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My Last 20 Years in the scene…..and What’s Next?

REWIND THE CLOCK 20 YEARS AND YOU’LL FIND AN 11-YEAR-OLD VERSION OF ME IN HIS BEDROOM FLOOR WITH HIS FAVORITE HOT WHEELS MAKING ENGINE REVVING NOISES. Back then I was merely a dreamer thumbing through the pages of my favorite truck publications. Never in a million years did I think a truck of mine would grace the pages of any of those magazines, much less land on the cover.

What I did know back then was that I was passionate about trucks and I was going to do whatever it took to build my own version of what I perceived as “cool.” If you asked my mother then, she’d tell you, “It’s a sickness, and he just can’t leave well enough alone.” Fast forward about 5 years and this “kid” attained his ticket to freedom—a driver’s license— and a hand-me-down ’83 C10 from my dad. From that day forward every spare penny and every moment that isn’t spent at work or with my family has been dedicated to either a build of my own or helping a friend wrench on their own builds.

As you can imagine things have seriously snowballed and maybe even gotten out of hand. Would I change it for anything in the world? Absolutely not! I’ve met some of the most amazing people, learned more than I ever could have imagined, with the help of awesome friends … accomplished things I only dreamt of as a kid, and have had a kick ass time doing it. It is insane how this passion of ours has brought together so many people and formed such tight-knit groups of friends.

IN SIX YEARS WHEN I HANG UP MY UNIFORMS AND PUSH MY BOOTS TO THE BACK OF THE CLOSET, YOU’LL FIND ME IN MY OFFICE PLANNING THE NEXT BIG BUILD OR IN MY GARAGE TURNING WRENCHES.”

What’s next? Well, as many have noticed, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself over the years. I seem to have fallen more in love with the “process” of getting these trucks built rather than showing them off. For those who don’t know, I am a 14-year member of the U.S. Army. Upon returning home from my second overseas deployment, I’m not ashamed to say that I needed a form of therapy to help myself adjust back to life here in the states. The “process” has become just that, something that takes my mind off the past and plants me firmly in the present.

With all that being said, I’ve managed to form “Stafford’s Garage.” What started as my therapy through helping friends and family with their stalled projects, projects that haven’t even started yet, or with me just providing them with some direction on how to “get it done,” has now turned into a part-time job helping others get their projects done.

In six years when I hang up my uniforms and push my boots to the back of the closet, you’ll find me in my office planning the next big build or in my garage turning wrenches. I won’t by any means be looking to be the next hit TV show on Discovery channel. My goal is to keep helping others get their rides to a point that they can enjoy them, spend as much time as I can with my family, and hopefully inspire the next generation of truck loving fanatics!!

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