Who finishes things ahead of schedule, anyway? What’s the fun of robbing yourself of the pressure and fried nerves that go along with the dawn of the final hour? And where else other than the outside of a dude’s shop in the middle of the Louisiana bayou at 4:00 a.m. during the last chill of winter would you rather be? The end of January seems so long ago. My memory is sh*t, so I can only recall blurred fragments of random happenings that went on around that time, but the night of the 30th (and into the morning of the 31st) is clear as crystal.

My pal Speedy and a guy I had never met before in person (I did know his truck rather well though) picked me up from the airport in the late afternoon, and later that evening, we cruised out to Speedy’s friend’s shop so he could wrap things up on his Ranger before our scheduled photo shoot the next day. The dude sitting in the passenger seat, Eric Luttmer, brought his Ranger along too, but all his needed was a bath (OK, so I guess some people do finish things on time). As the only guy on the scene with a camera, I played the picture taker card, and got out of getting my hands dirty but I could tell Speedy was struggling with a few things. The guy who owned the shop (damnit, I forgot his name) helped with what he could and took off a little before midnight (he obviously saw where the night was heading and seized a good opportunity to scram). So there we were—three guys, two trucks, and one camera, which happened to be turned off most of the night. (I’m good at acting busy.) The end of this endless night was nowhere in sight.

“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”
- George Carlin

We played with the idea of putting Speedy’s truck on the cover before, but talks never got further than, “how cool would that be?!” I had seen Eric’s truck before while it was deep under construction but never had the opportunity to chat him up. While Speedy was off in the distance turning wrenches and dropping every four-letter word in the book (some I had never even heard before), Eric and I made up for lost time. Turns out we both shared a similar passion for photography, were both in serious long-distance relationships (even though I had him beat by at least a good thousand miles), and the photos of his truck he had sent a couple weeks earlier did no justice to it at all. It’s simple and stunning where Speedy’s is way on the loco side. With only a three-year difference in age, and miles apart in style and design, these two Fords seemed to compliment each other perfectly. It took little persuasion to convince these two that the harmonic balance between their trucks, their shared allegiance to the same club, and their individual stories would make for an interesting cover double feature.

The rest of that night crawled by. We were sober as judges the entire time since we didn’t make a beer run earlier, and grew increasingly quiet the later (or earlier) it got. Fatigue, hunger, and the early stages of hypothermia had made their presence known. We packed it up before the sun rose, but not by much. The next day, we went shootin’. So there’s that story. Hope it was somewhat entertaining.