Monday, June 11, 2012
Punk Rod Todd Changed My Life - Peace Be With You
Punk Rod Todd is one of those.
I first met him six or seven years ago at Greaserama and we immediately had a connection. (for those that don't know about Greaserama...it is hosted by Los Punk Rods CC and is the only car show in Kansas City worth driving 6 hours to get to-which is what I have done for the past 6/7 years. It takes place at a drive in and cool movies are shown there at night - last year they had about 1,000 entries to the show.)
We both had a love of comic books, conspiracy theories, art, movies, vintage magazines, music, and of course...cars.
It's funny though - I can not think of any conversations about cars.....other than -
Greaserama 2 or 3 years ago - a low rider Caddy came into the show and there were about 8 people standing around and we were all commenting about how that car was at the wrong show etc.
Right when we are in the middle of complaining - up rolls Todd on his bicycle. I say - "Hey Todd! Who
let that car in?"
He emphatically replies - "I did!! That car is COOL man!"
And that is one of the reasons why Greaserama was such a success. Punk Rod Todd had a firm grasp on what was cool and what wasn't.
Punk Rod Todd was influential on all aspects of the show...
the art direction, the films chosen, the kinds of cars that were let in, the bands that were booked, the vendors that were let in, and all the minute details that so many people don't think about when putting on a massive show. It should be noted that his wife Leslie was always helping out with anything that Todd was doing...in fact some would say that Todd would come up with ideas, and Leslie would make them happen. Whatever the case, the two of them were a powerhouse that have helped change the scene in the midwest. While Leslie may not have received the recognition that others did, she was a force of good behind Todd and without her, Todd and Los Punk Rods may never have been able to accomplish all that they have done.
In the winter time I would come down to World of Wheels show and hang out with the Los Punk Rods in their section of the show, and in the summer at the KKOA in Salina we would hang out as well. Even if Todd was not there - his name, and ideas were always brought up and his presence was always felt.
In 2006, we had a problem with our daughter Hannah and Los Punk Rods were very supportive when all the heart issues for Hannah were going on. I told Todd that I had an idea for a show in Iowa. It was all about having a good time, much like the vibe of Greaserama and another amazing show we attended - Jalopy Showdown in Gettysburg PA. I had a lot of ideas about how to proceed....but simply could not pull the trigger because we did not have the money to rent the location and pay the insurance. I specifically recall Todd asking me - "If you had the money for the insurance and the rental for the place...would you make it happen?" I said of course and didn't really think anything more about the conversation. The next day of Greaserama, Todd comes up to me and says Los Punk Rods are going to pay for the seed money for Torque Fest. I did not know what to say and actually cried....
Who else would understand my vision?
Who else could feel the enthusiasm that I had for our non event in Iowa?
Who understood that by doing something that provides entertainment to the masses - you could actually do something positive for the community around you?
Punk Rod Todd did all this....
not only did he share the vision of what we were trying to accomplish here in Iowa, he had great suggestions and did everything he could to help get the show off the ground.
Punk Rod Todd knew that helping our event get off the ground - we could eventually help other families with similar problems as ours.
Todd Karnahan will sorely be missed.
His creative spirit will forever shape not only Greaserama, but also Torque Fest.
I love my Punk Rods brothers....today we all mourn the loss.
Tomorrow I hope we can remember that his creative vision, love of new experiences, and his ability to go out and make a difference in the world is what Todd was all about.
He has changed my life for the better.
Thank you Todd.
Viva Los Punk Rods