Rob Fortier headshot
Still Hammering
By Rob Fortier

initially wrote this last month for our sister pub, Modern Rodding, but just 30 days later, the message is still prominent enough to warrant its repeating. So, here we go!

By mid August, all told I could count the number of outdoor events I’d attended without using a single hand: none. To say that was a bit odd, after fi lling each and every spring/summer season traveling across the country, doing so for the last 30-odd years, would be a huge understatement. Mind numbing would be a more appropriate way to describe the situation as a whole—from the way we obtain our food to the way our children obtain their K-12 formal educations, practically everything we’re doing is different.

All personal feelings and opinions aside regarding the political aspects of the pandemic we’re in the midst of, I have absolutely no problem wearing a bandana over half my face when I go into my bank or having to eat my favorite restaurant food at home, nor do I mind one bit making sure people keep their distance from me and vice versa when in those or most any other social situations. But keeping a safe distance versus completely shutting down organized outdoor events has been a little less easier to deal with—especially when it comes to the fact that those events I’m referring to are an integral part of filling the pages of a magazine. For a magazine that’s been around for any length of time (are there any of those left?!), missing an opportunity to gather event coverage and car/truck features wouldn’t be such a traumatic deal; but when you’re working with building a brand-new one with just a few months under your belt, well, let’s just say the traditional way of social networking is completely out the window. Sure, social networking the modern way works, and it’s what we’ve been relying on for the most part, but there’s nothing like getting out in the trenches and digging your feet in to truly utilize the full networking spectrum.

Again, I totally understand the risks and potential ramifications that are involved with holding an event of any size under the conditions we’re faced with, and completely respect the decision on the promoter’s behalf to cancel/postpone accordingly. But that doesn’t make it any less surreal, not at all. That said, I know the “new normal” is a temporary normal, and while we may not ever fully return to the old normal as it were, when it comes to our real-life social interactions, virtual car shows better become a thing of the past, or we all might as well start building virtual hot rods!

Luckily, 2020 didn’t start didn’t start off with a backfired bang. As I discovered my tenure with that previous publishing entity was coming to a rightful end, I was able to attend the Grand National Roadster Show during its regularly scheduled January exhibition in Pomona—and the NSRA and Goodguys were able to pull off a couple national events, so it hasn’t been a total loss. By September, however, things did change for the better—along with my currently homeschooled son, we made our way up the coast from SoCal north of Sacramento for the annual C10 Intervention at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. Not only was it great to get out on the road and stretch our radial tires, it was great to intermingle, socially distanced of course, with like-minded classic truck folk … and their trucks! So, 2020 has not been a total loss—and we’ve still got Dino’s Git Down in November!