As most of my deep contemplations and column ideas begin, Ernie and I throw banter back and forth at each other all day long while trying to actually get some work done on the magazine. But, for some reason, this time around a little harmless joke struck a chord with me. It went something like "You're not a hardcore minitrucker; you don't go to all the small local shows around ..." And as we joked back and forth to each other about who's the real minitrucker, and why he's more hardcore than the other, I began to really wonder if Ernie was right.

So, what exactly is a minitrucker? Is it the guy who devotes every waking hour and penny working on his truck in the garage, but has to miss all of the shows because of it? Is it the guy who works hard at a "normal" job all week long, so he can enjoy a truck built the way he wanted by a shop on the weekend? Does it mean you have to wear a black shirt, chucks, and a backwards hat? Or is it the guy who goes to every single show, no matter how far away or how much it costs, so long as he gets there? Well, in my humble opinion, it's all of those and none of those at the same time.

What I mean is that a minitrucker is not one particular way of life. It's actually not even vehicle specific, as it used to be; because many guys who own fullsize trucks or 'bagged cars are also considered minitruckers if that's where their passion lies. Each one of us enjoys our passion in our own unique way! That's why I love this scene so much, because if one month you spend all of your time in the garage working on your truck, the next month all of your time at shows near and far, and then the next month sitting at home relaxing and reading your MT mag, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. We're free to enjoy as much or as little of the scene as we want.

Some guys have to work on the weekends and can't catch every little cruise night or small show that they would like, but does that make them any less of a minitrucker? No, absolutely not. Some guys go to every single show, no matter how big or small, close or far away; but does that make them more hardcore? No, absolutely not. As long as your passion is enjoying minitrucks and all they have to offer, then we are all equal and no one person is better than another because they hit more shows, or build more trucks, or drag harder or longer.

This mentality is ignorant to the fact that we all have individual obstacles in our lives, whether it's family, finances, home, work, hobbies, or a million other reasons that may keep a person from working on their truck or going to every little show around.

So, the next time someone tries to call you out by saying you're not hardcore, simply smile and say, "Maybe not, but I sure love my minitrucks!"