Remember when you attended your first custom truck show? I certainly do, and things have changed significantly since those days, not necessarily for the better. While traveling extensively during the summer months to cover some of the scene's most off-the-hook custom truck events, not only do I take note of all the radical custom trucks at any given show, but I also notice the behavior of those in attendance. I must say with conviction that I am not impressed. This hobby is about sharing enthusiasm with others for customized rides and working together to create haulers worthy of gold statues and magazine layouts, while snagging the focus of spectators. It is not about a burnout contest in the hotel parking lot at a show or tossing patio furniture into the hotel pool to look cool for your club members. To the locals, and most likely the local law enforcement, you are just a royal pain in the tail end. Enthusiasts who behave like this at events do nothing but make the hobby of owning and showing customized rides look bad, ultimately ruining the party for everyone else. I am not saying it is wrong to let loose and have fun, but when defacing property and disturbing the peace are included, then your fun is not fun for others.
A perfect example is all the fun river truck runs that used to take place at La Paz County Park in Parker, Arizona. Shows including Spring Splash and Endless Summer were brought to a halt after enthusiasts ruined the grounds by dragging their frames and rocker panels, and leaving trash everywhere. After a fair amount of alcohol is consumed at an event, some people tend to get a little out of hand. I recall many a fight breaking out at the numerous truck shows I used to attend weekend after weekend on a personal level, before becoming a magazine editor. Take a look at the street rod community. You do not see these guys throwing blows at each other at events, doing burnouts in the hotel parking lot, or tossing furniture into the hotel pool. They are more mature than that. Let your ride do the showing off at the show, as people take in all the hard work you put into it.
The more often this kind of behavior takes place at events, the more likely the future of our hobby will become increasingly grim. While the towns and hotels that enthusiasts stay in during these events bring in a substantial amount of business, they are beginning to see that putting up with the aggravation is not worth the profit, and as a result, more popular shows could disappear. This is the last thing we want to see happen, since it would take away many good times that thousands of enthusiasts work so hard for. Not to mention that these shows are where we get 90 percent of our feature vehicles to fill these pages. The opportunity to fulfill many custom truck owners' dreams of magazine features would go away, and our sources for capturing some of the lowest and baddest haulers to roll the earth's surface would go away. This is not a criticism, but rather a wake up call for those enthusiasts out there who conduct themselves in ways unbecoming, which could ultimately ruin the hobby so many enthusiasts have worked to build. Until next month, keep hitting those switches, cranking good tunes (such as White Lion and Tesla), and cruising until your heart's content.