ROLL MOD­ELS SE­RIES

A CAR THAT COM­MEM­O­RATES A FALLEN SOLIDER. A WIFE WHO CAR­RIES ON HIS PAS­SION.

Low Rider - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - STORY & PHOTOS BY JOE RAY

"Lowrider cul­ture is very gen­uine and fam­ily ori­ented; there aren’t enough words, and no way of ex­press­ing all of my sin­cer­est thanks to ev­ery sin­gle per­son who helped build this beau­ti­ful car,” Stephanie Bueno says, as she talks about the wagon that was built for her late hus­band and best friend.

Af­ter los­ing her child­hood sweet­heart to stom­ach can­cer, her fairy tale may have ended, but his char­iot re­mains a marker in time and a me­mento of the man we knew as Jae Bueno. A lov­ing fa­ther, hus­band, great friend, and col­lec­tor of all things die-cast, Jae was known for his in­fec­tious smile and abil­ity to snap a great pic­ture.

An IT ex­ec­u­tive for Hewlett-Packard, he spent much of his free time ob­sess­ing over die-cast cars and pho­tog­ra­phy. His pas­sion was clearly con­ta­gious and af­ter start­ing a web­site to chron­i­cle his top-choice col­lectibles, it turned into a gig pen­ning his own col­umn for Lowrider Arte. Soon there­after, he went on to be­come a free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher for Lowrider mag­a­zine, and dur­ing that short time he not only cre­ated a strik­ing port­fo­lio but forged deep re­la­tion­ships in both street wear and the world of lowrid­ing. He was a crowd fa­vorite, a man with a kind heart, and those who had the honor of meet­ing him are all too fa­mil­iar with his trade­mark greet­ing, “Hi friend.”

But his love for cap­tur­ing lowrid­ers was con­ta­gious. He be­came a con­trib­u­tor to famed blogs, The Hun­dreds and L.A. Taco, was pub­lished in top au­to­mo­tive life­style mag­a­zines, and ev­ery­where he went his wife, Stephanie, was at his side. They were an in­sep­a­ra­ble duo with a love for pho­tog­ra­phy and what they cre­ated was a legacy locked in place by love, lowrid­ing, and gen­uine com­pas­sion for the greater good.

While in her thir­ties, Stephanie went back to school to be­come a reg­is­tered nurse, and af­ter his death she be­came the foun­da­tion for the fam­ily and an ex­ten­sion of Jae. It was no easy task, but through­out it all she never gave up hope and has car­ried on his legacy. Now an RN at White Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal in Boyle Heights, she re­mains a con­trib­u­tor to Lowrider. With her trade­mark smile she not only pi­lots the '62 Im­pala wagon that was built for him but con­tin­ues to be a his­to­rian for lowrider cul­ture.

Though Jae never saw the car com­pleted, his legacy re­mains one that will go down in his­tory, and as she con­tin­ues to pick up where he left off, Stephanie Bueno has a story to share. You can get all the de­tails in our lat­est episode of Roll Mod­els, spon­sored by Quaker State and Shell Lubri­cants.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.