Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
William Ross Wallace, American poet
Fast-forward in slow motion is the best way I can begin to describe the last year as editor of Mini Truckin’. So much has happened over the last 12 months that it’s really hard to believe that it all fit inside of a 365-day-sized bottle. I have to admit, this column was especially tough for me to spit out this month. In one respect, it’s a great time to sit back and reflect on the last year as this issue represents #12 for me! With a full year of MT under my belt, the nerves have calmed a bit, but there’s still a sense of stress going into the planning stages of the next volume of issues, but I’m sure that’s normal. In short, I’ve met a whole lot of great people and have seen a ton of amazing minitrucks over the last year. This is the sweet part of my story.
The bitter comes from having to type the words that Courtney “Tito” Halowell has passed on. Aside from his pivotal editorial positions with Mini Truckin’, Truckin’, Street Trucks, Baggers Magazine, World of Rods, as well as a handful of other magazine titles, he was a loyal friend to many and an inspirational colleague to few. I consider myself lucky that my first magazine gig was with Street Chopper just over four years ago. I was hired as an editorial assistant, which is pretty much the lowest title on a magazine, with the exception of an intern, that is. Courtney was the editor of SC at that time, and I remember bugging the hell out of him about letting me write a story—ANY story for the mag! I just wanted to know what it was like to see my name in a real magazine that could be found at a real bookstore. I think my overexcitement at that time turned him off to the idea, but my day finally came! He gave me a full feature to write and told me that if I did a good job that he would let me take on more stories. The amount of appreciation I have for Courtney for that opportunity is immeasurable.
I remember Courtney best as he was sitting in our old office building on Cerritos Ave. blasting outlaw country music on XM radio and criticizing me for calling a chopper "gorgeous" in that first article he assigned me. He didn’t think the term was fitting for a tough-guy biker mag, and I totally agreed with him. He suggested I use "badass," "epic," or "righteous" instead, if I’m not mistaken. It’s funny, because I’d use all of those suggestions of his to describe his life’s work in the world of automotive journalism.
Rest in peace, Courtney.