Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back of the bus … I mean, truck

Every year at Mid-America is a new experience. And this year is no different.

But when you’re trying to do a radio show, sometimes, the differences turn into challenges. The challenges turn into tasks. And the tasks turn into … well, sometimes, comedy.

This year, we decided not to record in public view. The idea was simple. What we really enjoy from the show, and what people coming to the OOIDA booth really want, is a conversation. So we decided that at the booth, we would talk with folks. That conversation starts tomorrow (Thursday).

But for folks who aren’t at the big show, we still need to report, record and bring them the events here at Mid-America. What is announced or revealed at this truck show will have a very significant impact on truckers’ lives for the next year, sometimes beyond.

So we figured we’d meet and greet at the OOIDA booth, but set up our producer, Barry, in the Spirit of the American trucker, at Howard and Pam Hart’s little kitchen table in the trailer. Public enough for Barry to say hi, private enough for him to do the real work behind our show.

Well, fate – and pork chops – intervened.

Turns out the Spirit is behind the Pork Chop Sandwich tent outside the South Wing, and the tent has a huge freakin’ generator. I use the term freakin’ here, as I have no other adjective to describe this large, wheeled, green, noise-blasting abomination.

It has holy purpose in that it helps to give us Pork Chops. (Capitalized on purpose, folks. Big sammiches get big letters). However, it is unholy in its radio-recording-inhibiting vibrations and emissions.

Add the Spirit’s tractor APU and trailer generator and – well, challenge becomes task. We could not record over the noise in the public area of the trailer.

However, we did find a spot in the back of the trailer, in the storage area normally reserved for Howard and Pam’s town car.

So there’s Barry, huddled in his steel, plywood and luggage-strewn chamber, doors of the trailer askew, for all the world to see. Pretty public, not terribly comfortable, but usable, and really kind of funny. And hey, Barry has a great view from the back of the trailer, and it’s quite secure.

But then we both had a thought – although we love just talking with folks, could we once again record before a live studio audience, just like All in the Family” or Roseanne”? (Except without the irritating people on those shows?)

The back of the Spirit overlooks an area that could accommodate seating. It’s elevated, allowing everyone a good view. It’s just outside the South Wing, which is a good location. And it doesn’t get in the way of anyone else.

So we thought we’d ask – what do you think? Should we record from the Spirit next year? Let us know. E-mail me at, and tell me what you think … and meanwhile stop by the OOIDA booth and say hi while you’re in Louisville this year. We’re in the North Wing.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great setup, wish I could be there to see it this year, oh and the SAMMICHES!