Last month I'm sure you were all enthralled at the ignorance and simplicity of the way my career mini-trucker status was achieved. We all start off at the same place in any aspect of life. Let me start by saying one thing, though: ignorance is bliss. I remember starting off being completely stoked to see a set of 16s on a mini and thinking how much of a baller that guy must be. Remember the first tailgate you saw welded shut and how ballsy that was? Shaving handles was hardcore. And a body drop? Holy crap! My heart would jump out of my body just to catch a glimpse of some of these insanely impractical mods.

It seems, though, as the years go on, more and more of these mods become commonplace. All of a sudden shaving your vehicle isn't hardcore, but expected. Heck, even body dropping your truck is just a given between my friends (except for Jason). Believe it or not, almost all of my close friends have two body-dropped show rides. This mixed company leaves for a lot of trash talkin' and pessimistic motivation; but hey, it's all in fun.

When I would walk around a show, I would nitpick anything and everything. Nothing was good enough, clean enough, thought out well enough, or original enough. Look what I had become, a guy that would just go to shows to hang out and talk to people instead of jocking the show's rides. What a crappy state of mind to be in. I wasn't even enjoying my passion unless it was mine or my friends' rides. I'm happy to say that about a year or two ago I finally broke out of this state of mind. It only took one person to break me out of this funk, and it was by his example and state of mind that I was able to do this, and I thank him for this and renewing my passion for the simplest of customs.

The person I'm talking about is someone who is one of the most hardcore and original fabricators in the mini-truck world. His passion for all customs and his bright outlook on the simplest of creations had me jealous. This person is Josh Freeman, owner of our March '03 cover truck and '03 "Mini Truck of the Year."

We were at a party that had nothing to do with anything mini-truck related. We were sitting in the backyard rambling about everything mini-truck and custom related, being sure to annoy almost every woman within fifteen feet. But Josh and I can't help it; it's what we are and what's on our minds at all times. There was a younger kid there that interjected about his Tahoe and a couple things he was doing to it. He was doing simple mods to most: wheels, static drop, simple shave job, and two-tone paint. I was amazed to see how interested and excited Josh was getting at the idea of what seemed to me as just being a full custom dealership option.

After the conversation I talked to Josh about his enthusiasm and excitement for such a dime-a-dozen roller. He looked at me a little puzzled but explained to me that to that kid it was awesome and extremely custom. Josh stated that he was just hyped to see the kid excited and felt good for him. Josh said he was just happy to see someone actually building something no matter how mild it was to the average hardcore mini-trucker.

Ever since this conversation I approach shows and this scene with a completely different outlook. It couldn't have come at a better time, as I would hate to be at my current place of employment with such a negative attitude. Now when I'm going down the road and see a Nissan Hardbody with cranked torsions, blocks, and Pathfinder wheels I get a smile on my face and am glad that mini-trucks are his custom of choice. That Hardbody will dictate his taste in mini's, his choice in who he hangs out with, and a big part of where his money and passion will be going.

I think that a lot of mini-truckers will be able to relate with me on this. We all think we have seen everything, and hardly anything impresses us. I guess I'm just glad to have a renewed sense of what is cool and what isn't. My enthusiasm has been renewed and I have one person to thank for that. Josh, thanks! Your example is what I needed to get my mind back on track as to what's important. Now go make some road dots shiver!!!