Looking back over 30 years, when Truckin' debuted in 1974, I had just finished attending Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, graduating with an AA degree in photography. Two years later, I found myself with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from California State University, Fullerton, and was considering my next step. One of my goals was to work for a magazine, and at the time, any magazine would do. Compiling a list of possibilities from various sources, one publisher kept popping up on my resume mailing list - McMullen Publishing, which published a long list of magazines, including a fairly new publication named Truckin'.
Although I did not get an interview with Truckin' at the time (1976), I kept the magazine in the back of my head for future reference. Over the next 15 years, I worked on a variety of magazines, including an owner-operator heavy-duty custom truck magazine entitled American Trucker. Part of my duties at American Trucker was to write and photograph a monthly pickup test department, where I reported on the latest pickup truck offerings from major manufacturers. A few years later (and several more attempts at landing an interview with Truckin'), I was hired by a publishing company whose titles included Turbo & High-Tech Performance and Truck & Sport Utility Performance. The truck magazine later became Today's SUV, and the company also added such titles as V-8 Power and later, Import Tuner.
In the Summer of 1999, Today's SUV, Turbo, and Import Tuner (I was Editor of all three at the time) were sold to McMullen-Argus Publishing, whose many titles included the very-popular Truckin'. I came over to that company as Editor of Today's SUV, which later became Truckin's SUV, where I presently still serve as Editor. A few years later, I started writing and photographing occasional articles for Truckin', and nearly two years ago, I was promoted to the Managing Editor spot at Truckin'. As I look back at that fresh college graduate of 1976, sending out resumes to various magazines, including Truckin', I can see that it has been an interesting cycle, to say the least.
The point of all of this? While I went about the process of working at various publications, under various titles and responsibilities, Truckin' was gathering momentum, and from the very start was the premier publication for pickup truck owners (and van owners), who wanted to enhance their chosen rides to reflect individual lifestyles. As Truckin's readership grew, the magazine grew. Truckin' editors came and went, but the soul of the magazine stayed. Truckin' was indeed much larger than its individual components. The magazine changed and evolved, but at its heart was an enthusiast magazine, written, photographed, and edited by enthusiasts. The same holds true today.
If this were the last editorial I wrote for Truckin', I would have to say the ride has been a sweet one. Truckin' may be important to its readers, but it is just as important to those of us who piece it together month after month. My group of colleagues at Truckin' treat their roles as much more than just a job, it's a part of their lives, and they think of the magazine as something to be nurtured and cared for in order to grow into something better than what they started with, and to be placed into the trusting hands of others when the time comes. When my time comes to say goodbye to the pages of Truckin', I'll feel confident that I've left it a little better off and the torch will be carried by a very capable bunch of editors - and friends.