“The writing’s on the wall: The day of the backyard mechanic is over.” – overheard in Bruno’s Coffee Shop, September 1997.

“I just got this nutty fax from Jocko.” On my phone machine is a message from the editor of HOT ROD Magazine. Jocko’s fax said the magazine did not have his permission to run the feature on him, which he likened to “pulp fiction.” If it ran, he would sue Petersen Publishing.

One of Jocko’s many complaints was that I had referenced one of his neighbors in the story, an outside thinker and engineer named George Van Tassel, who had built a time machine known as the Integratron at a place he called Spaceport Earth. “Everyone knows Van Tassel is a kook,” Jocko said.

They run the story anyway.


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