Rat Fink Party & Kustom Kulture Extravaganza 2011

Words and Pixs by Lucky

Moldy Marvin did it again with the 11th annual Ratfink Party and Kustom Kulture Extravaganza held for the second consecutive year at the KOA campground in Acton, California. It’s a fun-filled day of rockabilly/country/rock influenced bands, Kustom Kulture vendors, outdoor family games, contests, swimming, kool kats and kooler kittens, charity auctions and pre 1976 classics, kustoms, hot rods, muscle cars, lowriders, vans, VWs, and motorcycles all to celebrate the life and legend of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.

Ed “Big daddy” Roth was a major player in the 1950’s and 1960’s hot rod movement. He was an artist, cartoonist, pinstriper and custom car designer and creator. He is famous, among other things, as creating the legendary icon Rat Fink. And he was a mentor and an inspiration to thousands.

Rolling early down Soledad Canyon, I avoided road runners, coyotes and some big ass lizards. The low desert has some charming qualities. Damn near missing the turn off, I swung left and was transported back to the golden days of drag strips, drag racing, decals, and Revell models. I could smell gasoline, Brylcreem, hot dogs, soda pop and Testors model glue, if not for real, at least in my imagination. All the pressures of today slipped away as I became the child I once was.

First thing I did was check out several rows of the huge amount of rods on display. Damn my poverty stricken band account, I sure would love to cruise the Sunset Strip in one of these beauties with Wolfman Jack on the radio and a stunner in a cashmere sweater snuggled by my side.

Then I rolled to the stage to check out some music, people watch and bask in some feelgood sunshine. Early morning hunger pains led way to the snack stand for a dog with plenty of mustard please. I gorged down listening to some more of the band and then Moldy got up to give us the lay of the land.

Feeling content, I decided it was time to do some shopping. More vendors this year than last made the purchasing decisions more difficult, and the fact that I was on a budget made me be selective. I got a rad pair of hand pinstriped sunglasses for $15. They are so me! I also got a Rat Fink decal and a few other trinket souvenirs.

A surprise turned up in the form of my old pal Cody who was working the Roth tee-shirt booth. Cody and his mom, Ilene Roth (Big Daddy’s wife) load up the van each year and set up shop so all us gassers and greasers can get our Roth on. Literally.  It blows me away that Cody remembers me as he must meet a lot of people throughout the year.  Great to see you again Cody!

I spent the next hour or so checking out as many of the vehicles I could, stopped by another vendor or two, and then went over to meet none other than Candy Clark, the actress who portrayed Debbie Dunham in the movie American Graffiti. American Graffiti has got to be one of my all time favorites and I was nothing but thrilled to actually get to meet and talk to Candy in person. She is super cool, and humored me as I told a tale of seeing American Graffiti thirteen times as a kid at the local multiplex. We use to pay to see another movie and then ditch in to watch American Graffiti. I loved all those characters and still to this day do. If you have not seen the movie, I highly suggest you do it now!

Scheduled events for the day included the three-legged race, the potato sack race, the always popular egg toss and the model building, tattoo and vintage swimwear contests, but sadly I had to leave as the Rat Fink party was on the same day as a previous Hollywood engagement. Needless to say, I had non-stop fun the entire day and night. Thanks to Moldy for putting on this special family fun event. See you next year Moldy!