I recently got back from shooting the cover of Issue #12 with Senior Editor Dan Ward in Houston, Texas. We shot Ricky Holly's truck on the steps of the San Jacinto Monument, and there's certainly some deja vu. . .
My very first trip as a Truckin’ editor was the subject of my very first column in the magazine. I have a history of procrastinating, so I thought that my very first trip, which had me returning very close to the issue’s deadline, would provide for some good material. As the old saying goes, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”. The following is pretty much a reprint of that first column:
The plan was to fly to Houston at 7:00 a.m. on a Friday, get a few covers shot, along with a couple features, and get back Sunday night. Seemed innocent enough. Well, not exactly. Here’s a condensed version of Friday’s events:
5:00. Woke up, showered, got dressed, and headed downstairs.
5:25. Got in my truck and headed to John Wayne airport, which is about 10 miles away. I took Interstate 5 to Highway 55 (note, it’s still not “the 5”, I haven’t been in SoCal that long), and traffic was nonexistent.
5:45. Arrived at John Wayne airport, parked, and surveyed the area to make sure I knew where I needed to go. I unloaded my bags, carried them up the stairs, and did a personal inventory to make sure I had everything I needed.
5:46. Ran downstairs, climbed into my truck and speed home.
6:01. Got home, ran upstairs, grabbed my wallet and got back in my truck.
6:17. Inside the terminal at John Wayne I passed Dan, who’s in line for security. As best I can tell, the look on his face said, “Freakin’ New Guy.”
6:20. The woman at the ticket counter greeted me with, “We have a runner.” I was not in the mood. She informed me that the baggage claim was not exactly up and running at the moment, and that I’d have to check my bag on the jet way. No problem.
6:37. Past the security checkpoint, putting my shoes back on and I realized that the bag that I intended to check is still inside the x-ray machine.
6:37.05. Remembered that the bag I intended to check has a pocketknife inside, a big one.
6:37.06. Began my apologies and explanations while the thought of a cavity search began to invade my mind.
6:40. Security unpacked my bag and did a thorough search, checked for explosives residue, the whole nine yards.
6:55. Repacked my bag, signed an incident report, and heard my options. Option one, surrender my knife and maybe make my flight. Option two, send the knife home and have a very slim chance of making my flight. I chose option two.
6:57. Back through security, first class this time since I’ve got friends at the TSA now. (It’s amazing how much you can bond during a cavity search)
7:01. Reached my gate to find the jet way door closed. Boarding ended at 6:50.
Appendix: This is what didn’t make it into my column:
Once I got to the Houston airport I called Dan and tried to catch him at the photo shoot. After taking $100 from an ATM machine for my cab ride, I hopped into a minivan bound for the San Jacinto Monument. I swear the driver took the longest route possible, and the only route that involved a ferry crossing. As I sat in the cab in line for the ferry and watched the sun go down and the meter climb higher, I realized my $100 was almost up. I tossed the driver my $100 and got out, dragging my luggage to the shoulder of the road within sight of the monument, but hopelessly late and more than a little angry. As the mosquitoes began circling my ears and face, I noticed some guys playing catch with a football. I asked if I could join them, since I’d be there for a while until Dan finished the shoot. After I introduced myself, they asked what I was doing on the side of the road with my luggage. It turns out they were Truckin’ readers! When I told them my story they offered me a ride in their truck across the ferry, so I loaded my gear up and made it across just in time to meet Dan as he finished up his shoot. I wish I could tell you that the last trip went perfectly smooth, and I suppose it did by comparison, but there’s just something about Houston that doesn’t agree with me.