The fourth annual Family Center E-List reunion reinforced the feeling
of family in the trucking community, according to those who gathered in St. Louis for the event.
And plans are already in the works for the 2007 reunion in Atlanta, according to Carol Kiley, the moderator of the E-List, which is an online group
of more than 375 members and is part of the trucking Web site layover.com.
Sixteen women representing nine different states made the trek to St. Louis in June to put a face to their friendships.
“For one weekend each year it’s about who we are as women,” said Kiley.
“It is an empowering experience that is impossible to describe.”
E-List member Dianne Long agreed.
“My first reunion (2005) brought the realization we really are a family,”
Long said “This reunion taught me that leaving these dearest friends at the
airport was painful. The tears didn't quit till I was halfway back to Phoenix.”
E-List member Stacey Smith shared a similar departure experience. She
was comforted by a fellow airline passenger in the security line. When seeing
her tears he thought she had just been to a funeral. She told him there was no
funeral; she was just going home and leaving her best friends.
When they are not at the annual reunion, the E-List members meet via
the Internet and e-mail.
Kiley said the e-mail community connects women managing the home front
who face unique challenges due to the trucking lifestyle. Truck drivers’ spouses and significant others find a listening ear and pass along their own
experiences. For them, sitting down at the computer is like having morning
coffee at the kitchen table with their best friends, sharing the joys and
frustrations of life.
The group was formed in 1999. The Layover Family Center E-List is open
to anyone with a relationship to the trucking industry. The majority of the
members are truckers’ wives and significant others, along with a few drivers.
They share the daily happenings of this unique lifestyle via e-mail.