It's Tuesday the 11th of September, 2001, and as I write this editorial, the rest of my life, and I would guess yours as well, will never be quite the same. By the time you read what I have written, this day and date will part of our country's ..nay, the world's history. Albeit a tragic day that changed all of our lives`initially for the bad but eventually for the good.
For starters, I would imagine each of us has placed into perspective the importance of family, friends, and the quality of life each of us enjoy everyday as Americans. I know I look at things differently.
Maybe this coming summer it will not be quite so important to have the parking place at a rod run. Maybe all of us will take the time to tell a fellow rodder that his car looks great, no matter now many rock chips it has, while congratulating another on a job well done. Maybe, just maybe, when any one of us pulls into a hotel parking lot we will not be greeted by an "audience" of empty lawn chairs with a lone person telling us "these spots are saved." The time has come to park more than cars, but the egos that our hobby has fostered. The amount of money, time, and talent placed into one car is no greater than a lesser expenditure on any other car. It's all about perspective - it's not about the cars, it's about the people. Fortunately we all have something in common...rodding, so let's enjoy it. The time has come to put all things great and small into perspective and treat each other with the respect due a fellow human being ... rodder or not.
Street rods can be an integral part of our lives, especially for those of us who make a living from the rodding industry, but rodding still needs to be placed into perspective. Can any of you remember what appeared in the headlines just the day before? I had to go back and look myself. I realized what I was paying attention to on Monday was of little importance on Tuesday. How does one compare anything to the loss of life suffered by the City of New York's firemen, police officers, and emergency personnel from that Tuesday? This doesn't even begin to address the catastrophic loss of life, emotional toll, and loss of property when viewing the entire day. In fact, I find it nearly impossible to comprehend the scope of the day's events. All of a sudden listening to someone tell me his car belongs on the cover, his car is better than yours, or why didn't "I" get a Top Ten, I now have a clear understanding of my position. Try me and you will find out!
With all of this, I am hoping that by the time you do read this editorial that some sort of saneness will be restored to our lives, some modicum of relief will have visited all of us, and our futures will continue to be as bright as a morning sun. But, should you find yourself still a bit down in the oil pan, try reading the following, it has served me well for countless years.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you are trudging seems all up hill, when the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile, but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit,rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns, and many a person turns about when they might have won had they stuck it out.Don't give up though the pace seems slow,you may succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor's cup; and he learned too late when the night came dawn, how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,so stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,it's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
I believe it's time now to go inside and spend some time with my family; the car will be there tomorrow and I can finish it then.