NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD
presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports
HOTSHOTS. . . .SUPERSTARS. . . .T-SHIRTS
by Eddie Buck
I've never relished the idea of using this forum to knock anyone, a little fun loving, ball busting never hurts. Kind of like being with a group of friends, passing time, taking swipes at each other in jest. Since this is an on-line magazine, most people know a lot of manufactured ‘personalities’, be it from chat rooms, pages or groups. There is always going to be a pissant who feels their oats, turning otherwise pleasant discussions into hate filled rants caused by their lack of self-worth. They take it out on anyone who will volunteer to be their target.
Lately, a Midwestern resident has found his wings by shooting people down, calling established craftsmen’s skills into question and coming up with some pretty vile comments that can only be made from the safety of a keyboard. I've been on the receiving end of this jewel-of-the-gene-pool's comments. I dig it; it just gives me more fuel to add to a fire. Once something like this happens, I look into whatever info I can about the person. They chose to throw down the gauntlet, so they must be willing to take what is thrown back, open season on your abilities, background, etc.
Being involved with the racing community since 1976, I've known a lot of others involved with it. I've never heard of this legend (in his own mind), until he started puffing his own sails. Apparently, being on television makes you invincible and special. Unfortunately, any skills he has will be secondary to the vitriol he loves to spew. What this hero and others like him need to consider is, have you really thought about who you may be engaging? It's like a kickboxer I knew a long ago told me, "No matter how bad you think you are, there will always be someone badder." That not only goes for physical actions, but mental also. Wit can be far more dangerous than anything known to man. The aforementioned hero has now engaged someone who has nothing to lose but the time spent tearing a playhouse down. Battles should be chosen carefully, especially in the racing industry, when your living depends on it.
Shifting gears. . .ever notice, or maybe you've participated in discussions about T-shirts, how great it would be to see old ones re-popped? There are always those who claim they'd buy a handful.
I know a few of our better-known legends who have done this. Some still have boxes of T-shirts sitting in their basements, garages or a dump. A recent bout of posts in a group I'm involved in, brought this to mind again. Maybe, it's better to leave these things in the past. One of the great things about history is the memories. These people don't want to be in the shirt business, nor do they want to write a book or make a movie. Everyone says, “I’ll buy it!", but reality is they never do and it takes forever to get rid of the 3XL halter tops of which they have 2 dozen.
Selling product on the internet, to select groups, never bodes well. The investment, marketing and production takes time and effort. For instance, I'll make a decal, post the design and numerous people will want it. I put together a package, figure my costs, price it and post it. At first, the commitments to purchase roll in. The payment info is put out and decals were stacked and waiting. Then the 40 or so buyers, turn into the 6 or 7 who followed through. Wah wah wahhhhhh. I've learned to wait now until they’re paid for and there are enough of them to cover production before going ahead with the orders. Unlike the t-shirt or book thing, I can print a few at a time and still make a profit.
There's that dirty word...profit.
Once that comes into view, then you are accused of being greedy. Well, it takes money to make the things people want. All down the line, someone has to be paid, the vendors have to feed their kids too. That T-shirt you got 35 years ago at I-55 Dragway for $5 is now about $30,if you’re lucky. Once it's marketed, made, packed, shipped and in their hands, that little venture to keep the nostalgic fans happy, has cost a small fortune. What with minimum order quantities, the disgruntled fan who ordered a size too small, complains when you don't send them a free shirt to replace it. All their friends believe you did him wrong too and now they bad mouth you and suddenly, what was such a good idea that made fans happy, is a nightmare. You’re lucky if you see any return on your investment, same with a book.
There is a reason the publishing industry is dying. You are looking at it as you read this. Let’s say one of our heroes writes a book. Someone has to publish it, print it and then get it out to the masses. Like the T-shirts, it will have to be marketed, produced, stored and shipped. There is the e-book alternative. It saves the cost of printing and storing, etc, but like record sales in the music industry, the money really isn't there. Ah, there it is again... money. Shouldn't the fact we want to read and remember our bygone heroes be enough? They were famous, I read about them all the time. They were on TV and in the magazines all the time. They had cars and sponsors and transporters. They were loaded! They probably have more money than God! Sorry to pop your bubble, Bunky, most of them live an existence like you and me, maybe less.
Here's an idea, if you really want to live vicariously through them and hang on to the dreams you had of them, engage them here, on the good ol' interwebs. A lot of them have websites, go there, see if they have memorabilia or some collectible they are selling, sometimes to support themselves. If they do appearances, maybe you can talk the local track, car show or event into booking them. Then you can see them, talk to them, make real contact and cherish the memory for the rest of your days.
We are a selfish society and at times that means we don't consider whom it may inconvenience. As long as we get ours, we don't care, but, if you really care about our heroes, take it easy on them. If you want to see something reproduced, or made, that commemorates them, their car, etc., then get their permission, pony up the cash to get it done and then have at it. If you don't care about a profit, cool, but being Santa Claus gets old fast.... I speak from experience.
Nostalgia Drag World - by Eddie Buck
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