Friday, August 23, 2013

Introduction: Joey

“What kind of music are you into,” he repeated.
“Uhm. . . uh. . .”
I panicked. My mind started to skip and distort. Let’s see, I thought to myself, I’m at a party overflowing with traditional hot rodders and custom car builders deeply nestled in the north St. Louis ghetto . . . I’ll just pick a safe answer and act naturally.
“The Doors,” I replied.
“The Doors are good,” he said. “By the way, I’m Nick.”
What a relief. I think I passed his test.

In December it will have been two years since I first encountered Nick Giacalone at Bill Bierman’s XXX-Mas in St. Louis. But my story starts earlier than that.

King of the Chassises Brian Fox, myself and Nick deep into the STL hood. 

 At the tender age of nine, I caught a glimpse of a sapphire blue 1933 Ford roadster streaking across an intersection on a hazy spring night. Later that summer, I spotted the same roadster once again. Puzzled, I asked my dad what that old car was. He explained that it was a hot rod, and it went so fast that it used a parachute to stop. I was enticed.

As the years progressed, a steady barrage of magazines made their way into my suburban Detroit home. They served as inspiration for my countless plastic model car projects and notebook doodles that had taken over my impressionable mind.
My 1/24 scale buildup of the wheelstanding Suicide King Studebaker. 
One fateful day at the newsstand, I picked up an issue number 23 of The Rodder’s Journal. With promises of pull out posters sealing the deal, I immediately snatched up the issue and scoured it cover to cover. This became a ritual that continues to this day.

Right now I am attending the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism with aspirations of becoming a top-notch automotive journalist. I’m currently working with another website and a newspaper, so you can be assured that my mind is always rolling and my fingers are always typing.

Atomic Age Alchemy is a culmination of all of my favorite things. Midcentury furniture, fixtures and buildings bundled with hot rods, custom cars, motorcycles and all things old.

I’ll make every effort to keep the subjects in the midcentury realm, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t slide in some shots of my 1972 Honda CL350 café racer that I’ve been wrenching on for years or my 1974 Honda CL125 freshly out of hibernation.
Alive and on the 1972 Honda CL350 in August 2013. 
My 1974 Honda CL125 running some errands. 
So that’s me, Joey, the young guy with the notebook in hand and camera around his neck. I look forward to delving into this Atomic Age adventure.

-Joey Ukrop
Atomic Age Alchemy 
The Big Cat. 


  1. Welcome, Joey! It's good to have a new blogger on the block. You and Nick are going to bring an interesting perspective to the discussion, I think.

    I taught at-risk kids for years, and the boys were always stymied when they found out that my first car was a bright Riverside Red Impala Super Sport two-door hardtop sport coupe with a 425 horsepower Turbo-Fire 409 cubic inch V8 and a 4-speed transmission and red interior. Bucket seats, to be precise. And chrome. Lots of chrome. It was their dream car, and they couldn't quite picture a teacher driving one. It didn't quite compute with them that I was their age when I got 1967.

    1. Thank you! That sounds like a really awesome machine. I look forward to delving into the world of midcentury blogging!