It's hard to believe that we're at Issue 13 already. The year has flown by. It has been a spectacular year for Truckin' and I have to say that I'm more than impressed with the quality of work that has been coming out of this building every four weeks.
When Senior Editor Dan Ward prepared the assignment sheet for this issue he added a notation at the top that said "Finish Strong." How appropriate, I thought. The previous 12 issues had nothing but the best trucks in the country, with special sections and themes that really nail what the serious reader wants to see. Finishing strong is the only appropriate way to wrap up the '06 magazine season.
That's one reason why we present the "Top 10 Trucks of 2006" in this issue. We gathered the entire staff in the conference room and hashed it out with a copy of each issue in front of us. There were some heated debates, no doubt, but in the end we reached a consensus that these 10 trucks really are the ones that make eyeballs fall out and legs quiver. If you missed any of them, this is the perfect chance to see what we think is special.
There's plenty of other great stuff in this issue (like the "101 Cool Garage Tips") but I'm not going to run through each story and hand-feed it to you. You know what's in here. You know it's the best stuff you can buy. It's no coincidence that we're especially happy that this issue is the one that's on the newsstands while everyone (yes, everyone) in the automotive industry is attending the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas. This is the magazine that we wave in front of the faces of manufacturers, fabricators, shops, and the dudes who carry briefcases full of money to spend on advertising. We're proud of what we do, and rightfully so. If you've been reading Truckin' for years, you know what I'm talking about. If you're new to our pages...where the heck have you been? You're the reason we do all of this.
I'm sure you've heard plenty of people talk about how "it's the people" that really make a hobby special. You're going to hear it again. When Bob Ryder wrote in Issue 10 about his truck buddy who passed away and how it affected him, I (like most of you probably) felt bad for him. Little did I know that one of my automotive buddies would pass on just a couple of months later. This dude didn't have a gnarly truck that we would feature in the pages of Truckin', as his Ford F-150 was kept basically stock as a simple way to transport his motocross bikes. His real talents were shown in a '72 Mach 1 Mustang that he built and I photographed over a year ago for a car magazine. We struck up a friendship and compared notes on personal relationships with some surprise at the similarities.
Then he killed himself. Yes, the news came to me in a similar staccato fashion. I was stunned. I thought he had a lot to live for, spending his weekends at shows with his car show buddies. Guess I was wrong. I have wondered what I can learn from the experience. The only thing I can think of is that I do like the people I meet at car and truck shows. And I like the people I work with. I need to make sure that they know that. And I'm pissed that my buddy took that route. If you're down, get help. Look on the internet. There are all kinds of resources.