My heart is heavy as I continue to process the sad news that yet another friend has died. Beth Hood passed away this last week and the news has just devastated me. She was bright, fun, smart, and passionate. How could she be gone? She was a mama first and foremost, and an artist and musician secondly. She was also voted Ms. Gearhead 2016/17 and it is in this capacity that we got to know each other. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and this sad news was all just a bad dream. Someone so alive and vibrant could not be gone; it just doesn’t seem real.
I created the Ms. Gearhead contest because I was sick of women being treated as eye candy in the hot rod world. I wanted to celebrate the qualities women brought to our community and Beth had those qualities in spades. Smart, outspoken and fiercely committed to giving back to her community, she embodied strength, courage, resiliency and fortitude. As a single mom raising two little boys, she taught them by example. Helping them to embrace their own passions, she explored art as well as sports with her kids. Her dream was to one day open an art school for children, hoping to help kids find their own creative voice as she had.
Sure, she was gorgeous. But it was that inner spark that shone bright through her eyes and laughter. She savored life and all it had to offer and lived it out loud, exuberant, passionate and creative in all she did. She became the Gearhead brand ambassador, wearing her Ms. Gearhead crown proudly to car shows and punk shows, posing for pictures and talking to customers but above all, being deeply true to her own person every single moment.
I am blessed and grateful to have known and worked with her these last few years and deeply saddened that this bright vivacious light is gone from this earth. You now grace the heavens with the brilliance of a shooting star Beth. You will be missed each and every day.
Read Beth’s interview here. Proceeds from the sale of the remaining posters will go to the Go Fund Me account set up for her boys.
A few days before Gearfest 2017, I sat down with the reigning Ms. Gearhead 2016, Beth Hood aka Tattoo Betty to talk about her experiences and passions. Photos by Roger Neria and Michelle Haunold. You can get a copy of her limited edition poster for your very own right here.
Thanks to So Cal Speed Shop for giving us a great place for this photo shoot!
But first, a little bit of personal stuff about her:
Birthday: Aug 3 1983, Leo
Favorite band: Hank 3
Favorite Drink: Jameson straight with a Pineapple back
Favorite Food: Crab
Not currently seeing anyone
2 kids: Robbie 9 (loves skateboarding) and 4 year old JR (the happiest kid ever!)
GH: What prompted you to enter the Ms. Gearhead contest?
TB: I liked that it was at a punk show and not a super traditional contest. You were looking for personality, not beauty, you know inward beauty, not just outward beauty. There was substance to the questions.
GH: You were selected as our Ms. Gearhead 2016. What did that feel like when your name was announced?
TB: It was super awesome, it was exciting!
GH: How would you explain your role as Ms. Gearhead?
TB: I’ve stopped by the booth at a lot of the events you’ve been at. It has been nice to just support and say hi to people whenever I could. I usually have the kids with me, so it’s pretty busy, and I can’t stay long, but that was fun. It was really fun doing the photo shoot and being connected to the whole company in general.
GH: I like to think of Ms. Gearhead being the more social part of Gearhead, to help spread the word about women being involved with the company, not just guys.
TB: I loved that you were excited and wanted me to stop by. I loved that when I was at Viva that you posted that Ms. Gearhead was at Viva, that was really exciting to me
GH: Tell me a bit about your personal life, who you are, what you do, and what you’re passionate about?
TB: I’m passionate about art! I’m a tattoo artist so everything I do is creative. I’m also really athletic. I love skateboarding with my son. And playing baseball with him. He’s got a great arm, so I’m trying to nurture that. And punk shows! And I love cooking too. I’m a big cook; I love cooking everything.
GH: I love cooking too! It’s one of my creative outlets.
TB: Cooking is an art! It’s one of those arts that people don’t really care about anymore.
GH: You mentioned you are a tattoo artist. Tell me about how that started.
TB: I’ve always been into art, my whole life. My 7th grade art teacher had me teaching the class. And I did AP art in high school so I got college credit for art. I knew I wanted to do something art related. My parents wouldn’t help me with art college. I had someone offer me an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop and I thought, oh my God, that’s super cool! I never realized that was an option. My parents then offered to help me with college, but I’m pretty spiteful, and I said no, I’m going to do this tattoo thing. And I’m glad I did. Otherwise Id’ be working for the man, and that’s no fun.
GH: How long have you been a tattoo artist?
TB: 12 years !
GH: Wow, that’s a long time! What else are you passionate about?
TB: My kids. My kids are my life.
GH: Do you do art with your kids? Yes, my youngest one is really into art, so we draw and paint together. My oldest doesn’t like to sit still for that, he’s the athletic one, so I really just work with the younger one. Some day I’d really like to open a non-profit art school for kids and really work with kids using art as a way to help them grow and think for themselves.
GH: That’s great! Ms. Gearhead is about being of service and using your gifts to help others. An art based non-profit for kids sounds great!
TB: Yeah, I think about it a lot. And I hope to get it started sooner than later.
GH: Anything else you’d like to share with the Gearhead readers?
TB: Yes, ladies, don’t be shy about entering the Ms. Gearhead contest! It’s so much fun, it’s really rewarding, and it is not about how you look but who you are.
There you have it. Ms. Gearhead is fun, playful, creative, passionate and shines her own light. Ladies, if you are interested but afraid to enter, this is your heads up that there is more reason than ever to join us Sat. Sept. 30, 2017. To make it easier, this year’s theme is Rosie The Riveter! Dress up as you would imagine her to look today, or dress as the vintage Rosie did! Everyone gets the same question: How are Rosie’s qualities of service, passion, creativity, ingenuity alive today in your life?
All proceeds from the contest to benefit the Sacramento Friends of the River.
Rock 'n' Roll/Automotive Journalist, Influencer, Editor and Publisher of Gearhead Magazine,