Stockard Channing had this monologue in the movie “Six Degrees of Separation” where she proclaims that her encounter with the young man who turns out not to be Sidney Portier’s son was “an experience” and it perceived to be “an anecdote” to her life. Now, I don’t know about all that, but I must say that my first foray into “serious journalism” back in 2002 was an experience nonetheless.
As I mentioned before, I love cars. Through the experience of reading the automotive enthusiast magazines, I entertained the idea of a possible career as a road test reviewer. To be able to drive some of the hottest cars on the market for 1,000 miles at a time and criticize its characteristics seemed like to be one of the coolest jobs on the planet.
Before I was asked to write and be the Managing Editor for a friend’s culturally-specific website out of Chicago, I already dreamed of being an equal to the likes of L.J.K. Setright, Georg Kacher, Csaba Csere, David E. Davis and P.J. O’Rourke. Unfortunately, Mr. O’Rourke graduated to be being a right-wing, whining Baby Boomer pinhead with a successful portfolio of books – though he was quite funny at being so. Yet, unlike the late Mr. Setright, I could not ride the two-wheeled variety of vehicles he fancies alongside the Rolls-Royces, the Bristols and the Ferraris.
I wanted an opportunity to expand my journalistic world away from commenting on the Bear community. I love my brethren, but there’s more to life than bar nights, “bear runs,” sleep disorders and all other sundry benefits of being in a specific culture.
For this leap into “serious journalism,” I picked the 101st Chicago Auto Show, which was held at the massive McCormick Place convention center south of The Loop. To make this work, I had an accomplice, Tom Wray, my publisher at the time. We ran around in our badges, took shots of concept cars, the latest productions vehicles and having Tom witness squeezing my large body into everything from the Chrysler Prowler to the rear seat of the Lincoln Town Car Cartier L. All of this with the intent on creating a main story piece relating the auto show experience for its intended readership.