Commentary: 2017 in a Nutshell

Photo by Randy Stern

What did 2017 yield for you? Hopefully good tidings. Yet, we can all agree how challenging this year has been on many fronts, as well as our personal triumphs.

When I look back at this year, I often think of how far I have come as Victory & Reseda over the past six years. I also think of how far I have grown as an automotive media person since my first gig in this new frontier back in 2001.

On a professional basis, the good did outweigh the bad. I was back in the swing of things locally and beyond. I was able to experience some new activities that yielded positive results. There had been some changes professionally that swung towards the positive in the immediate and near term.

For one, I have been seen as an accessible point of reference for aspirational content makers. Though I prefer to just "hide in a bunker and put my nose down to work," I couldn't. I have to pass on what I know towards instilling success and ethical integrity upon whom that would further their work – new or established.

Yet, I have felt others – in particular, those in the car scene – wanting to take advantage of this work and the person behind it. This bothered me – a lot. I have been recoiling from the so-called scene, however, selecting whom I want to associate with and how. To be "out there" not only takes a lot of work to accomplish, but a lot of energy and patience to put into the situation.

Towards the end of this year, I am finding serendipity in new energy. There is a new Managing Editor at a local lifestyle magazine I write for. He expressed his love for my work and how I approach it. We are finding ways to support each other to maximize the magazine's content value in hopes of doing more with the publication.

Thguis new energy is also focused on the good work V&R does to deliver more to its readers. This starts with working with great entities and individuals that create opportunities to support each other. Of these, I am grateful for the collaboration with Garage Freaks Design in creating the new V&R T-shirt, along with being the supplier of our vinyl stickers. I thank Kyle Quimby and Alli Campbell for being a part of the V&R Family in supplying these great pieces of merchandise to you! I am also grateful for the friendship and support from many people and entities, such as Gary Ezell, Anna Maria Ledstrom, and their wonderful team at Joey Nova's in Tonka Bay, MN for hosting our local events and making their wonderful restaurant a home away from home. Let's not forget about the pizza they created in V&R's name!

I am also finding new energy with the collaboration with a new local media company, called SlashMedia (/Media). You have already seen their work on here in the story about the 2018 Mazda3, along with a couple of other photo essays earlier this year. These are friends of mine who have joined forces to provide superior still photography and video with a focus on the automotive scene. That, among other services. I am proud to work with Kevin Tran, Josh Dvorak, Rezal Scharfe, and their team as they are also providing some additional content for V&R. Wait until you see what they have in store for us!

Lastly, we began an involvement in other endeavors, including seeing our colors on Braunschweig Racing's C5 Corvette that ran in the World Racing League. This was indeed a highlight that saw this site get a little bit of credibility even on the track. Thank you to Nick Johannes for introducing the idea of flying V&R's colors on the Corvette, and to the team for welcoming this website into their fold.

This new energy is also going to help the cause of this website well into the new year. I can't wait to see what will transpire in 2018.

Looking ahead is great. It helps to look back to take the successes forward and learn from the setbacks. With that, I bless this outgoing year and look forward to the new one.

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