Friday, March 20, 2009

Tipping our hats to the Super Scribe

I joined Land Line Magazine in 1987 from mainstream and knew nothing about trucks or the trucking industry. I figured I better get up to speed so I began reading other magazines. I learned pretty quick that some of the best reads came from a truck writer named Tom Berg.
Tom is currently the Senior Equipment Editor for Heavy Duty Trucking. He's former editor of Road King and American Trucker.

I met him at my first MATS show. When I joined the Truck Writers of North America in the early days, Tom Berg the Super Scribe was the president. President for Life, in fact.

The group is more than that now but that's another blog, so suffice it to say that since then I've enjoyed and benefited from my membership.

Tom says TWNA was born out of a "hey wouldn't it be a good idea if we did this" conversation in Winston-Salem at a bar and grill during a media outing. Tom and David Kolman and another guy who I never knew were the co-founders. A truly committed president, every once in a while Tom wrote us a bit of cleverness that we hailed as our official newsletter.

Many of our LL staffers are now members of this group. In fact, our Senior Editor Jami Jones is the new President of TWNA.

During the past month, I watched Jami conspiring with other truck writers like Steve Sturgess, David Kolman and Mike Pennington and others, digging up stuff on Tom for this event.

Last night, it was fun to see Tom honored as this year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The presentation included huge pics and illustrations on the big screens for all to see. The cartoon above of Super Scribe is from our Land Line editorial cartoon genius Mo Paul.

Too bad the pics displayed did not include the one infamous pic of Tom in a wet suit, snapped by Rolf Lockwood during a Volvo trip a bunch of trucking-type journalists took to Sweden. It seems that part of the trip included a whitewater raft trip, which demanded that our writers wear helmets and wet suits. When it was time for Tom to suit up, there was only one left and it was HOT PINK.

This Lifetime Achievement Award business is the highest award bestowed by TWNA and if anything in a career full of achievements should be recognized as particularly amazing, it must surely include the moment Tom wore that wet suit.

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