hick'ry.

I really appreciated the hard work and energy that went into making this event happen. As a Thank You to the organizers and sponsors, you'll find links to all of them on the Links page, here.. Find out more about Trashorama at their main website or  MySpace site.  Really hope to see you guys again next year!

Jim & Megan Kopp,  Owners
Raleigh Road Drive-In

Sure, by now we all know that the commercials are true--  whatever it is, you can find it on Ebay. But for most people, the much-desired "it" list doesn't include their own personal drive-in  movie theater. Not so for Jim Kopp, who told me "All my life, I always wanted to own a drive-in, ever since I was a kid. That's always been my dream".

In 2006 Jim was living in and working in the Washington, DC area, and searching Ebay for...  what else, a drive-in theater.  Amazingly enough, he happened upon the old Moon-Glo Outdoor Theater--  for sale--  in Henderson, North Carolina. First opened in 1949, the Moon-Glo had changed hands three times, miraculously survived, but fallen into a state of disrepair.  Jim bought the place in 2006. Later that year, Jim gave me an impromptu personal tour of the place, which was a real klick. If you grew up in the 50's or 60's, or you managed to catch the tail end of the drive-in era just after that and actually see some movies there, the drive-in is a truly magical place. So it was a thrill to be traipsing across the parking lot of this proud old survivor, now rescued by Jim, taking in the whole scene by the nighttime glow of the red and blue row markers. Jim showed me the renovations he made to the grounds,  concession stand, projection room. The place indeed feels like time has stopped there, leaving at least this little pocket of rural northeastern North Carolina somewhere closer to 1966 than 2006. (The vibe is nostalgic, but the technology is up to speed-- the theater offers a wi-fi hotspot, and the movie's sound now comes through your car's FM radio. If your vehicle has a good sound system, your movie experience is in surround-sound!).

Jim has done something pretty amazing in this little pocket of the Southeast--- he's rescued and renovated a 48-year old outdoor theater,  kept the quaint 1950's/60's vibe intact, and created a great  venue for classic car cruise-in's. Jim is a fan of old cars, and even offers free theater admission to for patrons in classic cars. During Henderson's giant car show  ("Show, Shine, Shag, and Dine")  held every October, the theater shows car-themed movies. In 2006, "Christine" and "Grease". 2007's fare was "Smokey and the Bandit".

Remember the 1960's animated intermission trailer with the dancing popcorn and soft drinks? The one that features the strange little "performing hot dog"  routine at the end?  Jim shows this little vintage classic at every intermission (all Raleigh Road Drive-In showings are double features). Admission is $5 per person (when's the last time you saw two first-run movies for 5 bucks??), and the concession stand prices can't be beat anywhere.

The theater closes for winter, in December, and re-opens in March. Please support this wonderful nostalgic venue---- visit Jim's website, and when North Carolina thaws out in March, go see a movie, buy  an armful of cheap drive-in food, and while you're there, buy a t-shirt!

Keep up the dream, Jim and Megan!

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