You might know Steve Bodofsky as the editor of GEARS Magazine but for me he was a dear friend. I met Steve in 1988 while working at AAMCO Inc. in Philadelphia. I was a phone tech and he was a writer for the “Twin Post”; AAMCO’s monthly newsletter. Steve and I hit it off right away. He was always looking for “tech” to write about and I was a chatterbox, so it worked out great for both of us. We’d have “chit chats” about some transmission problem and the next thing I knew, it was in print. It was like magic.
I thought he was so smart until I realized we were completely opposite, politically. I thought, “How could someone so smart be so lost?” It always made for some good debates and except for one brief moment, we never let politics come before our friendship. I remember the day we got into it and for a while, we didn’t talk to one another. That was about ten years ago and we both realized that our friendship was more important than being right. Ah, just for clarification, I was the one who was right… but that’s just a detail.
We had different interests, but we both loved playing with and building computers as well as being WWF (now WWE) fans. Back in Philadelphia, we actually went to a match. Let’s see, among others, there were the Honkytonk Man and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. We had a great time! I left AAMCO in 1989 and went to work for ATRA. Shortly thereafter we’d rotate buying the pay-per-view events and mailing VHS tapes to one another. Come to think of it, he just sent me a DVD of Wrestle Mania 35 last week.
In 1993 I became the Technical Director at ATRA. Around that same time Steve started his writing and editing business. In fact, ATRA was his first customer. It was around 2001 that he became the editor for GEARS Magazine. Steve has written hundreds of articles during his time with GEARS including a few “ghost-written” pieces. There wasn’t a GEARS article that didn’t have some of Steve in it. In 2002, I received a “Gold IAMA” (International Automotive Media Award) for one of my articles. It was a big deal for me, considering there were magazines like Car and Driver and Road and Track in the competition. However, the first thing I did was call Steve to let him know it was really his award. Steve taught me and many others here at ATRA how to be better writers. Along the way, I’ve earned several other writing awards, and I attribute each of them to Steve’s finishing touches making them just right.
Steve was Jewish and every now and again he’d throw a few Yiddish terms at me like baleboste or chutzpah and we’d both have a few laughs. He was always open about his religion and would explain things when he could tell I was scratching my head on the other end of the phone. We started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. One of the biggest kicks he got out of the show was that it reminded him of his childhood when the family would start bickering. It made the show that much funnier.
Steve was an animal lover too. He and his wife, Diane, ran a rescue shelter for ferrets. At one time, they had over 100 of the rascals at their home. Shortly before his death he published a book called The Rainbow Bridge. It contains a poem he wrote about the emotions of losing a pet.
I’m truly proud of Steve’s accomplishments and proud to have known him as a dear friend. Steve passed away on April 29th. I am a better person for having Steve in my life, and I will miss him dearly. I know he wishes he could have edited this thing! Funny thing… so do I.
For more about Steve, see Thom Tschetter’s Reflection, page 40.