An event celebrating the life of Fresno auto icon Michael “Blackie” Gejeian will be held at Valdez Hall at the Fresno Convention Center on Sept. 17.
Hot rodders, race and sprint car drivers and motorcycle riders are invited to remember the hot rod legend for his 70 years of service to the community. Blackie’s Shish-kabob roadster and other memorabilia will be on display and special guest speakers will be present. The event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
In 1958, Gejeian started the world-famous annual Fresno Autorama Show. It became known as one of the largest custom auto shows in North America until he retired it after 51 years due to health concerns.
Gejeian, an Easton native, enlisted in the Navy after high school and upon his return built his first roadster. The black roadster, along with the color leathers he wore, earned him the name “Blackie.” The roadster was named the World’s Most Beautiful Roadster by the Oakland Grand National Roadster Show in 1955.
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Before his death Sept. 2, Gejeian had celebrated his 90th birthday at the Fresno County Historical Museum, where Fresno city leaders declared June 24 “Michael Blackie Gejeian Day.”
For more information on the Sept. 17 celebration of life, call Joe and Carol Cusumano at 559-355-5021.