Hello, and welcome to another jam-packed edition of The Hot Seat. In case you missed last month's story, each month we take a person who has been a vital part, a mentor, or made some significant impact in the scene, and expose him or her and make them blush for your reading enjoyment.
So sit back, light a match, do a courtesy flush, and enjoy this month's installment.
* If you have an idea for someone you want to see in The Hot Seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions, questions, or comments, and maybe your favorite person will be our next victim!
This month, we bring you Jerry Lewis, the guy responsible for the Relaxed Atmosphere All Star Show and long-time minitruck veteran. If you don't know him yet, you're about to know it all!
Full Name: Jerry Lewis
Age: Old enough to know better
Place of Birth: Memphis, Tennessee
Current Residence: Memphis, Tennessee
Daily Driver: 1994 Ford Zippy
Who Are You?: I'm just me.
Q: What is in your toilet tower/lavatory library? Be honest, not the obvious ones like Mini Truckin', we want to know about the US Weekly, the Better Homes & Gardens and the Luscious Large Woman mags.
A: Pretty much just car and truck mags, oh and a People mag that someone else must have left behind.
Q. Do you have any tattoos?
A: Yeah, I have a few. They're mostly car culture and Vegas-themed tats.
Q: What is your favorite show of all time?
A: It's too hard for me to pick just one because all of them have something different to offer, and I've been to so many good ones over the years. I guess I should shamelessly promote our show, The All Star Event, but I enjoy seeing everyone at all of the shows that I attend with my club.
Q: What got you into the minitruck scene?
A: Self interest, really. No one else in my family has ever been into cars or trucks. A bunch of friends in the late '80s were into minitrucks and it just kind of stuck all these years.
Q: Now the fun stuff! Are you actually on the Mini Truckin' staff? We hear you have a killer "staff only" jacket?
A: No, not officially. I have had some really good friends who were and some that still are. I guess I've just been around too long. I actually can't even remember where the jacket came from; it's been a staple in my closet for over a decade!
Q: You are the ringleader of one of the biggest shows of the year: Relaxed Atmosphere's All Star Event. How much work does that entail?
A: It is truly a labor of love. I will say this, if you're thinking of putting on a show, think again. It's very intense and there is so much involved that it takes more time and work than I ever imagined. We (Relaxed Atmosphere) wanted to throw a party and a car show just happened to break out! Seriously, we just wanted to put on a show that everyone would have a good time at while they were there. The people that come to our show we consider friends, and we try to accommodate all the clubs with their own parking/partying areas. We measure our success by our participants' happiness and willingness to come back. But we also wanted to give something back, that's why we chose the A.L.S. Foundation as our charity to support.
Q. Have you ever thrown up in an ashtray? Say, perhaps, at Casino Royale?
A: OK, let me set the record straight. Wednesday night during SEMA week in Vegas is the night that all the big clubs get together at the circle bar in the Hard Rock Hotel and have a few adult beverages. Me and some ///RA family members and a couple of NC guys left the circle bar at 7:45 a.m., and I must have had some bad shellfish because later the same day there was this lonely ash tray/garbage can that needed company and I gave it a quick "tune-up." Now anyone who's partied at SEMA knows where I'm coming from on this one. P.S. I hate you Juan!
Q. Have you ever been to a "Pimp & Ho" party?
A: Rob Maggi from the old M.I.C. threw one heck of a party. Sean Mahaney took me to a thrift store in Compton to get some fresh '70s pimp/porn gear and we used rope and spray paint for the jewelry. Needless to say it was a great time from what I've been told.
Q. What exactly is a "little chubby?"
A: Ha ha, Juan strikes again. Actually it was a small summer sausage that I believe Cootie or someone found at a gas station on our way from L.A. to Vegas and it was kind of a running joke as it was short and fat, and it was actually named Little Chubby on the package. Ha, I said package. See, it just keeps on goin'.
Q. You live in Tennessee, but do you have another wardrobe in California? Fuzzy slippers and costumes?
A: Juan and Maria Trevino live in SoCal and always have a Halloween party the weekend before SEMA. So somehow I've accumulated a few trinkets around their house over the years. The party is the best part of going to California-that and all the food we consume.
Q. How are the nachos in California, come to think of it? Ever seen a nacho fountain?
A: They definitely exist. At said party, the nacho cheese flows like wine! The magic nacho elixir has even been hailed as a remedy for hangovers the next day! Not only does Maria make a sweet nacho fountain but she has been known to give many a vacationing ///RA member a haircut as well.
Q. We heard that you are so famous in Tennessee, even the mention of your name in Millington is a "get out of jail free" card. Any truth to this?
A: Why of course not! Not that anyone that comes to our show would ever do anything to get a tour of the great police facility in Millington. (You never know who's going to read this-hi mom!)
Q. What is your favorite part of your job? Favorite place you have traveled?
A: The pay! I love it out west. California and Las Vegas are my favorites.
Q. Who do you look up to in the scene?
A: Honestly there are a bunch of people, but it comes down to all the people who are still doing it years after most have moved on in life. Some people just never get what it's really about. Yeah, the trucks and the shows, but it's the friends I've made along the way that have really made it a neverending adventure. All the girls and guys in ///RA, NC, ST, Acro, XL, PP, NR, and the many other clubs that hold this thing together for the next generations.
Q. Have you ever been on a world tour?
A: Yup! I was once the navigator for the Cope Kessler world tour one crazy summer. Good times for sure.
Q: Speaking of world tours, have you ever been to the donkey show in Tijuana?
A: Well, I'll plead guilty just for the fact that we looked for it but couldn't find it, so we found a bar and left our underwear there instead-it was a local custom. Probably supposed to be more for the ladies I suppose, but when in Rome...
Q. What is your ///RA ritual for Scrapin' the Coast?
A: Every year we go as a club to the casino and try to see who can eat the most crab legs. It's actually a pretty stiff competition to say the least. I mean, have you seen some of the guys in our club? We are all "healthy" to say the least!
Q. Finally, the plugs and the thank-yous. Who's helped you out along the way?
A: I would like to say thanks to Courtney "Tito" Hallowell and Mike Shartsis for their contributions to the minitruckin' lifestyle and the scene over the years. The club ///RA that has been more like family over the years for support even when it looked like I had lost my mind wanting to put on a show. Sean Mahaney for just being Sean-he's really a great guy to know. Juan and Maria Trevino for always opening their home to any club member who hits SoCal. Big thanks to Ruben Artega for keepin' it going. Erik and Big Bill from Kinetik for all of their support. Poop, Pecker, Bobby "The Creep," Rich, Huppie, and Ribbz for making me laugh. Justin and Eli for the help. Jeff Lewis for being my brother. Cootie and Brooks for the room and my boy Q, Gil, John Guy, and Spike for always enjoying themselves. All my NC brothers: Chico, Big Mike, Rusty, and Adam. Liz and Blair for lettin' me ride along. Young Ron, Eric Saliba, and Terrence for takin' me to the highest point in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Also shout out to Dean Alexander at Polk Audio. And last but not least everyone reading this and supporting this great magazine through the years!