The older we get, it seems we begin more sentences with those two words: remember when. Two words that come up with years of memories, miles, and relationships, that are all said to build character.
I've discovered that it's all about one's journey in life. I recently attended my weekly, Saturday-morning donut-shop gathering for local gearheads and their rides. The majority of those present were more than 50-years-old, also known as the baby-boomer generation. These are the originators of the hot rod, lakester, street rod, lead sled, rockabilly rod, musclecar and custom truck. We owe a lot of credit and appreciation to these guys for creating the grassroots of our hobby.
While sipping coffee, I was foot-cruising the rows of cool rides that were stuffed into the parking lot. As I shuffled my feet down the aisles, I found it interesting to eavesdrop on conversations about people remembering back when. One amazing thing about hot-rod history is that you can learn about much of it just by listening to the old coots. Sure, some stories you have heard before, but most come new to your ears. The scary part is that I am more often finding myself merging into these conversations with a personal "remember when" anecdote. One of the great things about this hobby is the years of memories your mind retains. However, sometimes as you grow older, your mind doesn't regurgitate these memories clearly, if at all.
The most rewarding part of this hobby is that a gearhead is ageless. Sure, the cars, truck, trains, and planes may change, but the interest, passion, and character for them remains. We see a blend of ages, from young to old. It is cool for the hobby to get a transfusion of the young bloods with their fresh ideas, innovations, trends and dreams.
This hobby thrives on change, by constantly recreating and refining previous ideas and constructions. Who could have thought that rodding would have its own means of evolution? The technology of the rodding aftermarket has vaulted to higher levels, which has allowed us to build a more efficient and reliable custom truck.
Another modern-day component that has become vital in today's rodding hobby are the computer and internet, which allow us to link up to retail, mail-order houses, and then browse, shop, pay and ship parts directly to our front door step the next day. It sure the hell beat's crawling around a salvage yard looking for a rare, used part to strip off an old junked carcass. Remember when...