I met Gene around 1987 when I was 19 years old and working as a cashier at Pick Your Parts junk yard in Sun Valley Ca. Gene came to my window to pay for some Mercury parts back when you could still find a Merc in the yard. Gene was surprised a kid my age recognized him. I stared naming some of his custom cars, the Solar Scene, the Jade Idol, Strip Star, and I told him I thought his fade paint jobs were the best. Back then we had a sliding price scale on all parts so I gave Gene the best prices I could on the parts. Gene returned to my window a few minutes later with one of his tee shirts and his business card. He offered me a job working for him at his shop in Canoga Park. I quit my job a few weeks later and started working for Gene. At the time I had VW bug I was fixing up so I had Gene louver the front fenders and deck lid. Gene eyeballed the lovers and it took him about 15 mins to do the whole job. The deck lid lovers came out perfect, the way the louvers followed the body line was spot on. I left Genes shop to "get a real job" but I learned a lot working for him. Gene is eager to teach and he wanted to see his skills handed down to the next generation. In 2009 I took one of Gene's metal working classes in Mojave Ca. I took these Polaroid pictures with me and Gene remembered me and my VW. Gene is a real class act. They say, "do what you love and you will never work a day in your life" Well, I left Genes shop to get a "real job" and today I work for a living.