July event will honor Garber, Eilen

| 3/31/2009

Last summer, Mickey Gwillim held his first World of Large Cars truck show in Carlinville, IL. One attendee of note was the celebrated truck photojournalist Bette Garber. Garber told friends how impressed she was with the show.

“I talked to her when she was leaving, and she was so excited about the trucks and the atmosphere that was there,” said Garber’s friend and Highway Images associate Kim Grimm. “It was a new place to shoot those trucks she loved so much.”

Garber won’t get a chance to see how Gwillim’s 2009 show will go. She died of pneumonia on Nov. 13, 2008. Grimm says friends and family of Garber’s have chosen Gwillim’s second annual show as a perfect time to pay tribute to Garber and her custom semi photography.

The World of Large Cars: A Tribute to Bette Garber is scheduled for July 3-5 at the Macoupin County Fairgrounds in Carlinville, IL.

“This will be a get-together of friends to wash and park their trucks and remember our dear friend Bette and to also remember Jake Eilen,” says Grimm.

Eilen, whose custom semi truck was among those admired and photographed by Garber, lost his life in a single-vehicle accident on Nov. 23, 2008, near his home in Hampton, MN.

Grimm says there will be no judging or trophies.

A parade, light show and barbeque is planned for Saturday, along with a Power Point presentation featuring Bette and Jake. Grimm says it will be shown on the side of a trailer. Joey Holiday will provide entertainment.

“We will also show ‘Smokey and The Bandit’ in which Bette has a few seconds of fame,” said Grimm.

According to Grimm, Bette’s entire family will be attending.

“They have been very touched by all the thoughts and prayers from Bette’s trucking family,” says Grimm. “They are looking forward to meeting everyone and seeing what Bette saw in all the machines and drivers that she made famous over the years.”
Grimm also reports that Eilen’s family is planning on being there and bringing one of his trucks.

Anyone interested in donating a service or products for the auction is asked to contact Grimm at 319-573-5573 or contact Mickey Gwillim at his Web site gwillimtruckinginc.com.