I honestly can’t believe it’s that time of year again, but since every single pair of cowboy boots I own are packed, it can only mean one thing: we’re going to GATS again.
To say we’re excited about the show this year is an understatement. It’s been a rough year for a lot of us, and I’m not going to lie, we’ve explored the option of selling the truck and being done with the whole thing more than once this year. I think everyone does it periodically — they sit down and figure out they could be solvent (for five minutes) if they sold their truck. Sometimes, getting a county job hauling teenagers around in a school bus doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea when you consider exotic things like “retirement funds” and “state employee benefits.” (Someone tell me again what “benefits” are, please?)
Anyway, we’ve held on for the sheer love of it — and the fact that this isn’t a job you ever leave completely behind, because it’s your life. Everything we do is trucking related, in one way or another, and I’m not sure either one of us is ready to do a complete 360. (Even though the thought of getting a job at the library and being the weird chick who turns people on to funky fiction they’d never learn about in school really intrigues me.)
So when I say we are looking forward to reconnecting with some of our friends and inspirations in the industry, I’m not kidding. We fully intend to participate in the sparkle of the folks who always shine bright for us, and maybe steal a little of it to re-charge our own.
Of course, one of the highlights will be seeing our buddy Tony Justice open for John Michael Montgomery at the concert Friday evening. I have also been told that Bill Weaver may just sing a song for me at the All Star Concert on Saturday, which would make my flippin’ day for sure. (Shout out to Flippin, Arkansas, home of the Weaver dynasty.)
Our buddy Tex Crowley always has something fun going on, and meeting up with him at his now-annual “Have a Beer With Tex” will be a great way to kick off the show Thursday evening.
We’re looking forward to finally meeting Carolyn O’Byrne, author of “Gut Instinct” at the M2G meet and greet, directly following – if you haven’t gotten a copy of her book, she will have them there. It’s good stuff to know, kind of like a Chilton’s manual for your body.
The Health Pavilion will be rockin’ as usual. For some odd reason I’ve been asked to participate in a round table discussion with some fairly respectable folks about driver health on Friday, from 3:15-3:45, and I promise there won’t be 40 trucks given the same appointment with one dock – there will be plenty of seats available. Linda Caffee will lead the discussion, and it should be a lot of fun (as long as I don’t pass out from nervousness, although that may be more fun for the audience than some of my answers).
Tom (Captain) Kyrk will be be giving cooking in the truck food demos Thursday and Friday, and please, if you have the ability, stop by the food drive for the Louisiana flood victims, sponsored by Chrome and Steel Radio and Diesel Spec.
We hope to see you in Dallas!!