Saturday, March 29, 2014

Damp, cold, who cares?

Candy Bass and Carol Leavitt were honored for 40
 years plus as truck drivers
Is Saturday the busiest day at MATS or the day it starts winding up? Well, that depends on who you talk to. If you ask me, it’s the day you slow down on business seminars and press conferences but step up the hobnobbing with members and catching up with old friends.

Saturday morning’s awards ceremony announcing the winners of the Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Championships is such a cool event. OOIDA is a longtime sponsor of the trophy dash. There are a load of members and friends who work hard to compete in this contest. Each year for the affair, Carl Carstens of Rockwood, crafts extraordinary trophies. This year, he once again earned his title as The Master of Rosewood and Chrome. Watch for Field Editor Suzanne Stempinski’s coverage of the PKY.

At noon, throngs of truck driving women in red shirts appear all over the place, headed toward the annual Women In Trucking Salute. One of the big moments Saturday was the recognition of two women – Candy Bass and Carol Leavitt – who have been truckers for more than 40 years. OOIDA Life Member Candy Bass is from Hutto, Texas. She was also honored at MATS on Sunday morning’s prayer service at Papa John’s where Chaplain Joe Hunter and Emcee Bob Hataway offered up a tribute for Candy’s outstanding contributions to the trucking community.

After the show closes at 4 p.m., the action hits another gear in the parking lot at Papa John’s. This year, “Land Line Now” Host Mark Reddig was trying to set a record for number of total hours stage hosting … in the any-kind-of-weather category.

Cold, damp, who cares? Barbecue contest, silent auction, fun events hosted by trucker charity groups like Truckers United for Charities, Just Because, Trucker Charity, Operation Roger and JRB Memorial Fund. Friends, good food, music – how do you beat that?
Tony Justice

Speaking of music, have you seen Tony Justice’s new CD “Apple Pie and Moonshine” in truck stops? Tony is a driver for Everhart Transportation and OOIDA member from Dandridge, Tenn. He and his first-rate band put on an energetic show sponsored by OOIDA Saturday night on the main stage in Papa John’s parking lot. The sight of truckers dancing in the misty rain in front of the covered stage was surreal. The guy was an absolute hit. So, OOIDA members and early fans of Tony’s like Kari and Lee Fisher, Kim and Don Schmidt  get to tell me “I told you so.”


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