August 2006 On The Floor Editor's Letter - Buzzer Beater
I usually wait until the last possible second each month to sit down and pen this column. I do it this way because something is always going down here at the office or in my life, and if I summed up the state of the magazine on day one of our monthly production cycle, rest assured I'd be leaving out 29 other days worth of material. This month was no exception.
First, let me say that on day seven in production of this issue, I did find some of my stolen truck parts. In particular, the wheels were spotted on another truck not more than a mile from where they were stolen, by Nichelle Young, a truly eagle-eyed woman who happens to run the front office of IMZZ Industries in Brea, California. With her cell phone's camera, she was able to photograph the truck, the driver, his license plate number, and my wheels, then e-mail the information to me. This set in motion a chain of events that I was sure would end in the return of my stuff. Unfortunately, it didn't. Thanks to a judicial system that flat out sucks and is truly in place to protect thieves or those people who are "innocent until proven guilty," on day 21, I realized that I was never getting my stuff back. As a result of this experience, I can offer only this bit of advice: Write down the serial number of every one of your possessions because once someone steals them from you, the thief apparently gets to keep them unless you physically see them stealing them from you. But, enough about that-let's move on to better days.
You may notice that your favorite truck magazine looks a little different this time around. That is because on day nine I was able to hire the perfect art director to fill the gigantic hole left by Joel Chadwick when he moved to Arizona. Andy Mock has come aboard to help me fulfill a vision I've had for Sport Truck, since I took the editor's seat last April, and that is to give it a facelift in terms of content and appearance. He's a true professional and possesses the ability to make text move at 100 mph across a page, a skill that we've missed for a long time here. With him aboard, the look of the magazine has already grown by leaps and bounds, and in the next couple of issues, you'll find a magazine that is as much fun to look at as it is to read.
My luck and the welfare of Sport Truck improved even before Andy took up residence here, when I was also able to hire staff editor Galen Armenta. Galen came along a few months before Andy, but I wanted to make sure he'd stick around before I introduced him to you all in my column. During the last six months, I've watched so many magazine editors jump from one magazine to another that you could have put everyone's head on a Frogger arcade game as icons and had plenty leftover to staff Ms. Pacman, as well. Consequently, Gary Blount left the magazine for greener pastures, and once again, I had to fill a hole in the staff, which Galen has filled and then some. Galen comes to us from Grinder Magazine, an underground magazine that he and his friends started pretty much out of their garage.
During his time working on Grinder, Galen learned real quick how insane the magazine business can be. Although that magazine is no more, it did leave an indelible impression on the custom truck community, and we're lucky to have landed one of Grinder's best resources. Look for Galen, Feature Editor Kevin Aguilar, and myself to be triple-teaming the biggest truck shows across the nation this summer.
Around day 28 of our production cycle, the inevitable stress that comes with the responsibility of being the editor of this magazine began to set in. We had just a few precious days left to finish taking the photos for this issue and then it was crunch time. There were quite a few articles left to write and not many hours left in the day to do so. I live for this type of stress though, so it wasn't weighing any heavier on me than it usually does. This is always the busy time of the month I told myself. At least, that was the case as I strolled out of the office into the parking lot to find my truck broken into.
God must hate me or something. Less than two months after my '69 Chevy gets ripped off, my dualie is broken into in broad daylight, in the crowded parking lot of our office building. I called the guys, we took photos of the damage, and I went home early. I needed a beer or six. Tomorrow would be the last day of production for this issue and I really needed to clear my head.
I came into work on D-day or day 30 in a foul mood. I wasn't in any shape to write this column. I had been dreading it since yesterday's incident in the parking lot. I really didn't think I had anything interesting or positive to write about. And then Tom Gomez came strolling into the office with a story I've been hounding him to deliver for about a month. At the last minute, he came through with his "how a wheel is made" story and it literally turned my frown upside down. When you read it, you'll know why. I'll just say this: Beautiful women have a tendency to cheer up any guy, and this issue is now chock-full of them, thanks to Tom. Now even my insurance company can't put me in a bad mood. See ya next month.