So, a good portion of this weekend was to celebrate friendships and family. A lot of times we get distracted with the “rat race” of day to day routines. We get it. Bills don’t just disappear. Life happens. Sometimes though, you have to take a moment and spend time doing nothing but hanging out. Laugh. Goof off. Allow kids to be kids. Allow ourselves to enjoy and celebrate.
This April Fools day, a good friend, Rob Davidson and myself, came up with a plan to celebrate a man who has supported his friends and family for decades, Mr. Gary Wallace. I have known Mr. Wallace for quite some time now. He is a simple polite man. His life lessons have been given to him through trial and error. Mr. Wallace is a dedicated husband and father to a wonderful family. He has always supported Garage71 and Grease Inc. through all our years and has been to every Hell on Wheels since year one! Mr. Wallace is what it means to be a good man in our lifestyle. We don’t focus on the mistakes in life, those happen. We learn from them… We learn from men like Mr. Wallace on how they react, on how they cope, and how they persevere through life only gaining and sharing their wisdom. Mr. Wallace has taught me a lot. He has always been there hanging out with one of my best friends, Ed Wallace of Ed Sledz, in his shop. Gary loves cars. He loves motorcycles. And, he loves the music of his times and current day… He is everything you would believe a true blooded American Man is.
This April Fools, we came up with an idea to celebrate privately as a family and close friends with Mr. Wallace. Now Gary had no clue this was about him. Unfortunately, Mr. Wallace has become very ill. In that time, this is where I respect him even more. Mr. Wallace doesn’t want to focus on the illness, but he would like to continue to focus on his family, his beautiful wife, and friends when he is feeling up to it. So, what better way to spend with the crew of the Bearded Sinners and Garage71 than a cook-out at the studio with a little bit of some Redneck fun.
We kicked around the idea of a soapbox derby, but with our kind of twist to include a shopping cart! The build could cost no more than $100 in additional purchased parts, so the builders and teams had to be creative. We had groups like Atlanta Facial Hair Society and Dirt Class jump in the mix. Even though, this was an intimate event, we did encourage outside participation.
The day was perfect! Sun was shining bright and radiant. Scott Adams of Scott Adams Photography headed up the day with the help of all the Bearded Sinners and Lady Sinners. The Tannery Row Ale House helped with fun judging of costumes (which was required to race). Jaybo and the family of Tattoo Twisted came out to race and compete! And, of course Ed Wallace was responsible to bring the family, but he competed as well.
There was music, laughing, kids playing, hot dogs grilling, and a group of people taking time out of their busy schedules to secretly celebrate it with one of the most humble men I know, Mr. Gary Wallace. At the end of the day, we broke bread, exchanged some funny trophies, talked a lot of smack, and gave Mr. Wallace just a small token from the group, but hopefully another fun memory.
I must say at the end, I was heart-broken. In that routine of daily life, I was pulled away for an event for a client who we work with every year. Our team did everything we could to cover all requirements for the day, but I ended up missing the day’s event by an hour. At the end, I was over joyed knowing Mr. Wallace was surprised and joyful the entire day. This is what it’s about.
I want to thank everyone involved. From Dave Cook who came up with a fun logo, to all the teams with their insane builds. I want to thank all the families that came out and also the strangers to Mr. Wallace, you made his entire day!!!! The Wallace Family is an extension of mine. I am very blessed to ever be so lucky to have them in my life. Mr. Wallace, you are an inspiration to me to be better everyday. I am glad to know April Fools Day was more meaningful than a simple prank.