By Jon Osburn, Driver of "The Spirit of the American Trucker"
As Land Line gets ready to go to press, the Taj Mahal of truck stops is fading from The Spirit’s rear view mirrors. I am talking, of course, about the Iowa 80 in Walcott, IA, and one of the premier social events of the season – the 33rd annual Truckers Jamboree.
Held July 12-13, the event hosted over 31,000 drivers and families, along with local residents. And officially visitors came from 21 states and Canada. It was phenomenal. There were more than 175 exhibits.
Yeah, the weather was hot, but there WAS some drizzle. I don’t think anyone there minded getting wet after rags down. The main thing for most of us was that we had plenty of pork chops – and we did.
Our OOIDA posse was Marketing Director Mike Schermoly, Dwayne Meyers from the membership department, Lisa Murry from truck insurance, and Mark Reddig, host of “Land Line Now,” our daily SiriusXM radio show.
Mark had a blast, sending on-the-scene reports back to the studio in Missouri, where we produce the show. Our Land Line Senior Technical Editor Paul Abelson was there, too. He’s been going to the Jamboree since 1988. I think this is Paul’s 12th year as a judge for the truck beauty contest, which was a knockout to see.
The Super Truck Beauty Contest had 80 contestants. Our members really have some extraordinary trucks. Congrats to our member Shawn Cielke from Haugan, MT. Shawn’s 2006 KW and 2006 Wabash aka “The Lead Sled,” was named the Trucker’s Choice. Wesley Wulff won best overall theme with his 2003 Peterbilt and Matt Slovack took home the Gary King Award.
Then there was the huge antique truck display featuring more than 200 vehicles. I think that was Mark Reddig’s favorite place.
It was great to see old friends and OOIDA members and meet new ones. The Trucker Olympics was neat. Congrats to OOIDA Member Shelle Lichti of Breese, IL, who placed second in the Women’s Strong Pull.
And here’s news – next year, the show will go to three days, July 11,12 and 13.
I want to send one special shout-out to some people I met when I was in Oklahoma recently. I ran into Hollis Waters and his girlfriend, Cindy Huggins, at Boomer. I was getting an APU installed on the truck (thank you, Boomer; thank you, Dynasys).
Hollis, who is now a new member of OOIDA, owns Waters Trucking out of Lebanon, IN. Neat people. His company moves wind turbines.
Come see us on the road and visit with me about OOIDA’s activities and current issues. In addition, you can join or renew for only 25 bucks. Check out our schedule on Page 34.
PLUS … In this issue, we bring back our popular contest – Where’s the Spirit? Every issue we will feature a photo snapped by me, Spirit driver Jon Osburn. If you know where the photo was taken, call OOIDA headquarters and you could be the winner of $50. The first mystery photo is on Page 122, with details of the contest and how to call. LL