Time to remember what the holiday’s about . . .
With all the gloomy news on the Net these days, with markets melting and fortunes lost, it’s easy sometimes to get caught up in the collective malaise and forget about those things we take for granted every day that really are blessings to us, whether we realize it or not at the time. So in the spirit of the day, I thought I’d cobble up a short list of people and things that have made my life a little more fulfilling and rewarding. I didn’t think it would take a long time to do, jaded pessimist that I am, but it turns out it’s not such a short list after all!
* My family---Mom, Pop and Sis---all alive and well this holiday season, and the older I get, the more it means to me to have them around.
* My friends. If I still had any. A career in journalism is kinda funny that way . . .
* My home, my health, my neighbors, my dogs, my ex-wives (one of ’em, anyway), and my brand-new flat-screen iMac. (Everyone’s entitled to a few indulgences, right?)
* My country. We’re having some difficult times right now, and we’re in for some challenges ahead, but the U.S. of A’s still not a bad place to be. The Chinese and the Russians may be hiring right now, but I think I’ll stay put in So Cal all the same.
* Our soldiers. When you’re having supper tonight, say a prayer for our guys and gals in uniform who are around the world, that they might get to enjoy the same happy times with family and friends in 2009 that we’re all celebrating today.
* My job---take it from me, unemployment blows.
* Our fine corporate benefactors at Source Interlink Media. Now if they can just get our e-mail addresses nailed down . . .
* All of the people who’ve ever worked at Four Wheeler----they’ve all helped to make the magazine a great experience to read each month, and to work at for years. The list is too long to include everyone, but holiday props are due to Stewart (both of ‘em), Nylund, Worthy, Williams, Sanders, Bourdon, Smith, Calvin, Murray, Leadabrand, Oertle and Ames---and first among equals, the late Granville King. I’ve met, worked and wheeled with most of ‘em over the years, and they’ve all taught me something about writing, four-wheeling, or life itself.
* I guess I should mention the firm of Holman, Brubaker, Stover & Smith---better’n trained monkeys, and almost as cheap to feed. (Just kidding, guys---you rock.)
* My colleagues in this business---Pewe, Cappa, Howell, Jones, and the rest of the four-wheelin’ rabble. And the other scribes who I’ve had a pleasure to work with---Ned and Sue and Jim and Gary and Monika and Chris and Greg, and the thousands of car-mag guys out there. And all of the publishers and sales
vermin reps too.
* Top Truck Challenge---and everyone who’s ever been involved in putting it on. After 16 years, it’s still maybe the most flat-out fun thing I do with the magazine every year.
* The folks at all the great companies that have advertised in our pages: The mail-order guys like Desert Rat, Summit Racing, 4-Wheel Parts and National Tire that have stuck with us through good times and bad, and companies like Toyota, Nissan, Rancho, Warn, Jeep, Ramsey, Cepek and Land Rover, who’ve been helping us out since our very first issue. Thanks to all for helping us keep the lights on and the presses rolling for 46 years.
* The pioneers: Guys with names like Buschert and Novak and Currie and Shook and Edelbrock and Parnelli and Rod---the folks who helped put us on the map, and who bequeathed us our legacy of wheelin' today.
* And finally, YOU. All of you who have ever subscribed to our magazine, checked out our videos, caught us on TV, entered a contest, sent us letters (hate mail included) or photos of your trucks, surfed around our Website, or sported some of our gear---if it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be in business. From all of us here at FW, have a blessed and blissful holiday. We’re thankful for each and every one of you. Now get to work on that turkey leg already!