Yesterday at the Rod And Custom Show while the flurry of activity was rumbling around the calendar signing, I took a second to pause and take it all in.

Here we are at the end of another year's journey that started with the first car submission last May. From there it's a process that takes about five months and thousands of hours from a dedicated group. The Models, car owners, sponsors, and support crew all pitch in for this moment: The Rod and Custom Show calendar distribution. We hand out two thousand calendars in two hours, give or take.

It seems like saying "Thank-you" isn't enough. From the thousands and thousands of votes cast to pick the cars, to the sacrifice of the models out on a hot, or rainy, or buggy summer day to the car owners who haul their cars over Hell's half-acre to our shoot location, everyone works like elves in a tree to bring this thing to life.

In the last couple of years, we have a little get-together the Friday night before the signing on Saturday. A chance to bring everyone together when there isn't a deadline to just celebrate and hang out. We chose Bent River Brewing in Rock Island. They have a great meeting room (and their awesome beer selection doesn't hurt!) for the car owners and models and crew to meet up. We hand out a few awards, share a few stories, a slice of pizza or two (thanks to Gunchies) before we all go our separate ways (and Jerry Petersen takes all the leftover pizza home) and prepare for the next day.

So in the madness of the moment, I stopped to appreciate the hard work by everyone involved to make something seem so effortless and fun. Truly the result of the work of pros.

If you can't get out to the Rod and Custom Show this year, make sure to head to one of our sponsors and grab your Dwyer & Michaels Classsic Car Calendar. And maybe next year you'll be in it!

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