Modern Rodding The Next Chapter
Rob Fortier Headshot
T’Isn’t the
By Rob Fortier

o, here we are approaching mid-August and I can count the number of outdoor events I’ve attended without using a single hand—none. To say it’s been a bit odd, after filling each and every spring/summer season traveling across the country 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 do is different. But it’s what we don’t do, at least at this very moment, that has inspired this month’s editorial in Modern Rodding. (Following our introductory editorials in each respective magazine’s premiere issue, Brian and I had planned on using one another’s platform to promote what’s going in both magazines; in other words, I highlight things to come in Classic Truck Performance here, while Brian does likewise for Modern Rodding in his CTP editorial. But due to the overwhelming social climate impact, I decided to hold off another issue and touch on this topic instead.)

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 easy 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 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. Here’s to wishing 2021 brings us all back together—non-virtually, without fear of anything other than having a great time once again!

Modern Rodding | September/October 2020