Graffiti Summer Greetings

Greetings Whom bom a lu bop a whomp bam boom! Can you believe it has been 50 years since the world famous class of’62? This is probably the most famous high school graduating class of all time thanks to George Lucas’ film American Graffiti that asked the question, “Where Were You in ’62?”

If you live in Modesto USA, you were part of one of the most amazingtimes in history. It was a simple, fun life and the evenings draggin’ 10th and the high school activities, the cars, the friendships truly were a special era. Over the last few years as I have been working on the Modesto Historic Cruise Route, I have met some of the most amazing people, people like Gene Winfield who changed the way custom cars were made, the kids that lived for cruising 10th and 11th St, the kids of Modesto and Downey high, the people that had the bars, the restaurants and the policeman that patrolled the streets during the 50s and60s. We have a special history, and thanks to this amazing movie, the world rediscovered nostalgia and a new wave of history was born that included Happy Days, the Fonz, and Laverne & Shirley. All of that was due to the cruising in Modesto and this cinematic gift that George Lucas gave our city.

OK, what now. We have turned on the “On Switch” of our Modesto history. It is not important just to wax nostalgic about it, but more importantly to share it and tell the our next generation our stories, share it with our citizens that don’t know our history and also share it with the world that is looking for the origins of some of our beloved characters and pop culture. 2012, 50 years after the original time, Modesto has really awakened to the excitement of Graffiti Summer.

This is not an older generation thing. My generation was the cruisers of the 70s and 80s and we are sharingthis with our next generation that is really interested in our history. We have our next generation of car lovers, we have the Rockabilly bands and fans that embrace our retro heritage, the low-riders that celebrate the Impalas of the 60s and people in general that want to embrace a positive feeling about Modesto and share in the excitement that we can create. Everyone in Modesto needs to see American Graffiti and you will be amazed in what can happen. We need safe and fun events for teens, exciting nightlife fro young professionals, we need to attract travel and tourism dollars, and we need reasons to be proud of our city andengage everyone to share in a common thing that makes us all special.

So sometime this month, walk the Modesto Historic Cruise Route and get an overview of our history and share it with someone you know. Show your kids a classic ’57 T bird and play some Rockabilly or Roddy Jackson music. Every little bit makes a difference and we can make Modesto USA, a Classic American City.

Here is to our American Graffiti heritage and future,

Chris Murphy Publisher- ModestoView chrism@modestoview.com

P.S. Don’t forget to tune your radio to AM1360 KFIV that will be all classic radio June 8, 9, and 10! We will all have the same soundtrack for the weekend.

On the cover. American Graffiti is something exciting for the next generation. On our cover, ModestoView All Ages Editor Abbey Murphy cruises in a ‘57 T Bird and delivers the famous peek out the window from the movie. Thanks to the amazing photo talents of Diane Moody who captured our cover shot and to Werner & Allison and Will Kaiser that let us use their beautiful car at our State Theatre photo shoot. www.facebook.com/diane.moody.54

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