Getting out of the Air Force and being thrown kicking and screaming into a world where I had to make my own decisions wasn't easy, but it was made less painful by my hobbies. Motorcycles were a big part of my life, and I had owned or ridden many big-name brands, mostly English bikes like Triumph, BSA, Royal Infield, and Norton. So magazines like Cycle World, Cycle, Easy Rider Magazine and later on, Dirt Bike were always lying on the coffee table.
But then a new trend hit, and it was all about Sports Cars. And since I had an MG midget, I was right in the middle of the latest trend, and sports car magazines began to fill up my magazine racks. But that didn't last very long. Since many sports cars were built somewhere in Europe, especially England, it didn't take long for them to start falling apart once they learned that Americans drive thousands of miles a year, not hundreds, and the cars weren't that reliable.
Just about the time sports cars were dying off as an interesting hobby, along came one of my favorite trends... VANS! Vans were great; unlike motorcycles and sports cars, you could haul all your stuff and friends in a van. I bought a used van; It was a 1975 Ford Econoline van, and following the latest trend, I insulated it, paneled it, carpeted it, and cut a few holes in it for vent fans... Which was incredibly important in the Miami Heat.
Needless to say, there were dozens of magazines about vans at the time. There were magazines about turning them into campers, hot rodding, taking off-road, and customizing them. I think the van trend made more sense than any other trend I had latched onto. And in a way, I'm still somewhat attracted to them, simply because vans are so utilitarian.
I traveled a lot in my Ford van, often with a motorcycle in the back, and I enjoyed that mode of travel. But after I moved to Colorado I had to sell my Ford van, which had become as useful In the snow as a motorcycle... Which is zero.
After replacing the van with a four-wheel-drive Chevy truck, and a Hallmark pop-up truck camper, Which was almost like owning a van, I started reading RV magazines and never looked back.
PS--- My truck passed its emissions test yesterday, which lifted a great weight from my shoulders. Now I am free to start thinking about a mini-vacation into the chilly weather, and limited oxygen of the High Lonesome, of which I am sorely in need.