People Who Have Made A Difference:

Steve Stanford
There's probably not a rodder in America who hasn't picked up a pencil and attempted to draw like Steve Stanford, only to find out that it's not as easy as Steve makes it look.

I'm visualizing a very nice neighborhood. Not the imposing, gated community, restricted, snooty kind of image; it's a lot more relaxed and welcoming than that. The people are friendly, helpful, and interesting. See that old timer there? The stories he could tell. Watch the face of that youngster he's talking to. The kid's brash but curious and is soaking up every word from this legend of yesteryear. The veteran, still with the same gleam in his eyes that he had as a teenager starting out, is still very active and vital and continues to probe and experiment using his and others' experience as a guide to future exploits.

How about that young person? He and his peers are here to shake things up. It's a different world they inhabit and that curious face can belong to a female as well as a male. While they can "respect tradition" as the saying goes, they've got a fresh take on these surroundings. Oh sure, at first they did some spirited hell-raisin' in the neighborhood but these interlopers meant no harm. In fact, the old-timers found this new breed to be a shot in the arm to the way things have always been done. To everyone's surprise, tradition was found to co-exist with progression. A new take on old ideas injected fresh enthusiasm from both young and veteran neighbors, and the community grew. This place can be a warm refuge from the outside world's cares and worries and conflict if you want it to be.

This neighborhood has wonderful all-American values of hard work, creativity, sharing ideas, helping your fellow man (and woman—don't forget!) and having a roaring good time to boot. And, most importantly, pride of accomplishment.

From the kid with his nose pressed up to the glass of this candy store with all the treats inside—don't worry about getting cavities in this case—to the not-much-older man/child making his mark on the neighborhood and sampling these treats, to the veterans who built this neighborhood, reaped the rewards, and laid down a rich tradition that brings out the best of what this country has to offer, this is a community I like living in.

Believe it or not, what I'm describing is hot rodding. The neighborhood is STREET RODDER magazine.

By the way, STREET RODDER published my first sketchpad article in the July '78 issue. Thank you Pat Ganahl, who was editor at the time, for giving a break to an unknown. See how STREET RODDER is a welcoming neighborhood?!