Tuesday, 12/12/2017 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Car-Enthusiasts Look to Encourage Suicide-Awareness

Sara Escobar

Evening Star 

Local car enthusiasts have gathered together in memory of a member who committed suicide last month. 26-year-old Nolan Gibson tragically passed away in June near his hometown of Edmonton, Kentucky. He was serving in the United States Army at the time of his death.

A memorial was put together in his memory by other members in the car-scene community, including his close friend Jayare Hinojasa, president of his own car group, Static State.

Courtesy Photo
Jayare Hinojasa sports his new motor for his Nissan 350z with the decal “Rev4Nolan” in order to honor his close friend, Nolan Gibson, who committed suicide last month.

“We all became close because we were in the military and loved our cars,” Hinojasa says. The group consisted of five members who all had different colored Nissan 350z’s, which is a type of sports car. The members of the group, following Hinojasa and Gibson, consisted of Eric Sansonetti, Cody Margate, and Ben Flowers. “Our group was originally called The Royal Flush, but Nolan was the first to buy a mustang, following the change of our name. Nolan was a great guy with a huge heart and a love for anything with a motor in it. All five of us used to do everything together.”

The memorial was made possible with collaboration from Hinojasa, Central Texas Car Meets, and Christen Silvestri, known as CiCi to close friends. Silvestri has formed her own car-loving group, appropriately named “Girls Like Cars Too”.

“CiCi actually came to me with the idea of doing something for Nolan at their upcoming car meet,” said Hinojasa. The memorial consisted of a 10-second engine rev, dubbing the phrase, “Rev4Nolan”. “I took the idea from both boxing and what the entire world’s tribute was for Paul Walker when he passed–when Paul walker passed away every car enthusiast in the world got together on a set date at a set time and revved for the fallen idol; I set the rev time for ten seconds because when a great boxing champion dies they do a final 10 count in honor of the fallen. We also encouraged people to do 22 push ups in memory of Nolan.”

“I was starting the planning of my first meet  “Cars and Bagels” about three days before Nolan passed.” says Silvestri, “Everywhere I looked on social media, it was flooded with Nolan’s face. Granted I didn’t know Nolan as well, but I still realized how it impacted a lot of people around me and I knew I could do something to help everyone out. I came to Jayare about the idea and we started going from there. He was able to come up with what I think was a great memorial.” Silvestri is an employee at Bite the Bagel in Killeen, which was a strong supporter for the event and where the memorial was held. “The car community is such a small group of individuals. We just need everyone to know you always have another option, that there is always someone out there that will help. We have plans to to hold a monthly meet so that we can help bring awareness to the community.”

For Hinojasa, it’s more about his love for his car. It’s an extension of himself. “To some people cars are just a tool for commuting from place to place–but to people like Nolan and I, they are so much more the  that. They are an extension of our personalities, a member of our family. The bond between a man and his machine is something some people just won’t ever understand. To us, it’s a living breathing entity with feelings. It isn’t about point a to point b with us–the drive itself is the point.”

Hinojasa also said he is currently getting a new motor ready for his car, and he plans to honor Gibson by sporting the “Rev4Nolan” decal on his timing cover.

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