A pompadour and a T-shirt with rolled sleeves. Pin curls and a fit-n-flare dress. The Greasers are ready for a night out. But for this social club, being a Greaser is about more than the clothes and hair. It’s about keeping a culture alive.
“The whole purpose of our group is to keep the past alive - the 1950s retro vibe, the classics,” said Jessi Pham, the president of the Greasers Social Club World Wide CentCal. “We just try and keep the 1950s, rockabilly aspect current and alive.”
The Greasers Social Club was founded in 2011 by Tony Reina as a promotional business to bring more rockabilly bands to Las Vegas. The logo and shirts printed up for the business proved to be popular and demand for them started to grow. The social club aspect came about when he heard a few guys in Texas had used the logo to make some shirts. Rather than start some legal proceeding, Reina saw an opportunity to start a social club and since then clubs have been started all over the world.
The Greasers Social Club World Wide CentCal chapter began seven years ago and the tie-in with Modesto’s celebration of “American Graffiti” was a natural fit. The club hosts car shows, pin-up pageants, and concerts. And if no event is happening, there’s a pretty good chance that the members are hanging out at Trevino’s Barber Shop and Shave Parlor, owned by club member and rockabilly musician Tony Trevino.
“We like to keep a lot of our events family-friendly so everyone can come out and have fun,” Pham said. “Plus we want to plant that seed with the younger ones to keep it going.”
Some may be drawn to the social club for the music, others for the classic cars, and others for the style and fashion.
For Pham, the retro style reminded her of her grandmother, who was in the beauty business and was the “Beehive queen,” Pham said.
Pham already had an interest in the pin-up style, with the defined hairstyles and femme fatale fashion, when she was introduced to the Central Valley Greasers Social Club.
“I love the elegance of the pin-up girl like Marilyn Monroe or Bettie Page, because it’s timeless and so beautiful,” Pham said.
The pandemic put a halt to most of the club’s activities, but they are ramping back up and hoping to grow their membership. The club is planning to host an open house style event during Graffiti weekend outside Trevino’s Barber Shop and Shave Parlor at 909 10th Street in Modesto.
For those interested in learning more about the club or joining, follow them at https://www.facebook.com/GSCWWCentCal/