Russell Struck, 63, started decorating his Chevy S-10 about five years ago and never stopped. He lives in his truck. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Russell Struck, 63, started decorating his Chevy S-10 about five years ago and never stopped. He lives in his truck. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

He keeps on truckin’ in a fabric-wrapped Chevy that’s his home

Russell Struck decorated his S-10 with 8 yards of flaming red cloth, holographic eyeballs and skulls.

EVERETT — When the urge strikes to trick out a truck in red flames, most guys head to the auto shop.

Russell Struck went to the Joann Fabric and Craft Store.

What’s up with that?

Struck glued 8 yards of the flaming fabric on his ’94 Chevy S-10 four-wheel-drive rig.

Then he went to the Everett Lowe’s for a can of waterproofing spray.

That’s where I saw the fiery truck with blue wheel spokes, metal studs and skull hood ornament. It stood out amid the gray, black and other vehicles factory-painted by robots.

Inside the Chevy cab was a hot mess of trinkets and statues. Over the truck shell: an arching canvas bubble with round air vents and green holographic eyeballs that move.

A goth man-cave on wheels. Too cool to pass up.

My husband mumbled something about how we can’t go anywhere without me bothering people and headed to our vanilla-white car.

The truck’s proud owner is Russell Struck, a goateed guy in cutoffs and skull-and-roses T-shirt.

Struck, 63, seems to like the attention.

“People put me on YouTube,” he said.

The truck is his home. He sleeps in it near the former downtown Denny’s, where he said “everyone kind of gets in a wagon train” at night.

“I’m basically homeless right now,” he said.

He goes to a buddy’s house for meals and showers. He fishes in a boat he keeps at another buddy’s house in Lake Stevens.

“I like decorating stuff,” he said.

The hood ornament is among the numerous decorations on Russell Struck’s Chevy S-10 truck wrapped in red flame cloth. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The hood ornament is among the numerous decorations on Russell Struck’s Chevy S-10 truck wrapped in red flame cloth. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

He made the canopy bubble from PVC pipe and a paint drop cloth from Lowe’s.

The green Halloween prop eyeballs move when he pushes a button.

“I get thumbs ups all the time,” he said. “I give them the eyeball when I’m going down the freeway.”

The horn is a mix of a car alarm and sounds from other horns curated from the junkyard.

Until about 10 years ago, Struck worked as a pipe fitter installing overhead fire sprinkler systems in buildings. He didn’t say why he quit.

“I don’t do nothing anymore. That’s why I work on my truck. To kill time,” he said. “Being bored and needing something to do.”

He bought the Chevy six years ago after he said his other went kaput.

“If I remember right, it was kind of a teal bluish green,” he said. “The paint job was not good. I glued on some fabric and go, ‘That doesn’t look bad.’ The good thing about doing the cloth is it hides all your scratches and dents.”

Struck covered the truck with several other fabric coats that faded and peeled before the recent makeover in red flames.

“I had a black hologram kind of vinyl, but the hologram washed out and I was going, ‘What? Kind of cheesy,’” he said.

He spent $38 on the latest look.

“I got 50% off on the fabric, and it was like $10 for the glue,” he said.

Good enough for now, but not weather-proof.

“It will be different probably six months down the road,” he said.

Struck hopes to get a place to park himself someday.

“I’m on the waiting list for low-income housing, have been for five years,” he said. “People with kids, single moms or dads, or with handicaps, they come first.”

He doesn’t fit into those categories.

So he just keeps on truckin’.

Andrea Brown:; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Jesse Spitzer (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Wanted man fled from Gold Bar to Idaho, police say

Jesse Spitzer, 30, who has a history of violence against officers, is wanted for felonies in two states.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
‘White saviorhood’: Mukilteo schools end ‘Mockingbird’ requirement

The book is not banned in the school district. The last book brought before the school board was by Maya Angelou.

Police: Marysville Pilchuck student arrested for wielding knife

Neither of the students involved in the Wednesday morning fight was injured, police reported.

Police looking for Mukilteo bank robber, seeking tips

The man appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, white, slender, about 5-foot-8, with dark blond hair.

The tower of Paine Field Airport stands in a fog bank forcing flights to be averted or cancelled in Everett, Washington on January 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
More 5G-related cancellations as Paine Field fog persists

The FAA has not cleared certain planes to land in low visibility in Everett due to nearby 5G cellular towers.

Lynnwood Public Works employees on the snow plow crew sit in front of one of the city's two plows that will be named based on results of an online public vote. (City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood snow plow names: Snowbi Wan Kenobi, Plowy McPlowface

They got the two highest votes in an online public survey by Lynnwood Public Works.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Despite Arizona move, Everett leaders expect Funko HQ to stay

The toymaker is closing Everett warehouses. But a recent “HQ2” expansion has the city confident Funko will remain rooted here.

Island County jail slammed with first COVID outbreak

Three cell blocks are in quarantine and about a third of the jail staff are out with COVID.

Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state amid staff shortages due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Past the omicron peak? Snohomish County’s COVID cases declining

Hospitalizations are still a concern, however, and infections in Eastern Washington and Idaho could have ripple effects here.

Most Read