This automotive thing isn’t all about the cars … well, it’s kinda all about the cars, but at the end of the day it’s really all about friends. Friends that come through for you, friends that make it a priority to help solve some problems and find a little joy along the way. My high school best friend’s dad told him that there would only be a few true friends that you can count on your whole life, so recognize when these folks show themselves to you. Wisdom!
I have friends that I see on a daily basis, school friends that I’ve reconnected with on Facebook. I have Facebook friends… lots and lots of them. Do I know each one? No. Are they “real friends?” Let’s analyze. I’d love to meet each and every one of them some day and say “hello,” shoot the breeze, see what makes them tick. I don’t agree with all of them, nor do all of them agree with me on everything, but we obviously have something in common. Maybe it’s the automotive community or a warped sense of humor. I don’t really care. It’s not a contest to see who has the most friends, and I have FB friends because I accepted the requests of thousands of people. For some reason they cared enough about my experiences to want to be a part of them … no agenda other than interaction. So are they “real” friends? Yup, I think so.
Friends have helped me beyond measure and have expected nothing in return. There’s a bunch of us that always seem to find ourselves in a similar place; working on some unrealistic goal and managing to pull a rabbit out of a hat every single time we collaborate. We have great times and much fun. Belly laughs are most important in friendships. Chris Slee, Carson Messer, TC Penick, Steve Longacre, Glen Massey, Steve Heye, Kevin Reynolds, Randy Jones, Jeff Roop, John Bouchard, Brian Finch, Jeff Gallacher, David Branson, John Coleman, Ian Johnson, Mike and Jim Ring, Nick Licata, John McGann, Steen Gilbertson, Randy Borcherding, Tommy Boshers, Ryan Shand,
Blaine Seaboalt, and many more are dear to me and have shown me true friendship and I apologize that I’ve missed naming some. My best friend in the whole world is Judy. She gets me. She’s been with me through failure, loss, heartache, stress, and the best of times. Is she a gearhead? Not really. She loves a fast car, she’s a good driver, and has a great eye for design and style in cars. She also has a personal vendetta against metal mating surfaces in an engine and races the oil to the top of the valvetrain almost every time she starts a car. I wouldn’t want a day to go by without my best friend beside me, even with 12,000-mile oil-change intervals.
I’ve got one brother … he’s my friend, always has been and always will be. I only get one brother in this life, and I’m glad he’s mine. Blaine’s a gearhead, too. It’s in the blood.
And then there’s SEMA where 150,000 friends get together once a year at the world’s largest industry trade show for a week of under sleeping, overdrinking, doing business, creating the future, and being filled to the brim with optimism. I love SEMA because it reinforces the fact that the American Dream is alive and well, and within our grasp. I love my friends!
The goals that I have accomplished in my short life have been made possible by collaboration with people smarter than me, with more experience than me, and are willing to sacrifice their own personal agenda to help satisfy mine. Spock would not approve, but friends do that for each other. My humble goal is to be as good a friend right back.
By the way, my friends call me KT.
About the Author: Kevin Tetz is an automotive restoration expert, TV personality, freelance automotive journalist, and owner of Paintucation Instructional DVDs.