Why did the name of the

magazine change?


Here is the whole story reprinted from "Sherri's Turn" , page 6,

in the January 2010 issue

The year was 1982 and the man said we were making a big mistake. But we just went ahead with what we were doing.

And now, 28 years later we realize: You know, he had a very good point. We should have listened to him. "Better late than never," as the saying goes.

And that is why this magazine is now called S&S Off Road Magazine.

It was springtime in 1982 when the guy in the garage made the fantastic discovery on a street corner in Santee. A single-seat Funco short course off road car for sale. He had to have it, he said. We didn’t have the money, I told him. He’d sell the dune buggy to get it, he said. I pondered that one. I thought the dune buggy was for both of us. How does that work out for me if we sell the two-seat dune buggy to buy a one-seat race car? I didn’t ask though. I guess the fun for me would be watching him race it.

Shortly after we got the yellow car he did what he does with every vehicle that comes into his garage or shop. He completely dismantled it, piece by piece and re-built it to his liking. When he was done it was black with a yellow and orange stripe.

Now, where to race it? We lived a hop, skip and a jump away from the now-defunct South Bay Speedway on Otay Mesa in south San Diego County. It wasn’t long before they began holding Sunday afternoon sportsman short course racing. You could race all afternoon for only $25. What a deal! What a lot of fun! For a few months anyway.

Unfortunately not enough drivers were showing up to make it worthwhile for the promoters to continue the events. There was talk of ending them unless a way could be found to bring in more drivers.

So we got to thinking. And that is how this magazine got started. Our first thought was a flier to distribute to all the off road shops, but within minutes as the guy-in-the-garage and I were exchanging ideas the flier turned into a newsletter, which some months later turned into a magazine.

Once we made the decision to begin the publication we needed a name and we came up with San Diego Off Roader. That’s when we met the man who said we were making a mistake. He had no involvement in the off road industry or sport. But he was a successful businessman. We should have listened to him. His objection was having the name "San Diego" as part of it. You’re limiting yourself, he said, it will affect your growth.

We already had the first issue published. We ignored his advice and continued on with the adventure we knew nothing about, save for a few years of high school journalism and a mom who owned the typesetting equipment that enabled us to produce the publication. The newspaper or newsletter, we didn’t really know what it was, continued on as a hobby and despite the fact that we thought we had put everything we could possibly think of to print in the first issue, we did manage to continue to come up with information to fill subsequent issues.

The years passed and we realized this hobby was growing into a business that took quite a bit of time. The race track that inspired us eventually shut down altogether, and by now we were calling ourselves a magazine. In 1995 we dropped the "er" and became known as simply San Diego Off Road. It had now become my full-time job.

As we moved into the 21st century we were discovering that we had readers from many places outside of San Diego, even outside of California. The events we were covering were also held in places outside San Diego County. Attending numerous off road expos and events in other counties to hand out magazines, we discovered that some people would not pick up the magazine because it had "San Diego" in the name.

They weren’t from San Diego, they said, so there probably wasn’t anything of interest to them in there.

That’s about the time we added the wording on the cover that said Serving the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego & Beyond.

That’s a lot for someone to read who is just walking past your vendor booth at an expo. They hone in on "San Diego" and don’t read past that.

In fact even with that list of counties, we still got contacted regularly by Ed Waldheim from Kern County who wanted us to list Kern County on there as well. I told him it was on there. Where it said "and Beyond" really meant Kern County.

Numerous times I would repeat the mantra "We’re based in San Diego, we’re not just about San Diego."

In 2004 we moved to Ocotillo Wells, so now we were publishing an off road magazine right in the midst of the off road activity. The guy-in-the-garage came on board full-time and we discovered it was quite a kick to be writing about off road adventures at the same time you could hear off road vehicles roaring through the desert or even jump on your own vehicle and take off from your front door. Now we were barely in San Diego County ourselves. A couple miles to the east and we’d be out of it.

Last summer we followed through on some advice our accountant gave us 10 years ago. Get incorporated. Our corporate name is now S&S Publishing, Inc. And so it finally dawned on us, maybe its time to follow that other advice we heard 28 years ago.

It seemed natural to combine the two names and thus you are now reading the newly renamed S&S Off Road Magazine.

We’re still the same people. We’re still all about serving the readers.

The guy-in-the-garage is still bossing me around all day every day, yet telling anyone who asks that I am the boss.

Some things never stay the same and some things never change. E