Still Hammerin’
Rob Fortier Headshot
Are We There … Yet?!

s of Tuesday, June 15, despite resistance from certain powers that be, the state in which I currently reside—that being California—finally decided to lift restrictions, mandates, and whatnot and once and for all let residents get back some semblance of their former lives. It’s still all pretty surreal, but I’m sure I speak for many others when I say how badly I want to put this last year-plus as far behind us as possible. Sure, it was a tremendous learning experience, and many of the lessons taught and learned will remain with us for years to come and, hopefully, help prevent this from happening again (at least in the severity that it did). But, enough of my soapboxing … let’s get on with it, shall we?

So, as we’ve all seen with regards to the larger indoor car shows (Detroit Autorama, Grand National Roadster Show), we’ve had to make do with smaller outdoor events and local cruises to get our fix, so to speak, for the first couple months of the year. But come March, as witnessed in Texas with the Goodguys Spring Lone Star Nats and other not-so-small shows, things started moving in the right direction. Sure, there were mask mandates and recommendations for social distancing, but that didn’t stop people from doing what they’ve been itching to do for months on end: get outside and drive their trucks!

Here it is late June as I’m writing this, and unlike this time last year (where my event travel itinerary was literally nothing) I’m looking forward to finally getting back out on the road and traveling—beyond the state line! (If you know me, you’ll know that last statement is rather shocking coming from me, as I have an extreme distaste for airports, airlines, and anything that has to do with air travel—so for me to say that, you know I’m tired of being cooped up!) On top of the unusual excitement of returning to some familiar venues, such as Louisville for the NSRA Street Rod Nationals after nearly 30 years of doing so representing the “old regime,” as it were, I’m anxious to attend and represent this brand-new venture of ours.

To be completely honest, though, the one aspect that I’m really looking forward to the most is getting to reconnect with all the people I’ve befriended over the last three decades (industry folks, builders, and all the vehicle owners I’ve met). Emails, phone calls, and texts are great—but nothing like good old face-to-face conversation (BS sessions!). Speaking of close cohorts, I’d like to dedicate this editorial to my good friend Craig Morrison who, as many of you have undoubtedly heard by now, sadly succumbed to complications from COVID-19 this past June. From the entire In The Garage Media team, our hearts and prayers go out to his entire family as well as everyone at Art Morrison Enterprises.

Craig Morrison pictured sitting next to a green classic truck
Craig Morrison works on a classic green truck in his drive way