I was not your typical female child. While most girls my age wanted to play with dolls or bake cookies in a fake oven, I was zooming Matchbox and pull-back cars up and down the hallways of my house. In spite of this, my interest in cars happened much later and developed not out of a desire to understand their inner workings or be a part of the culture but largely as a result of my unabashed desire to go fast. My love of speed started slowly, but when my parents gave me a green machine -- the low-slung three-wheeler introduced in the Seventies that was made for speed and enormous power slides -- for my seventh birthday, the floodgates opened. From that point, whether I was on two wheels or three, or even on foot, chances were that I was traveling as fast as my legs could propel me.
On my sixteenth birthday I got a hand-me-down Volkswagen Jetta. I took to the five-speed manual instantly, and not only did I discover a new way to satisfy my need for speed, but the fondness for cars that I had as a child returned in a big way.
Still, it was pure serendipity when I was hired at Automobile Magazine. Only a few years out of college (and only one during which I actually using my degree in environmental science), I was laid off and needed a to find job. At the same time, Jean Jennings -- at the time deputy editor and still going by Lindamood -- needed an assistant. I answered a blind newspaper and, after an amusing interview that only Jean could pull off, I was an employee at Automobile, sitting at a desk adjacent to Jean’s office at 120 East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor.
As Jean’s assistant, I wasn’t involved in the day-to-day production of the magazine, but after observing the creative dance of the editors, designers, and copy team putting together issues each month -- and admiring the revolving fleet of press vehicles on the car board -- I knew it was something I wanted to become a part of. Fast forward more than fifteen years, and you’ll find me working behind the scenes to produce the print magazine and, now, the digital issues that you enjoy each month. Some might call it work, but I call it the opportunity to be a part of something special while having the opportunity to satisfy my inner speed freak every day.
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