Trucking wives meet at annual reunion; plans begin for 2007 event

| Tuesday, July 25, 2006

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.

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