Stories from the road

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We’re rounding the corner into show season again, and really looking forward to kicking it off in Louisville at MATS the end of this month. The shows are where we connect and get re-energized by absorbing the coolness of all the people we have the opportunity to see in real life during show season – people we interact with and talk to year-round, but rarely get to see in person. We always leave the shows feeling extremely lucky to have the group of friends and trucking family we do.

The shows are a great place to hear stories, even better than the Counter of Knowledge, because these stories usually follow many beers and delicious food. We’ve heard some tales from Mike Ryan that were pretty incredible, and ol’ Jeff Clark has a few good ones of his own. Don’t get Henry Albert started unless you’ve got a minute to spare. (We love ya, Henry.)

There are definitely some trucking stories that should be included in memoirs, but the best story we’ve heard to date is still the one Will Chu told us in Dallas last year.

It isn’t a trucking story, and Will isn’t a trucker, he’s a really brilliant guy who developed an app called LoadDocs to help make life a little easier for truckers. We met him a couple years ago in Louisville, and instantly liked the guy. He’s got a real respect for the trucking industry, and he gets the human being part. He’s quiet and funny and I think I mentioned brilliant. He’s also the kind of guy who throws a barbecue on the patio for his friends instead of having uptight dinner parties. Just an all-around nice person … and apparently a t-shirt thief of the highest order.

So Will and his buddies were invited to a private Super Bowl party at the Playboy mansion as part of a thank you from some very satisfied customers they had done some magic computer stuff for. Helluva perk, hunh? Anyway, the bar was free flowing and Will inadvertently found himself a little drunk and submerged in the pool from the waist down. Fully clothed. His buddies, who were not so drunk, got him out of the pool and told him to get his you know what together, because this was a 12-hour party and they hadn’t made the three-hour mark yet. He assured them he was fine, and they wandered off to watch the live pre-game entertainment, who just happened to be Bret Michaels, former front man of the band, Poison, doing an acoustic set.

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Will, still a little drunk, and very squishy, wandered the opposite direction, into a small room where he found a suitcase. He traded his wet shirt for a nice, dry Ed Hardy tee shirt, and even though it was three sizes too big, it was dry. He found his way back to his buddies, who were enjoying the small, private show … until Bret Michales stood up, pointed at Will, and yelled, “Hey! That’s my shirt!”

Will did what any normal human being would do, he ran. He ran out of the party, down the driveway and got a ride out of there, pronto Tonto. I don’t know if his friends followed, and I don’t care — that’s one of the best damn stories I’ve ever heard. I absolutely can’t do it justice. You have to see Will flapping his arms, talking about how huge the t-shirt was on him and how it was whipping in the wind behind him as he ran.

It’s one of my goals in life to get Bret reunited with his shirt, and to have he and Will meet, so he can hear the story firsthand. I’m hoping someone reads this who knows someone hauling equipment for Mr. Michaels, and passes it on. It might not be a trucking story, but if he’s touring, he’s got drivers and trucks involved somewhere.

You’re a legend, Will Chu – looking forward to seeing you and everyone else in Louisville!