While Esther Bent, Brian's daughter, stays at our home in France for a linguistic journey, I asked her to write for us a few lines about her father, "I could write a book" she answered!
Brian Bent is a man of many talents. I should know, I’m his daughter. When I first arrived into the world of Brian Bent, he was a seasoned artist, surfer, musician and skater. As an artist, Brian has been drawing since he could lift a pen. While going through old albums of drawings he drew as a boy it’s easy to see that Brian has always had a gifted hand. His actual career as an artist started when he was in high school. Brian’s high school art teacher saw that Brian had a knack for art. So, he offered him side jobs such as painting the scoreboards for the baseball fields and other signs for ASB around campus. After high school, Brian’s love for surfing all day everyday led him to work for Becker Surfboards. Brian started working at Becker when he was 19 years old. He started working there simply as a retail associate, and throughout the years he became Becker’s interior designer. Brian completely changed the look of Becker Surfboards and the stores soon became known for their rad boards, good clothes, but most of all for the rad art all around the store. Brian worked with Becker for around 20 years creating unique surf shops all over the Southern Califonia Coast. When Brian wasn’t working, he was surfing, skateboarding, rollerskating, playing music and being a husband and father to my brother and I.
Brian has always had a love for hot rods, and throughout the years I’ve seen cars come and go. Some stayed longer than others. At one point he owned a vintage 1960’s motorcycle (I can’t remember the brand name) that we would take around the neighborhood, with him driving and me on back.
What many people don’t know about Brian is that he is a pastor at Hot Rod Church for Sinners. Since Brian met my mom, Rivka, they have grown together as Christians. They started going to church in Mission Viejo called Christian Mission. There, Brian’s musical talents were acknowledged and praised. He led praise and worship and soon became a youth pastor for the Christian Mission youth group. His friend Chris, owner of Santora’s Hot Wings, presented Brian with a crazy idea. Because of his love for hot rods and the Lord, why not mix the two? They decided to call this mix Hot Rod Church for Sinners. From that day on, every Sunday morning at Santora’s you can hear the Pioneers play rockabilly gospel music and a message straight out of the bible. Brian sings and plays guitar then preaches the Gospel every Sunday morning. The model A, one of Brian’s hot rods, is the trademark vehicle for HRCS.
Over the years, Brian is known for his hand made shirts, cuffed jeans, leather jacket, wool sweaters and captain’s hat. Today, Brian works with United 50, a clothing company where 1930’s Americana designs come alive on the hand-screened and hand-crafted t-shirts that come straight out of the United 50 club house in San Clemente, California.
One can find Brian at the United 50 club house painting and sewing and screening and designing, while surrounded in a sea of shirts. One can also look for one of our seven hot rods at Sano surf beach or somewhere around South Orange County. At Sano, just look for the man in a Captain’s hat out in the water. Once you spot him, you receive the pleasure of viewing surfing of the 1940’s. Brian surfs his kookboxes with such grace and elegance it appears almost effortless. But believe me, those boards are heavy! If you still haven’t found him, you will be sure to find him at the Hot Rod Church for Sinners playing rockabilly gospel and sharing the gospel.
As I said before, Brian is a man of many talents. To share with you all that he can do would require me to write a book. I don’t think that there is anything Brian can’t do, and I am so blessed to be able to call him, “my rad dad.”
Brian and Famous Lifeguard/Surfer/painter Joe Severson brother of John
Photos: Olivier Prat & Vincent Prat