We currently have an issue of Canadian Road Knight floating around the office. You may have never heard of the publication since it was published in the 70s and is now long gone.
Flipping through the pages brought back a lot of memories -they were my formative years. Afros were the all the rage and the wider the bell-bottoms, the better.
I spent Thursday and Friday nights at the “Jolly Miller” located in Hogg’s Hollow here in Toronto.
My buddies and I would get there early so we could grab the “primo” table.
That table was “primo” because it was located at the top of the stairs.
Those stairs led to the girl’s washroom and we reasoned that eventually every female in the place would have to walk past. They did, unfortunately on most nights they kept on walking.
Anyway, back to the magazine. It was published in October of 1977. The editorial content focused on the usual news of the times.
New technology included a “fat tire” (known today as a wide-based tire) and the improved mileage it rendered, how Canada had not seen such unemployment levels since the Great Depression, complaints about the high cost of insurance, the high cost of attending truck shows, and my favourite, legislation brought in by “dozy fat wallet jobs.”
Sound familiar? It should.
The real eye-opener (so to speak) was the photo coverage they gave the wet T-shirt contest at Cayuga Dragway Park. I counted 15 brave participants, all of whom looked very bored with the whole thing.
I can’t remember the last time I attended a wetT-shirt contest but then again, I probably wouldn’t admit it if I did.
Needless to say, you won’t see this type of sexist coverage in Truck News anytime soon.
I think half the staff would walk out if you did.
I also don’t feel like spending days on the phone fielding your complaints.
Most of the ads appeared in black-and-white and looked like they were designed on a cocktail napkin.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, when I first broke into the business in 1980 it was the norm to meet clients at the local pub.
We reasoned at the time that our creative juices flowed more freely with beer-in-hand, so I suppose that’s where the cocktail napkin flair design originated. In a bar, go figure.
Magazines have come a long way and so has our industry.
Many of the same issues you are facing today, your parents faced yesterday and your children will face tomorrow. Like it or not, it’s just the way it is.
-Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.