I'm not really a super religious guy myself, although my mom raised me in a pretty religious household. I'm not even one of those "born-again" peeps, I'm just sayin... I feel as if things in life go a little easier if I go to church, or even make an attempt. I'm honestly making an effort to go. Come on, it takes just 1 hour a week out of my busy schedule. It certainly can't hurt. It's seriously the least I can do. The very least.
So here goes. This has been a really good year for me, career wise. A lot of positive traction. And actually, when it was time for me to sit down and write the Acknowledgements section of my book, I had to sit and think about who made an impact on my life, my career, and everything like that.
It's so crazy, cause I'm not an emotional person really (No emos in the Cipher Garage camp), but I got pretty emotional thinking about how much people have helped me get to where I am today. Sure I'm not super rich yet or famous or anything, but I just sat and thought about how there are so many people or other photographers or writers or whatever who would just love to be in my position. So I really consider myself lucky and blessed or whatever you call it.
First of all, I'm thankful to GOD for keeping me safe and taking care of me on all these flights all over the place, and especially for taking care of me at the track, where any car, any spin, or any loss of control could easily end my life, or leave me disfigured and dismembered, or permanently handicapped or something. **Knock on wood** Let's all pray that doesn't ever happen.
I'm thankful to my family- moms, pops, and especially my little brother David. I love that guy so much. I don't know if you guys took time to read the dedication and acknowledgements section of my book or not, but I dedicated the whole entire book to my little brother Dave, and that's from my heart.
Dave is my number one fan and supporter, he loves me and he loves drifting and he always has my back no matter what. He looks up to me, and he makes me strive to be a better person. You just can't replace that kind of unconditional love. My little brother is the best.
I'm also super thankful to my Uncle Ed, who has been soooo down for me and supported me when everyone else in my extended family pretty much abandoned me and told me to fuck off. Uncle Ed is like a dad to me, I totally love that guy too. He stood by me when the rest of the family wouldn't.
I'm thankful for the support and love of my crew. I have so many friends from different parts of the world, and we don't always get to see each other. But my real friends know who they are. I don't even need to start a list. But seriously you guys, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Seriously, the "top friends" on Myspace are kind of a joke. I can't even begin to put all my close friends on there, even though I got 24 "top friends" or something. There are so many people I'm close to, or people I admire... but it's cool, all my real friends know who they are, like I said. My Silverlake/Los Feliz crew, my Wesco crew, my Bay Area crew, my Diamond Bar crew, my Miami and SFL crew, my ATL crew, my friends in Japan, my San Diego crew, Vegas crew, my Seattle and Vancouver crew, my East Coast crew, Hawaii crew, and all my other friends in between. I really value all my friendships the most, out of all the things I gained and accomplished during the year.
I'm thankful to Nick Fousekis and the whole family at Falken Tire Corporation for working with me this year, and continuing to believe in me, and making so many things possible for me.
I'm thankful to Nobushige Kumakubo and Team Orange. I'm so glad that I was able to go to Japan this year and spend time with my close friends at Ebisu Circuit. I actually finished my book while I was in Japan, so I can't thank Kumakubo, Tanaka, Naoto, and the others enough. Also of course I can't even begin to say thanks to Akiyo-chan and Igusa for letting me crash at the crib. And I'm thankful to the Ogawara family, my home away from home in Tokyo. Word up.
I'm thankful to the people at Motorbooks for giving me the opportunity to make America's First Book on DRIFTING. Not only is it MY first book... it is the first book for the DRIFTING COMMUNITY. Created for the real drifting community by someone really in the drifting community.
I'm especially thankful to everyone in the drifting community that has shown support to me and Cipher Garage by supporting the book, or the clothing line...
Whether you guys showed your support by buying my book, rocking my sticker, helping me work and set up and tear down the booth, helping me ship out books, helping me get some publicity for the book, creating a commercial for my book, playing my commercial on the jumbotron, printing Press Releases and/or interviews in magazines, were a fellow photographer giving props, and 86 or drifting fan saying whatup at the track, or even if you just said a kind word in support of me or my book, I really really appreciate it all. THANK YOU.
Thank you so much everyone. You just don't know how much it all means to me. First and foremost, I'm a fan of drifting, and the whole lifestyle. Just like everyone else. The only difference is, God gave me the chance to document the scene and put my thoughts down on paper. I'm really no different than anyone else. I'm just trying to chase my dreams and be successful at it.
Thank you so much everyone. Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe!
Live The 86 Life!