I just lost one of my best assets. Due to some restructuring in the company and my publisher's fine skills being required on the street truck side of our company, Jeff Dahlin is no longer on the OFF-ROAD team. And I don't really know exactly how to write this editorial: as a eulogy to a partnership or a party to celebrate the headache I just lost (just kidding, Jeff).
I started working fresh as an editor with Dahlin as my publisher seventeen months ago. That's when all the magazine changes took place. We gutted a magazine that struggled to find an identity in the off-road world. It was a good magazine with lots of good information, but it covered the entire off-road gamut from Jeeps and trails to desert buggies. We simply focused the magazine in a more specified direction of fullsize trucks and high-speed off-road stuff, and gave it the attitude we thought it needed. These past seventeen months have been the absolute most fun of my entire career.
Working for Rick Pewe with Fred Williams and David Kennedy at Petersen's 4 Wheel & Off-Road for a number of years was a really great time too, but Jeff and I were in charge this time around. We were in complete control of our own magazine - two 30-year-old guys willing to put in countless hours to make a great magazine, at the same time having way more fun than most editors and publishers are supposed to have. Historically editors and publishers do not usually see eye-to-eye on things, so it was a little strange to some in the industry, but Jeff has actually turned into one of my best friends. As a team, we helped each other out with anything we could to make the best magazine package possible. Neither of us had probably ever worked harder in our lives, but it was great and we loved it. As much as I want to just talk some trash to him or push him into the mud when he's not looking (and he'd just as quickly light my arm hair on fire, so don't feel bad for him), I really liked working with the guy and I feel like an era has ended in my career.
Don't worry - that doesn't mean OFF-ROAD is going to change. Luckily, I still have the rest of my great team who I am extremely appreciative to have, but it's always lame when we lose one of our own. Jeff wasn't just a publisher, but a true enthusiast as well.
And I never even got to run my story, The Dahlin Files, which I've been planning to burn him with for the past year! I've got so many awesome stories and incriminating photos of him that I don't think his mother would talk to him for a month had I ever gotten around to writing it.
But it would have all been in good fun. Jeff can take it as well as dish it out, and I'm sure I would've paid for it somehow....
Since he's leaving the off-road side and really can't make me suffer anymore (at least not job-wise), I figured I'd leave you with a few pictures to remember the guy who helped turn OFF-ROAD magazine into what it is today.
Here's to you, Dahlin. We're gonna miss ya'.