Airman W Christian Ward, circa 1991, before I was “Mental”
“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes
In 1992, I lived just outside of Kaiserslautern Germany. I was a year into my “practice” marriage and enjoying Europe as much as I could on $845.10 a month.
Like any good 21-year-old, I had dreams and goals, most of them delusional. The US Air Force was never plan “A,” hell it wasn’t even plan “B.” I figured it might be time I decided what I was going to do when I grew up.
In the midst of my meandering through life trying to find my purpose, I decided I could be an automotive journalist. After all, I love cars, I love motorcycles and I can write (despite some evidence to the contrary.)
But how would I get there? Google was 5 years away and AOL was still figuring out chat rooms. No, back then you had to get your pornography and career advice via purely analog means. There was no entry in the encyclopedia on how to become an automotive writer. I didn’t know any automotive writers and I didn’t have family members “in the business.” But I needed advice, so I reached out to the person that I admired most and I did so in the manner you reached out to people in those days. I wrote a letter.
I wrote to Peter Egan.