Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Guest Post: Custom Car Revival

Indianapolis, IN played host to the 3rd annual Custom Car Revival on Saturday June 13, 2015. Our good friend, Wesley Wren, offered to take some photos and write about the show for us. You might be seeing more from him in the future, and we are really happy to have him lend us a hand. Take it away, Wes!

Hey Atomic Age Alchemy faithfuls. I’m Wesley, you might remember me from the awesome pictures that Nick took on his trip through my wonderful state. I’m a new staff member/intern/nepotism coordinator at AAA. I like flowers and hashtags.

Anyway, this is actually about something near and dear to my heart—Custom Cars. I recently attended my third Custom Car Revival. A car show dedicated solely to the dying art of customizing full sized cars. The criteria for attendance was that the vehicle had to be newer than 1934 and older than 1964 and needed to have at least three modifications. Note that this eliminates all of the popular hot rod bodies. That is by design. There are 0 hotrods allowed at this event. This stems from the problem that lead sled fans have had over the past few years. Even events that were designed to cater to customs (KKOA and KOA events) would only have spatters of customs in a sea of hot rodded early fords. Which is pleasant and fine in its own right—but it isn’t a custom show.

The show was limited to 200 entries, which it hit this year. This isn’t really even a problem, as there is a lot across the street that will eventually be a show in its own right. The gloomy clouds hanging overhead didn’t deter anyone from rolling their prized possessions out to the Edward’s Drive-in parking lot. The quality of cars was through the roof. This event is basically a museum showroom that has been placed in the parking lot of a small Midwestern diner. My favorite car of the weekend was The Golden Indian, 1960 Pontiac, built by the world famous Alexander Brothers of Detroit Michigan. The car was restored by Old Stillwater Garage of New Jersey, and was presented by Lou Calasibetta himself. Though, that wasn’t the only car of prestige there. The Johnny Zaro Mercury was present, with its current caretaker Kurt McCormick. Though, the cars may have been amazing, the best part of show was the people. Smiling faces from both coasts came together to see old friends and make new ones.

If you’re thinking about coming next year—do it! Even if you don’t have a custom car, you’re very welcome to join the reindeer games. The best part of this gig is that all of the proceeds go to an Alzheimer’s Association to help with research. I’m sure in sixty years, this little parking lot car show will be looked at with the same nostalgia that we fondly gaze at pictures of football field and parking lot car shows of the 1950s.

-Wesley Wren 

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Joybird of Winning

"Luck to me [means] hard work - and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't." 
-Lucille Ball. In Eleanor Harris, The Real Story of Lucille Ball

I have a tendency to win stuff. The quote above gives me one more reason to love Lucy, because she perfectly sums up how I feel every time someone tells me that I am lucky. I have to say, when I win something, I feel grateful more than I feel lucky. It's not that I don't believe in luck, I just believe in opportunity and effort more. 

A couple weeks back my girlfriend tagged me in a post on Instagram. It was a picture that she re-posted to enter a contest to win a really cool piece of mid-century inspired wall art from Joybird. She actually entered to try to win the art for me, which was so thoughtful and nice. As with any contest I think about entering, I considered the odds, the prize, and decided that it was definitely worth giving it a shot. 

As soon as I re-posted Joybird's contest picture on my personal IG account, I spent quite a bit of time poring over their website and Instagram feed. I was very excited by what I found. Joybird makes furniture inspired by modern 50's and 60's designs. They make each piece to the customers specifications. Their products are truly made-to-order. This means you can get pretty much any combination of furniture, style, cloth, color, and wood stain that they offer. It's great to see someone producing "period correct" furniture at an affordable price. You can get a brand new couch from them for not much more than you would pay to have a vintage couch reupholstered. 

I checked back on Instagram a couple times to see how many people entered the contest. To my surprise the odds were still looking good. Even though it wasn't a long shot, I still didn't get my hopes up. I woke up the day they were going to announce the winner and checked IG with excitement. It was still too early so I went about my day and kind of forgot about it. Later in the day, Joybird tagged me and said that I won! I was as happy and excited as any vintage furniture lover would be. Upon entering the contest, I already knew exactly where I would put it if I won; directly behind the bar in my living room. The "Thayer" art is SO NICE. It isn't just a print, it is actually a handcrafted piece made from wood, metal, cloth. It is stained and painted to perfection. I may be a bit biased, but I think it looks perfect hanging in my apartment.

We are living in a time when technology makes the world so accessible that finding cool giveaways and contests is pretty easy. There are plenty of ways to win cool stuff, you just have know where to look and understand that little contests like Joybird's give you way better odds than buying a lottery ticket. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

BIG Moves at Atomic Age Alchemy!

Hey friends! Just wanted to take a moment to tell you why you haven't heard from us in quite a while. Both of us here at "A-cubed" have been very busy! In fact, we have been so busy doing fun stuff, we haven't had any time to tell you about it!

The big reason why we have been so caught up in life is that Joey and I (Nick) have both moved! Stay tuned and we will fill you in on all of the fun details. For now, we will just get you up to speed with the basics. I finally gathered up my massive amount of mid-century furniture and moved it into a big apartment in south city St. Louis.

Joey made an even bigger change by packing up and driving out to California. He graduated college and headed straight to San Francisco to start his new job at The Rodders Journal!

The both of us are doing just about as well as two twenty-somethings can. Some may say we are "living the dream", and we wouldn't disagree. Check back next week for closer look at what we've been up to. Until then, keep the rubber on the road!