News & Press: General News

President's Message - November 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018  

The past, the present, the future

When I was young, I was a little forgetful. So forgetful, that my mother was wont to say that I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached.

I took a long city bus ride to school, so there was no running home. And those were the days you didn’t call home and have your parents bring to school what you had forgotten. You’d just have to take the hit for what you didn’t have available to hand in or rely on the compassion of the teacher to let you bring it in the next day without impacting your grade too much.

While I have gotten better over the years, some things I remember in exacting detail, while others sail through my mind without leaving any evidence that they had been there. Such was the case this month. I had written and submitted a President’s Message and had totally forgotten that it would be for the November–December issue. Additionally, that this was the last issue of The Self-Starter produced under the stewardship of Steve and Maggi Stewart (pun intended).

As I mentioned above, the Stewarts are retiring as The Self-Starter editors after an outstanding 15-year run. Change is inevitable, but I’m going to miss them. When I took over this office the last time, one of the responsibilities of the job that scared me the most was my having to write an article every month. Not just an article; one that had to be 500 words in length.

I had flashbacks of my English classes at Custer High School in Milwaukee. By the way, it wasn’t named after George, but Harvey Custer, a local village constable. Those flashbacks were of me agonizing with writer’s block at 11 p.m., with a theme paper due in English class the next morning. I should add that task was complicated by my English teacher having told me I couldn’t write about cars any more if I wanted a passing grade.

While for this assignment, I could write about cars, I was still worried about my ability to deliver and do so on time. I shared that trepidation with Steve. With his incredibly calm demeanor, he told me not to worry about it; the words would come…just don’t miss the deadline or there’d be a blank space on the President’s Message page.

He was right. There have been many months when I was sitting at my computer at 11 p.m. with no idea as to what I was going to write, with my message due to him the next day. However, the words always seem to come; I don’t think I pressed my deadline more than twice.

Our new editor, Jeff Shively, will be taking the reins beginning with the January issue. He will have big shoes to fill, just as Steve and Maggi did when they took over. I have confidence that he will continue The Self-Starter’s tradition of excellence, as Steve and Maggi have since they assumed the editor mantle from Michaline Larson 15 years ago. Hopefully, I can get my musings to him in a timely fashion as well, or you’ll see a blank page where my message should be.


Let me be the first to wish each and every one of you “Happy Holidays” and a Happy (and prosperous) New Year. Yes, I did say “Happy Holidays.” We’re an inclusive group here, and, while many of us do, not everyone celebrates Christmas, and I don’t want to leave anyone out, plus this message is early enough to encompass Thanksgiving as well. We are the only ones who understand our Cadillac obsession and need to stick together.

Happy Motoring!


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