About 4 years ago I was contacted by the Trucking Solutions Group. They had the idea of putting a drivers' walk together at the Mid America Truck Show. They asked if I knew anything about organizing and event like this. Seemed like a silly question because no one had ever done anything like this before. I did not know them as well back then so I held back on the sarcasm. Besides that, I thought that it was a great idea. So, I said “sure” I know lots of stuff.
We all put our hearts into it. Sponsors were lined up. We had walkers. There was a place to assemble. Everything was in place. I was nervous. The walk was scheduled for just before the show opened, about 8:30 am or so I remember. I couldn't sleep. I came in way early, about 7am and sat in the parking lot. It was snowing! Then it was raining. Then it was snowing. Finally some people started showing up. We assembled inside the building. Then the sun came out and we walked.
The walk evolved on its own. Our intention was for it to be a drivers' walk. But, hey if Todd Spencer or Anne Ferro show up, we are not turning them away. It became more than just a drivers' walk. It became a place to meet people. Ellen Voie of Women in Trucking has joined us. Reporters from different magazines have walked and talked with us. Tom O'Brien the president of TA/Petro has joined us. So has their head of maintenance Homer Hogg. We coined the phrase “walk and talk” because that is what it has evolved into.
This year we are moving out to the Papa John's Parking lot. We hope that encourages more drivers to join us. We will begin gathering on Thursday at 6 PM and start the walk at 6:30. We will gather between the showers that TA/ Petro are providing in the lot (and really what a great thing for them to supply) and the OOIDA stage.
We are going to walk to Church Hill Downs, the Lambeau Field of horse racing, and back. There is zero charge for the walk thanks to our sponsors. So, come join us. I look forward to meeting some old friends and making some new ones.