Today Ed and I attended the Trucker's Jamboree which is held every year at the Iowa-80 truckstop in Walcott, Iowa. As I've mentioned, we've been here before, but never at the time the Jamboree was being held.
It was nice to see all the show trucks and old trucks (the biggest collection we've ever seen) but the real reason we are here is to meet with two women, one an author and one a photographer, to have photos of us and our truck taken for a book. Here they are, in our truck, taking pictures and making notes for the project (I don't think I have to tell you which is the photographer and which is the writer.) The author, Linda Sands, is writing a book entitled "We brought it. You bought it." which is to be a unique photo essay book which goes on the road and behind the scenes with 50 modern truck drivers. How cool is that??
Linda is the founder and editor of Scratch, a short fiction writing contest; a writer who, in addition to having completed three books, has also written articles and short stories for a long list of publications; and the winner of a FULL scholarship to attend a writer's workshop in Southhampton, NY where she got to study with prestigious writer, Amy Hempel (a name I did not know prior to meeting Linda, but now one that I can drop into literary conversations to sound like I know what the hell I'm talking about).
All that impressive stuff aside, Linda was down-to-earth GREAT. We were in contact with her along our route to let her know when we'd be here and got in touch with her this morning to let her know we just needed a little time to spiff up the truck and get ourselves ready. We had already taken showers (gotta smell good!) and had the truck washed, but I wanted to make the inside presentable since we'd be taking pictures of it.
When we were ready we pulled around, picked them up in the truck and then found a spot to take pictures and do our interview. The thing I liked immediately about Linda was that she was a hugger. I extended my hand to greet her and she waved it away requesting a hug instead. You gotta love a hugger.
While we were talking to Linda, the photographer Avital Aronowitz, was busy snapping away. She got shots of my gorgeous red bell peppers on the counter in the kitchen, numerous shots of the cab area, a snap of my pantry and even one of the bathroom! I couldn't even keep up with all the stuff she was looking at and photographing but I did really well and contained my bossiness. Well, except once in the very beginning when I told her I had an idea for a shot...
I really liked Avital and thought she was beautiful; she reminded me of Natalie Portman. But I was so interested in her job and her photography background (she had six years of schooling for it, four of them at the School of Visual Arts in NYC) and her equipment and her experiences behind the lens and her desire to learn about life on the road, and and and...
OK, I'll admit it. I have a girl-crush on her.
She did tell us that her initial plan was to become a truck driver to travel the country and take photographs as she did it, but there were a few obstacles along the way which prevented her from pursuing that and then she got so darned busy in New York with her photo assignments, her photography work became her primary focus. The trucker plan sort of fell to the wayside. Which doesn't seem to be such a bad thing since she's done work for TV Guide magazine, People.com, TIME and Conde Nast.
But if she does decide she ever wants to "try it out", I offered for her to do a ride-along with us where she could come on the road for a short haul and really experience life "behind the wheel". Well, kind of. We couldn't let her drive of course. I mean, Ed barely lets me drive.
I have to say, being photographed in so many situations and so many positions was harder than I thought. I was hoping she had a "skinny" lens for her camera but apparently they don't make those. WTF? All I know is that I was doing a lot of talking and she was doing a lot of photographing. I don't know how she'll find one picture in the group where you won't see my tonsils. Ed held his own too - he was super-chatty and very accomodating with all the posing he had to do.
He even admitted to watching Project Runway when Avital told us that she and her mother had been on the show! Read more about Avital's Project Runway experience here, here and here.
Overall, we had a great time with them - they spent hours with us and really showed a genuine interest in our lives and the lives of drivers in general. I feel this book is going to be a great way to show what this profession is all about and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
And although the title of this post may indicate otherwise, that is not a joke.
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1 YEAR AGO: Taking The Express To The Heartland
2 YEARS AGO: TIT-illating Sights On The Road
3 YEARS AGO: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
4 YEARS AGO: Embracing Your Inner Bike Riding Hussy
5 YEARS AGO: It Takes A Village To Wake A Child