Eldora Dirt racing returns to NASCAR Avett Brothers All about the music A Truckerâ€™s Best Friend Riding with Pets www.ptcchallenge.com
THE LONE RANGER Hi-Yo Summer
COVER PHOTO: Peter Mountain Photo: PETER MOUNTAIN ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
cover & features
contents july 2013 • volume 9 issue 7
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He’s young, focused and hungry, and he’s now America’s best hope in the world of professional cycling. Tejay van Garderen sets his sights on the pinnacle of his sport.
THE LONE RANGER
The man behind the 10-gallon white hat, black mask and silver bullets is back. Disney lets it ride and resurrects a Western classic in hopes of transforming it into a summer blockbuster.
DIRT RACING REDUX
When Richard Petty won the Home State 200 in 1970, he stood on the podium and wondered if he’d ever see, let alone participate in, another NASCAR dirt track race. Now, more than 40 years later, dirt track racing is back.
A TRUCKER’s BEST FRIEND
Scott and Seth Avett’s music has been defined as everything from country and Southern rock to R&B and bluegrass. The Grammys offer the broader stroke of Americana. But however you want to categorize them, it’s all good to the brothers from North Carolina. They just love making music.
It’s no secret, flatbed trucking is tough work and it isn’t for every driver on the road. But if you’re a driver up for the task, P&S Transportation just might be the place for you.
Bret Michaels wants to rock your RV and Chad visits the “Field of
Jim McQueen is a truck driver and volunteer for Operation Roger, a nonprofit that transports adopted pets from shelters to permanent homes. When it comes to his dogs, he shares why he never leaves home without them.
Challenge Magazine’s QR Code
Download a free QR reader and scan this QR Code to get a direct link to our website where you’ll find a full electronic version of the magazine and links to our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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contents in every issue
july 2013 • volume 9 issue 7
AROUND THE TRACK
DRIVING THRU D.C.
CHEW ON THIS
Bob offers tips on how you can pump up while you fuel up.
Brenda sees hunting as a family affair.
Claire gives us an inside look at Jack Roush’s passion outside of racing.
Mike discusses nominated DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Guest columnist Kitty Cowhick recalls knowing when to say when.
FROM THE EDITOR Knights of the highway.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Readers share their thoughts and opinions on industry issues and stories from Challenge Magazine.
Broadening the mind with the interesting and inane.
TRUCK DRIVER CHALLENGE
Tom McCrimmon won the Truck Driver Challenge in 2009 and 2012, and says competing in the event has changed his life.
THE UNIQUE U.S.
It was an American pastime for decades, but slowly dwindled to near extinction. Now drivein theaters are making a comeback with bigger screens, better technology and a dose of nostalgia for a simpler time.
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The creative side of truck drivers.
Sudoku, word search and crossword puzzles. Some clues for the puzzle come from this issue of Challenge Magazine.
Pictures from the road. Send in your photos and see them published in Challenge Magazine and you may be a winner.
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PILOT FLYING J STARS
Drivers recognize these STAR employees who make Pilot Flying J a place you can rely on.
WHAT’S HAPPENING Join us at GATS.
PILOT FLYING J DIRECTORY
The comprehensive Pilot Flying J directory lists everything from location addresses to services available.
Final Four winner and birthday rewards. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
july 2013 volume 9 issue 7
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SUBSCRIPTION RATES - $25 for one year in the United States. Subscriptions can be started or renewed by calling Challenge Magazine at (910) 695-0077 with your name, mailing address and credit card information; or write to Challenge Magazine: 655 SE Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387, along with a check or credit card information. BACK ISSUES of Challenge Magazine can be purchased for $3 per issue to cover mailing and handling. Follow the same procedures as subscriptions to purchase a back issue of the magazine. Challenge Magazine is published monthly by Victory Publishing, Inc. Copyright © 2013, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Challenge Magazine is a registered trademark of Victory Publishing, Inc. All advertisers for Challenge Magazine are accepted and published by Victory Publishing, Inc. on the representation that the advertiser and/or advertising agency as well as a supplier of editorial content are authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. The advertiser and/or advertising agency or supplier of editorial content will defend, indemnify and hold Victory Publishing, Inc. harmless from and against any loss, expenses or other liability resulting from any claims or suits for libel violations of right of privacy or publicity, plagiarism, copyright or trademark, infringement and any other claims or suits that may arise out of publication of such advertisement or editorial.
t was after 2 in the morning on a bitterly cold March day and Adam Phillips was running his normal overnight milk-hauling route on Interstate 65 in Indiana when traffic in front of him came to a halt. It was evident there was an accident, and indeed a man had lost control of his car, jumped a guardrail and slammed into an overpass before the car burst into flames. Another truck driver called over the CB asking for help from anyone who had a fire extinguisher. Phillips didn’t hesitate, grabbing his extinguisher and running to the scene. When he arrived, the car’s engine was engulfed in flames and the man driving was trapped, pinned against the dashboard and screaming for help. Phillips tried to put the fire out but the flames just grew higher. He then concentrated on getting the man out of the car before the flames spread. He crawled through the passenger side window and, enveloped in smoke, blindly tried to reach and pull any lever he could to free the man as the dashboard began melting into the man’s knee. Finally, another person produced a crowbar, and together they broke the bolts of the seat and pulled the driver to safety. Within minutes after freeing the man, the car became fully engulfed, flames blazing higher than the overpass. Phillips gave the driver his winter coat as they waited for emergency crews to arrive. For his actions, Phillips was recognized as a Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel. Phillips later said, “He needed help … I could hear him screaming. There was nothing else I can imagine doing at that time.” There was a time when Phillips’ actions, and later modesty, epitomized the trucking profession. “Knights of the highway” was more than a moniker, it was a code. Sort of like when you take care of the needs of a guest in your home, truck drivers were known to care for fellow travelers. And even if, over time, the image of a truck driver has taken a few hits and somewhere along the way the bad began outweighing the good, Phillips, and many others like him, proves there are still knights out there, protecting and helping those in need. There are still heroes among us. During these summer days, where the heat can increase tempers and the roads can clog with traffic, let’s not forget about Adam Phillips. Let’s watch out for each other. Let’s keep each other safe. And like Phillips, let’s imagine doing nothing but what is right. Safe driving.
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RE: Michael Rose
Mr. Rose, you are exactly what the government wants behind the wheel. I have been an owner-operator for almost 20 years and have driven approximately 2 million accident-free miles. On top of that, I am a livestock transporter. To your statement of trucks causing accidents, most are caused by undertrained steering-wheel holders that drive for the big companies. And remember this, the big mega companies did not start out with thousands of trucks like they have now. CR England started with one truck, Prime Inc. started with one dump truck in an old farm barn in Urbana, Mo., and JB Hunt started with three of the biggest pieces of junk you have ever laid eyes on in Rogersville, Ark. So always remember we owner-operators are the ones who built the big companies into what they are today. Be safe and God bless you and your family. Mike Wallace Macks Creek, Mo. Michael, I feel sorry for you that you know so little about the trucking industry. Ninety-nine percent of the owner-operators in trucking today are the most efficient and business-savvy people in the industry. If they were not, today’s marketplace would drive them out of business faster than you would ever know. Thanks for the laugh, though. Roger Naeger Perryville, Mo. Your accusations and general statements criticizing owner-operators only served to showcase your ignorance. Trucking companies did not start as large companies, but as small fleets or owner-operators. Today’s massive fleets have not always been the norm. Secondly, you claimed you can’t wait for the day the government mandates all trucks to be governed at 65 mph and described e-logs as something you anticipate with gladness. My question to you is how many rights and freedoms are you going to allow the government to take from everyone because you are unhappy with what others are doing? I, for one, am not going to allow government to control every aspect of citizens’ lives. You
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can’t wait for the day “when the herd is thinned out.” Michael, I hope you are the one who will be “thinned out.” Stop whining and try to be the best driver you can be. Ellen Oliver Omaha, Neb.
I picked up the May issue of Challenge especially because of Darius Rucker. It is seldom you hear and see a country singer other than a Southern white person. I enjoyed Darius in Hootie and the Blowfish even before I knew who was in that group. Chris Arbon hit it real good with “the can’t park, won’t park” poem, which should be made into a song. I don’t know how many times I had to back out of a fuel point because of some non-parking idiot. You missed one interesting movie, Brian Keith in “Violent Road” from 1958. I caught this once while staying in a hotel, working away from home at a gas well site. Crazy movie! Challenge, keep up the good work. Joe Droddy Tionesta, Pa.
SUBMIT A LETTER: Question, comment or criticism? Drop us a note or email us with your opinion. We want to hear from you. Note: Letters may be edited for clarity or space. Although we try to respond to all communications, emails get first priority. Written letters take more time to process and edit. Submissions must include your name, and home city and state.
MAIL COMMENTS TO Challenge Magazine P.O. Box 2300 Southern Pines, NC 28388 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
RUNS The Tour de France is the most prolific bicycle race in the world and this year marks the 100th year of competition. Covering roughly 2,200 miles, the Tour kicks off on June 29 and finishes on July 21. Let’s take a closer look at “La Grande Boucle,” literally The Big Loop.
A Closer Look: TOUR DE FRANCE
100th Tour de France
June 29-July 21, 2013
Mont-Saint Michel SaintMalo
FINISH Avranches Fougeres
Twenty-two teams consisting of nine cyclists each compete.
Cycling is a team sport. Within each team, eight members support the team leader, rather than riders competing against each other individually.
Stage end Stage end/start Rest day
2,014 miles (3,242 km)
The event runs 23 days, of which 21 days are cycling and two days are rest. Each day of cycling is called a stage.
Castres Bagneres de-Bigorre
Le Grand-Bornand Lyon Givors
Saint Girons Ax 3 Domaines
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© 2012 MCT Source: Tour de France organizers
Gap Mont Ventoux Marseille
Nice Cagnes-sur-Mer Bastia Calvi
Every year the route changes. This year the Tour is entirely in France, starting on the French island of Corsica for the first three stages, then moving to the country’s mainland for the remaining 18 stages. Other routes have included bordering countries like Spain, Portugal and Holland. Cyclists are required to ride bicycles weighing 15 pounds, to ensure an even playing field. Riders will burn about 124,000 calories over the course of the entire Tour, averaging 5,900 calories per day. Aside from the prized yellow jacket that the overall time leader wins, there are three other jerseys that cyclists vie for: the red-and-white polka-dot jersey to the rider with the best climbing ability, the white jersey to the fastest rider under 25, and the green jersey to the best sprinter.
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By the Numbers: Cow Appreciation Day We’re pretty sure Cow Appreciation Day, celebrated on July 12, is a made-up holiday. But since we love cheese, steak and ice cream so much, we’re willing to overlook that and give honor to the animal that gives us these tasty treats.
Number of chambers in a cow’s stomach, not four stomachs as widely believed
Years ago that cows were first domesticated
Number of different breeds of cows in the world
Percent of weight of an average beef cow that we eat
Number of gallons of milk a dairy cow produces every day
Number of gallons of milk needed to make one gallon of ice cream
Number of miles in a cow’s range of smell Year the “Got milk?” campaign kicked off (Naomi Campbell was the first celebrity to don the famous milk moustache)
Sources: umpquadairy.com, thecowcorral.com, midwestdairy.com, askthemeatman.com
You Answered! Q What is your best timesaving tip as a driver?
Fuel at the end of the day, including it in the post-trip inspection. – Robert Munson
Date Plan each trip with your miles, stops and traffic. Plan your trip around 50-55 mph to plan around traffic and construction. – Ange Clemons Wiley
Keep that left door closed! – Randy Davies
Shower at night, if you can find a parking place. – Pj Brown
I mostly drive at night and sleep during the day to avoid the traffic jams. – Crystal Lace
Take food with you and heat it up in the truck. Bring your wife with you, as my husband does, to take care of this chore. – Jenny Coon Rivenbark
Patience – saving 10 seconds can cost you many more! – Donna Howell-Ardington
What’s one thing you wish non-truckers would understand about your job?
Post your answers on our Facebook page or send them to email@example.com by July 31, 2013. All answers are subject to edits. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
July Tour Dates
9-Jul Nitro, WV PM Catlettsburg, KY 10-Jul Mount Sterling, KY PM Franklin, KY 11-Jul Oak Grove, KY PM Mortons Gap, KY 12-Jul Glendale, KY PM Lebanon Junction, KY 13-Jul Brooks, KY PM Simpsonville, KY 14-Jul Waddy, KY PM Georgetown, KY 15-Jul Walton, KY PM Eaton, OH 16-Jul Millersport, OH PM Berkshire, OH 17-Jul Columbus, OH PM Jeffersonville, OH 18-Jul Beaverdam, OH PM Beaverdam, OH 19-Jul Lake Township, OH PM Lodi, OH 20-Jul Cambridge, OH PM Caldwell, OH
243 660 41 661 662 156 48 399 356 354 663 353 664 286 699 696 213 698 457 695 700 287 006 309
Dates subject to change.
Check www.facebook.com/DriverAppreciationTour for changes and updates.
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Check This Out: TIMELAPSE
Sometimes we have to look back at where we’ve been to see how far we’ve come. TIMELAPSE is a project from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, powered by Google and presented by TIME, that combines almost three decades of satellite photography into a stunning slideshow of how far we’ve come. View the sprawl of Las Vegas or the deforestation of the Amazon, or even your hometown, by visiting http://world.time.com/timelapse/.
Stress Signals Everybody experiences stress in different ways. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can come in the form of headaches, anger, muscle tension, fatigue, lack of concentration or feeling out of control. If you have regular stress headaches, the next time you pop an aspirin, also take a moment to identify the source of your stress and make a plan to manage it. Your whole body will thank you.
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PHOTO: imago sportfotodienst/Newscom
by: james raia
rofessional cyclists welcome the sport’s inherent obstacles. They embrace steep mountain climbs, highspeed descents and pedaling for hours on windy, exposed country
roads. Tejay van Garderen, the 24-year-old emerging star on the BMC team based in California, is among several young American riders also facing another obstacle they didn’t expect and don’t appreciate. They’re now in the awkward position of restoring the reputation of a sport greatly dimmed by the rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs. Cycling’s drug use is not new. But the long investigation and eventual admission in January by Lance Armstrong that he used illegal drugs during his seven-year Tour de France reign was the sport’s most egregious setback. Armstrong’s titles were nullified, he
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was banned for life and nearly a dozen of his former teammates also confessed to doping practices. Van Garderen and other increasingly prominent young Americans like Andrew Talansky, Taylor Phinney and Peter Stetina, all in their mid 20s, represent the sport’s future. Armstrong and former teammates Tom Danielson, George Hincapie, Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie are all in their mid-to-late 30s and early 40s. And they’re all either in the waning years of their careers, without contracts to ride in 2013 or retired. “I’d say we just keep doing what we are doing and hopefully the fans respond to that,” says van Garderen, whose fifth overall in the 2012 Tour de France was the highest for an American. “Other than that, I really can’t say what more we could do other than what we are already doing. And that is get-
ting results and doing it in an honest way.” Van Garderen’s strong finish in his second Tour de France also resulted in a rare but not unheard of circumstance in long stage races like the Tour de France. He finished higher than team captain Cadel Evans of Australia, the 2011 Tour de France winner who finished seventh last year in cycling’s biggest race. As a result, for this year’s Tour de France there are questions on who will be and who should be BMC’s team captain. Will it be Evans, 36, who’s nearing the end of his career? Or will van Garderen assume the team leadership? Van Garderen believes there’s no decision necessary. “It’s not that we just want to ride for Cadel because he’s the older guy or because he’s been on the team longer,” he says. “You do what you think is going to be best for the team. Cadel? He’s been on the Tour de France podium (top three) three times. The only thing I have to my name in terms of grand tour is my fifth place. So if you are going to play the odds, you’d play Cadel. He has the more proven track record. “Cadel has done it time after time. It’s not to say that I have zero chance going into the Tour de France. If I am the last guy there with him in the mountains and I am there to support him and he ends up on the podium, then I could still end up in the top five. I am not disappointed in any way that Cadel is the leader of the team. I understand it and I am happy to fill my role.” Despite his advancing skills and respect in the peloton, van Garderen is still a young rider with unbridled raw emotion. While holding a new race lead of the inaugural USA Pro Challenge in Colorado in 2011, the then 22-year-old lashed out at veteran rider and compatriot Levi Leipheimer. Van Garderen had assumed the race lead on a rain-slick stage 4 and criticized Leipheimer, a multiple top-10 Tour de France finisher, for his hesitancy while riding downhill. The next day, Leipheimer got revenge. He re-took the lead while winning an uphill 10-mile time trial in Vail. Van Garderen faltered, finished sixth in the stage, fell to third place overall and squelched any realistic chance he had to win the race. Following his subpar ride, television cameras showed van Garderen slumped by the side of the road, crying. He did not speak with the media but later apologized for his comments. Two more years in the peloton has also helped. Van Garderen hasn’t stopped offering opinions; he’s just considered more carefully what he has to say — and added humor and a penchant for hopeful predictions. Just prior to the start of this year’s Tour j u L Y 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 17
PHOTO: COURTESY OF BMC/Tim De Waele
Van Garderen has the all-around skills (speed, endurance and climbing) to win the Tour de France in the years to come.
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of California, the first major race in the United States since Armstrong’s unraveling, van Garderen was asked about the sport’s future. He paused, then said: “I’d like to hope that the fans can move past what’s happened in that era of cycling,” he said. “I think it’s a long time ago now. I think the sport of cycling has taken its hits, but hopefully they (the fans) don’t lose faith in us now. “I think you’re going to see on Mount Diablo (the stage 7 mountaintop finish). There’ll be a million people there. You’re going to realize the sport of cycling is still strong. People still love it. They’re still going to be out there running half-naked next to us.” Van Garderen’s squad will be among the 22-team, 198-rider field from more than a dozen countries competing in the Tour de France as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. For the first time, the three-week event will visit Corsica. The island on the southeastern corner of France will host the first three stages. The race then advances into the country’s mainland for long, flat stretches through cornfields and vineyards and to the iconic peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees.
To commemorate the race’s 100th running, organizers have incorporated several specialty days, including the ascent of the famous steep climb to the skiing village Alpe d’Huez twice in one day. The race’s final day, as per tradition, will take the riders to the cobblestoned roads of the Champs Elysees. But for the first time the stage will be held at night. Van Garderen was born in Tacoma, Wash., but he spent his youth in Bozeman, Mont. When he was age 10, his father noticed his cycling skills blossoming quickly. Two years later, with his tall, thin and strong frame developing, van Garderen won the first of his 10 junior national titles. He turned pro in 2010. Van Garderen again rapidly excelled, with second overall at the Tour of Turkey and third in the early season French stage race Critérium du Dauphiné. The following season van Garderen was runner-up overall at the Volta ao Algarve in Spain and third overall in the inaugural weeklong USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. He also claimed his first pro win in 2011 in the individual time trial at the Tour of Utah.
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While many pro cyclists develop as specialists in climbing or sprinting, van Garderen’s overall talents emerged early. He’s 6-foot-1 and about 150 pounds, ideal for long time trials yet lanky enough for climbing mountains. Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, the reigning world titlist, views his young teammate like many others in the sport – a young rider with physical talents and racing savvy beyond his years. “He is a good climber and good time-trial rider who already has a lot of experience in the stage races, even though he is still at a young age,” says Gilbert. “He did a good result last year at the Tour de France and that was with him helping our leader. “So when he gets his own chances in a grand tour, I think you will see him have even more success. In the one-week races, he is always riding smart, watching the other team’s leaders and using his teammates to his best advantage.” Craig Lewis of South Carolina rode with van Garderen for two seasons beginning in 2010 on the HTC-Columbia and HTC-Highroad teams. He believes van Garderen has ideal talents as a rider competing for overall results in races like the Tour de France. “I consider him a friend and a good guy; the rest is obvious,” says Lewis. “He’s the
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perfect combination of being prepared and having the talent. Most of us are lucky to just have one of those things.” Last season, van Garderen followed his fifth place at the Tour de France with second at the USA Pro Challenge. During the early months of the 2013 season, he had several top-five finishes. Still, van Garderen’s first stage race title remains elusive – a yet-to-be achieved accomplishment he’s been asked about often. “That’s the whole purpose of what we are doing out here, to try to win,” he says. “Every race you go to, it’s important. If there’s an opportunity, you gotta take the opportunity to try to win. I’m starting to learn, if you want it too bad, it will never come. “Sometimes, you have to loosen your grip a little bit and let it come naturally. It’s not something that’s weighing on my mind and keeping me up at night. I still sleep like a baby every night. But, yeah, as long as I just do the work and stay relaxed and stay happy, I think it’s going to come naturally.” Yvon Ledanois, a BMC assistant team director, echoes world titlist Gilbert and describes van Garderen as a young rider with a veteran rider’s experience. “Tejay is very good at measuring his efforts during a stage race,” says Ledanois. “He knows when to converse and when
to make a move. He has to improve in his climbing, especially for the hard accelerations when the pace is not so steady. “In the time trial, he will only get stronger as he matures. He is already good in this discipline and will get better. Those are the strengths of a good racer for the grand tours. So he has a bright future ahead.” Following the Tour de France, van Garderen is scheduled to return to Colorado, where he missed his first overall title, finishing second to Christian Vande Velde by 21 seconds. The third-year event, van Garderen explains, is of equal importance to the Tour of California, particularly for top American riders whose careers are often centered in Europe. “It takes a lot of pieces to fall into place and it takes a lot of patience,” van Garderen says of winning at cycling’s highest level. “Sometimes, young riders don’t really have that. It takes being calm in certain circumstances, especially when there’s a lot of pressure and the stakes are really high. If you don’t, you waste a lot of energy, and every little bit you can save is energy you can use when it matters. And then it just takes learning and it takes experience.”
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by: joan tupponce
f you visualize a white horse, a masked man and an Indian whenever you hear the rousing intro to the William Tell overture, then you, ke-mo sah-bee, must be a diehard fan of “The Lone Ranger.” Each week, the masked man and his faithful sidekick, Tonto, swept us into a new adventure with four simple words: “Hiyo Silver, away!” While it was exciting, the show wasn’t just about Tonto or the Lone Ranger or his white horse, Silver. It taught all of us who watched it the true meaning of friendship and compassion. It was a part of our lives and now it’s coming back to the big screen. If you ask actor Armie Hammer what he thinks about playing the coveted role of the Lone Ranger in the new Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films
release of the same name, you’ll get a hearty laugh and a sly comeback. “It’s the role of the Lone Ranger,” Hammer says. “You would be hard-pressed to find someone who would say no to the part.” Opening on July 3, “The Lone Ranger” is from the filmmaking team of Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who were behind the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. This new production brings the masked hero to life through the eyes of Native American warrior Tonto, played by the eccentric Johnny Depp, who tells how John Reid, a man of the law, is transformed into a legend of justice. Verbinski and Bruckheimer were
interested in Hammer because of his performance as the Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network” as well as his role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in “J. Edgar.” “When you meet Armie, you soon realize that he doesn’t have a cynical or jaded bone in his body,” says Verbinski. “Armie has a kind of great, blind optimism in the way he looks at the world. We really needed someone you could believe could have old-fashioned ideas.” A Los Angeles native, Hammer grew up watching Westerns with his family. “That’s the genre [of film] that my dad liked,” he says. “I love the way that Westerns tell stories.” Hammer isn’t the only person affiliated with the film who appreciates Westerns and characters like the Lone
Photo: Peter Mountain ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Peter Mountain • ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Johnny Depp had William Voelker, a Comanche Indian, advise him on playing Tonto. Ranger that the genre has created. “There’s something about these characters that has appealed to every generation since they were invented,” says Bruckheimer. “I grew up in Detroit, and ‘The Lone Ranger’ radio and TV shows were part of my youth and
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millions of others as well.” Audiences began watching Westerns in the early 1900s, during the days of silent films. As the genre began to gain popularity, actors such as John Wayne and Gary Cooper became household names. The Lone
Ranger and Tonto first came onto the scene in 1933 in Detroit, on WXYZ radio, when the station owner decided to create a Western that would appeal to children. By 1938, “The Lone Ranger” was a sensation and continued wowing audiences until its last radio episode on Sept. 3, 1954. But radio wasn’t the only outlet for the masked hero and his Indian sidekick. “The Lone Ranger” television show, starring Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto, began airing in 1949 and continued until 1957. Filmmakers also jumped on the bandwagon and produced two feature films about the Lone Ranger – one in 1956 and one in 1958. Now it’s time for Depp and Hammer not only to bring a new perspective to the big screen but to also bring Westerns to a new generation. “This is definitely going to introduce the character of the Lone Ranger to kids who don’t know who he is in a cool way,” Hammer says. “People who grew up watching the show will watch this and say ‘I remember this from the TV show.’” The tone of the new film touches on everything from drama to romance. “It goes from being a full-on badass shoot-’em-up Western to feeling like a comedy and then a romance,” Hammer says. Bringing the updated story to the big
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FILM FRAME • ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“Ke-mo sah-bee” comes from the Potowatomie Indian language and means “faithful friend” or “trusty scout.” The Potowatomies lived in the Great Lakes region. screen wasn’t an easy task for filmmakers, but it was worth the effort, says Bruckheimer. “We knew that it was time for ‘The Lone Ranger’ and Westerns to be reborn just as Gore and I knew that it was time for pirate movies to be resurrected when we first developed ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ for the screen a decade ago. There’s a reason why people have relished these characters and genres for decades, and we knew that if we reintroduced them in a fresh and exciting way, they would fall in love with them all over again.” Verbinski wanted to take a new spin on the legendary story and tell it from Tonto’s perspective. “I would say that at its core, our version is a buddy story and an action-adventure film with a lot of irony and humor and enough odd singularity to make it distinct,” he says. Depp was involved in the film from the beginning. Hammer laughs when he remembers the first time he met the legendary actor. “It was not how I expected,” he says, adding that he looked up to see Depp wearing his Tonto makeup. “He came from a camera test and I came from a table read.” Shooting for the film began in February 2012 and was a true nomadic adventure, trekking through four states in a little more than seven months. Prior to filming, Verbinski and visual consultant Mark “Crash” McCreery set off to find a gritty, tumbleweedstrewn frontier town that could serve as Colby, Texas, where John Reid, aka the Lone Ranger, and his brother, Dan, lived. When they couldn’t find anything that matched their vision, they decided to build the town of Colby in Rio Puerco, a flatland about 35 miles south of Albuquerque, N.M. The result: a realistic but absurd Western town with character and sass. “Anything with a straight line doesn’t feel right,” says McCreery of Colby. “Gore likes things that feel lived-in, which is why you have a balcony smashed on one end or a missing rail or paint splatter on the side of a building. It adds to the character of the town; you start to feel a history w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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Photo: Peter Mountain • ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The original “Lone Ranger” radio show debuted on Detroit station WXYZ in 1933. It was made into a television show in 1949. there.” Colby wasn’t the only community to take shape. Filmmakers also built the town of Promontory Summit, where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific trains met headto-head after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the moveable tent
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town endearingly called Hell on Wheels. The carnival-like community was based on the pop-up towns erected during the 19th century for the men building the railroad. One of the most ambitious projects for filmmakers was building two 250-ton 19thcentury American trains that would be used
in several action scenes. “There’s no substitute for reality, and given what we needed to do with those trains, the real thing was the only way to go,” says Bruckheimer. In addition to the trains, the crew built five miles of track around both Colby and Promontory Summit. They also had to construct two miles of double tracks, which were used to shoot side-by-side train sequences. The trains that were built were authentic to the period with two exceptions – the locomotives used hydraulic power instead of steam and the cars were similar to shipping containers that could be lifted either on or off the train or flatbed trucks that served as road rigs. The trucks used to move the equipment and props from one state to another reminded Hammer of a childhood dream. “I wanted to be a long-haul trucker,” he says, adding that he loved road trips and figured being a trucker was the best way for him “to see the country.” All of the traveling between states for the film brought back those childhood memories. “When I see a big sleeper driving down the road . . . oh, man, I am jealous sometimes. I’m looking at getting into the commercial side of that with a good RV or a motor home.” Both Hammer and Depp had to settle into their roles in the film. Depp described prepping for the role of Tonto in a spring
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press conference in Las Vegas. “I was really trying to find a way into the character that was different,” he said. “But that’s not to take anything away from what Jay Silverheels did. As a kid, when I watched the show, I didn’t understand why Tonto was the sidekick. I felt unnerved by it. My goal was to show what was done to [Indians] and show Tonto not only as a proud warrior but also a man.” Depp is excited about working with Verbinski for the fifth time, he said. “It’s always an adventure into the character. There is a shorthand and a great understanding. There is a wonderful kind of respect for absurdity and irreverence, which is the only way to go through life, I believe. I think that happens when we work together.” Both Depp and Hammer acknowledge that working on the film was a harrowing and even life-threatening assignment at times. “It was definitely the most dangerous movie I have worked on,” Depp said in the Las Vegas press conference. “The most difficult thing was staying alive while you are on a horse moving at a high speed and you realize you are under it.” “In a weird masochistic way it was the best thing in the world,” adds Hammer. “You bust your ass and you do a good job. You do whatever it takes to get it done.” Hammer grew up riding horses but says that didn’t prepare him for the type of daredevil-style riding he does in the film – think jumping on a moving horse or riding through a moving train while using both hands to shoot the bad guys. “This kind of riding is so unique and so different,” he says, adding that he spent one day being dragged behind a horse and another walking barefoot around the desert. “This is not arena riding or trail riding. You have to ride on the roof of a building. There is a lot of trick riding, jumping and rear riding. We had to spend a lot of time training.” Much of that stunt-style training took place before production began at cowboy boot camp at a working horse ranch in New Mexico. Real-life cowboys and wranglers taught members of the cast under the supervision of stuntmen. “I did as much as they would let me do and sometimes I pushed and got a little more out of them,” Hammer says of the tricks he had to learn. Albeit fun at times, cowboy camp took its toll on Hammer’s body. “I was bruised and beat up and sore constantly,” he says. “I was using ice bags and Epsom salt baths. It was a workout, but everybody else went through the same thing.” Actors in the film bonded during the arduous process. “Everybody was great,” Hammer says. “You felt like you were part of the family.” Depp experienced the same feeling. “From craft services up it’s like a family,” he says. “It’s like the circus comes to town. Everyone was funny and miserable.” Film veterans Verbinski, Bruckheimer and Depp handled the filming with “such grace,” Hammer says. “The film was handled by a team of people who have done this exact same thing before and who are no strangers to blockbusters.” Often actors will improvise while shooting a film, but Hammer says he didn’t see the need to attempt that in this film. “This movie was so well-written and so specifically written,” he says. “I wanted to remain true to the script.” He feels a real connection to his character’s honest and wholesome attitude. “Hopefully a large part of each of us has been a virtuous man, a good person,” he says. “I try to live the best life I can. I am a good husband. I treat my wife well. I try to treat people around me fairly and justly.” Working with Depp on the film was “amazing” and “constantly funny,” he adds. “He’s one of the better coworkers that I have worked with. I laughed at least once a day.” w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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PHOTO: Eldora Speedway
dirt racing redux B
were larger, more financially lucrative, and encouraged participation by new partners like R.J. Reynolds Co. and its Winston brand of cigarettes. For some, the move was bittersweet. “I hope we don’t forget what dirt track racing has meant to our sport,” Petty said in Victory Lane after the 1970 Raleigh event. “I hope we come back to it once in a while, too. Just so we don’t forget.” While NASCAR may have forgotten dirt racing for the last 43 years, it’s obvious the fans haven’t, as all 17,782 grandstand seats for the Eldora race sold out in a matter of days this past January. “We weren’t surprised,” says Roger Slack, Eldora Speedway’s general manager. “We wanted something special for our 60th
It’s going to be a lot different than what we are used to. These things are going to take a beating. – Mike Beam, Red Horse Racing crew chief
by: john close
reak out the flux capacitors – NASCAR is racing “Back to the Future.” Taking a cue from the 1985 science fiction/adventure comedy movie starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, NASCAR will jump back in time, staging its first race on a dirt track in more than 40 years on July 24. Billed the “Mudsummer Classic,” the event at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, won’t feature plutonium-powered DeLoreans like those used in the movie, but rather NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series racers and their ground-shaking, 700plus horsepower V-8 engines. “It’s a big event not only for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series but for NASCAR as a whole,” says Jim Cassidy, vice president of NASCAR Racing Operations. “A lot of thought and planning went into it, in coordination with the folks at Eldora. It is
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something we have been contemplating for a while and all the pieces fell into place to make it happen for this year. It’s a marquee event for the Truck Series and judging from the response from ticket sales at the track, it speaks to the magnitude of the event. It takes us back to our roots. We are all excited about it.” The last major NASCAR touring series race on a dirt surface was held on Sept. 30, 1970, when Richard Petty won the Home State 200 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Speedway in Raleigh, N.C. While dirt track racing was NASCAR’s bread and butter for more than two decades, financial defections by Ford, Chrysler, Firestone and Goodyear had the sanctioning organization scrambling for new partners and funding. To secure that, NASCAR had to leave the smaller revenue producing dirt tracks for the “modern era” asphalt raceways that
anniversary and it started as a brainstorm. NASCAR hadn’t released the truck schedule, so I called Jim Cassidy and that’s how it got started. Initially, we thought we could sell about 10,000 tickets, but when word leaked out – especially through social media – it really blew up. That’s when we knew we had something special on our hands.” Like NASCAR, Eldora has a long and storied history. Opened in 1954 by legendary race promoter Earl Baltes, the track is famous for its United States Auto Club (USAC) and World Of Outlaws (WOO) races headlined by iconic classics like the World 100, Kings Royal and Dirt Late Model Dream events. In 2004, NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and dirt-racing aficionado Tony Stewart purchased Eldora Speedway from Baltes and has carried on many of the track’s traditions. Now, thanks to Stewart and NASCAR, another chapter is about to be written. “Earl Baltes made history here at Eldow w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
PHOTO: Eldora Speedway
Eldora Speedway, the site of countless big races, will host the first NASCAR event contested on a dirt surface in more than 40 years when the Mudsummer Classic rolls off on July 14.
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ra,” says Slack. “He created the World 100 that has become the world’s biggest dirt race. And the Kings Royal was the first huge money Sprint Car race. Eldora has a history of creating special events and the NASCAR race is another one of those kinds of events. That’s why this race is a must-see event.” Not only will the racing surface be different at Eldora, so will the event’s format. Unlike asphalt Truck Series races that are contested flag-to-flag and with on-the-fly pit stops, the Eldora dirt race will feature two-lap qualifying sessions, five eightlap qualifying races and a 15-lap “Last Chance” race. In all, 30 trucks will take the green flag in the 150-lap Mudsummer Classic, which will be divided into three segments of 60, 50 and 40 laps with 10-minute pit stops between each segment. “We sanction a lot of different events across the land at a lot of different tracks with a lot of different formats,” says Cassidy. “We looked at this one and talked closely with the track about the format and it gave us a good opportunity to have a format that is consistent with what dirt racing fans are used to seeing across the country.” NASCAR also had to come up with a
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different set of rules to make the Camping World Trucks – purpose-built for pavement racing – adaptable and competitive to the rough-and-tumble dirt track surface at Eldora. “It’s going to be a lot different than what we are used to,” says Mike Beam, crew chief at Red Horse Racing. “These things are going to take a beating. Unlike racing on asphalt, where the surface is smooth, a dirt track is bumpy and gets pretty rutted up. We’re going to have to make sure the truck lasts the whole race by doing things like bracing up the nose and reinforcing the truck arms. It really is going to be a completely different truck and experience than what we are used to.” “We’ll still have our shocks, springs and sway bars to work with, but it is all going to be totally opposite from what we do on asphalt,” adds Marcus Richmond, crew chief at Richard Childress Racing. “We won’t have anywhere near as much to adjust as regular dirt cars do. We’re going to do some tests locally before the race so we can hopefully get a handle on what we need and what we are doing.” Richmond could have one small advantage in that his driver – Ty Dillon – has plenty of dirt racing experience. In an event where some drivers have little, if any, history as dirt
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racers, this could be the difference between a trip to Victory Lane and also-ran status. “I’m looking forward to putting a truck out there,” says Dillon. “I still drive a dirt late model in 20 to 30 races a year and I’m comfortable racing on dirt. I’ve also raced at Eldora a couple of times. It’s a big, wide track and you run right up against the wall.
It’s really fast and there should be a lot of passing. The big thing will be figuring out the totally different suspension package on my truck compared to the one on my dirt late models. It’s definitely going to be fun and I’m hoping my experience will give me an advantage.” Others, like traditional NASCAR pave-
Ty Dillon will be one of the few drivers with dirt racing experience when he competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway.
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PHOTO: John Close
“The King,” Richard Petty, won the last NASCAR race contested on a dirt track in September 1970. ment racer Timothy Peters, won’t give the win to experienced dirt track drivers like Dillon without a fight. “I don’t have any experience racing on dirt other than I raced go-karts a few times when I was a kid. So I’m kind of looking forward to it,” says Peters. “I remember it being really hard even in a go-kart. You can be sure I will be going there and trying to make the best of it. I’m confident in my abilities and I like a challenge, so in some ways it will be business as usual.” And what about winning? Surely capturing NASCAR’s first dirt event in more than four decades will carry quite a bit of prestige, notoriety and bragging rights with it. “I think it would be really cool to be the first-time winner of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series dirt race,” says Peters. “There is going to be a lot of nostalgia from the past attached to it from a driver, team and fan viewpoint. Dirt racing is where our sport originated and there is a lot of history attached to it. Yeah, winning Eldora would be awesome.” “It would mean so much to win Eldora because it’s just so different than anything we’ve been doing for more than 40 years,” agrees Beam. “But honestly, when you get right down to it, I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen. It’s new for NASCAR, it’s dirt and it’s Eldora. It’s going to be very exciting because this race will take us back to the older days of the sport. It’s almost like back in the day when everyone raced on dirt tracks at the county fair. It’s going to be a really good challenge and a lot of fun for all of us.” More fun than trying to harness 1.21 gigawatts. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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a trucker’s best friend
by: amanda jakl
im McQueen is a mutt and so are his two dogs. “I don’t want a dog better than me,” he says with a laugh. McQueen is an over-the-road driver, out for months at a time, and his two canines, Casey and JR, are his constant companions. “They’re my kids,” he says. “They give you unconditional love. They’re happy to see you every time you come to the door.” He’s not the only trucker with a fourlegged companion aboard. Whether it’s watching the pure bliss on a dog’s face as he sticks his head out the window or having a cat curl up in your lap as you read a book at the end of a long shift, there’s something heartening about traveling with a beloved pet. Dogs and cats are more than pets; they’re early warning systems, boredom busters and even health advocates. There’s research that proves it. A recent study found that employees who bring their dogs to work produce less cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. Don’t forget laughter too. As McQueen says, his dogs make “the whole truck more entertaining.” Casey, a 100-pound German shepherd and bull mastiff mix, is the trucking veteran, having been on the road for six years. He isn’t always as amused with the antics of rookie and seven-month-old puppy JR.
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“Sometimes Casey just wants to sleep and JR decides he wants to play,” McQueen explains. “He’ll be crawling all over Casey, and Casey will just look at me: ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ And five minutes later, he’ll be up and playing with him.” Nothing like the joie de vivre of a puppy as a reminder not to take life too seriously. Although JR’s life wasn’t always so sweet. Initially adopted from a pit bull rescue, his first owner “horribly abused him as soon as he got him home,” says McQueen. JR was immediately returned to the rescue. The owner of the rescue knew McQueen would be the perfect person for JR since they volunteered together at Operation Roger, a nonprofit that relies on truck drivers to transport adopted pets from the rescue or shelter to their permanent homes. McQueen, who has driven for Operation Roger for the past year, was moved by JR’s story. “I wanted the dog to realize not everyone is going to do that crap to him, so I adopted him to make him as spoiled rotten as my other dog.” Operation Roger is the brainchild of 15year veteran driver Sue Wiese, who founded it in 2005 after she saw dogs and cats abandoned and neglected after Hurricane Katrina. It was a moment of divine inspiration. “I was driving down the road, praying, and said, ‘Lord, what can I do?’” she recalls. “I
was thinking how would I make any difference. I’m one person. I’m just a truck driver. Well, He told me in one word. ‘Transport.’” After consulting with family and friends, and some research on the Internet, Wiese realized how she could help adopted pets make it home. “I heard about the traditional way of transporting pets, called ‘legs,’ which is car to car to car,” she explains. “One of them would do a leg and the next one would do a leg.” Wiese realized that drivers of all kinds, especially over-the-road and longhaul drivers, were an untapped network of helping hands, or in this case, wheels. Since then, Wiese has built a system that coordinates drivers, foster homes and shelters with pets in need. Operation Roger has about 35 truck drivers, with volunteer applications submitted regularly, and has transported more than 700 pets. McQueen and Casey have transported six pets over the past year. As a company driver for RJM Trucking, he realizes that not all trucking company owners would allow their drivers to take the time, not to mention miles, to help out a pet. But he says his boss “is a big dog lover,” so when he can help, he does. As extra incentive, Wiese points out that volunteers can deduct 14 cents per mile on their taxes, making volunteering for Operation Roger a boon for your heart and pock-
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Photo: Jim McQueen
drivers spend weeks with the transported pets and quickly learn if they’re meant to have a cab companion. “On top of helping dogs, it’s almost like a ‘try a dog out’ type of thing,” McQueen says. “If you don’t know you’re going to like a certain breed of dog, transport it. Before I got JR, I never hated pit bulls, but I wasn’t exactly looking for one. But then I transported one out of Florida and took him for about three weeks with me and that was all it took.” JR has been with McQueen and Casey for about two months, and it’s been a match made in heaven for the three mutts. “They don’t expect anything special out of you,” McQueen says. “They don’t judge you for anything, all they want is a warm place to sleep, some food, maybe some treats and somebody to play with.” The world could take a lesson from that.
McQueen’s German Shepherd and Bull Mastiff miX CASEY, with his wolf-like features, is a good deterrent for any trouble out on the road. etbook. But she doesn’t see Operation Roger simply as a tax-deduction, she describes it as “a ministry to God’s four-legged creatures.” She also doesn’t believe it’s an organization that should be active only in times of natural disasters. “I realized that while Katrina was a horrific local catastrophe, the every-
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day need of moving a pet to its new home is even greater on a daily basis.” For drivers who are interested in traveling with a pet of their own but aren’t sure of the responsibility or even what type of breed or pet would suit them best, Operation Roger can help answer those questions. Some
To become a volunteer driver or donate to help bring an adopted pet to its new permanent home, visit www.operationroger.com.
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Photo: Kari and Lee Fisher
Traveling with Pets Check with your company about their pet policies. Many require pet deposits of several hundred dollars. Consider a national pet hospital chain like Banfield Pet Hospitals or VCA Animal Hospitals that is in every state and makes pet records accessible at every location. AAA.com offers a list of more than 14,000 hotels, motels and campgrounds that are pet-friendly, and of course, Motel 6 always welcomes well-behaved pets. Kari Fisher and her truck-driver husband, Lee, travel with their four dogs and cat. They make sure their dogs are vaccinated against anything they could contract in the 48 contiguous states. â€œPlus they get rattlesnake vaccinations.â€? Fisher also suggests driving with 5 gallons of water and plenty of food. Check out 12-volt appliances like vacuums that can help keep the cab clean and hair-free. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
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by: amanda jakl
or most musicians, playing with Bob Dylan at the Grammy Awards would come to mind first when asked about the greatest moments in their careers. For the Avett Brothers, and bandleaders Scott and Seth Avett, it’s definitely a highlight, but when asked about great moments, both are quick to mention performing at the Stage Coach and Coachella music festivals. “We, and maybe Willie Nelson, are the only two acts that have done Coachella and Stage Coach in the same year,” Seth says. Both three-day music festivals draw the best artists of their genre, the Stage Coach for country and Coachella for rock. “There’s only been a select few that have done both, that are really capable of doing both, switching over from country to rock, and we did both of them,” Scott says. The band was mostly recently nominated for their album “The Carpenter” in the “best Americana” album category at the 55th annual Grammy Awards. And while the industry places them in the Americana category, appropriate since their music has bluegrass, country, folk, R&B and blues sensibilities, it also has pop and rock elements. “Every genre is stifling, every last one of them,” says
Seth. “We [categorize] so we can have a reference point, but I think people take genres too seriously. The record shop really should be in alphabetical order.” The brothers’ musical education started in “the sticks” of North Carolina, near Charlotte, where all three siblings – they have an older sister, Bonnie – were required to take piano lessons, “because it’s the starting point for all instruments,” says Scott. Their parents, Jim and Susie, believed in a well-balanced education, one that included but didn’t focus solely on music. Seth says that their parents would tell them, “You gotta learn to read music, that’s a part of your education.” Beyond music lessons, their parents instilled the importance of togetherness, of being present in the moment. Seth believes those lessons started in the living room. “Before there were so many opportunities for entertainment on the screen, that entertainment had to be more in the household, in real life, tactile, actual – a piano in everybody’s living room,” he says. “Now, there’s a flat screen in everybody’s living room. It’s a change in culture.” “[Music] really has just always been a part of the fabric of the family,” Scott says, but his future in music wasn’t as cer-
tain as his brother’s. “I knew when I was like 6 or so that I wanted to have something to do with music,” Seth explains. It took Scott a little longer to arrive at that conclusion, but Seth always knew his brother would be an entertainer of some sort. “[Scott’s] going to be on the stage, whether he’s going to be a ballet dancer or a boxer or a singer or a magician or a striker,” he says. “He had talent in a lot of things, but he was going to be entertaining and he was going to be fun to watch. He had that star thing. He has an innate charisma for that kind of thing.” Although Scott is older by four years, both brothers followed a similar path through high school, playing in garage bands and then becoming part of the university music scene. Each was pursuing his own music until 1998. “I drifted into a band called Nemo,” Scott explains. “Then that and Seth’s band, Margo, came together and we kept the name Nemo. It was somewhere between punk, metal, hardcore, pop, grunge, Southern, sludge – it was all those things. It was a bag of many sounds and many attempts at finding identity, really.” It was during his time in the hardcore music scene that Scott picked up banjo, ironically at the time, but found the cata-
Photo: Simon Jay Price/ZUMA Press/Newscom
In addition to writing their own songs, the multi-talented brothers both sing, and play guitar, piano and drums.
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lyst to his musical career. He had found his identity. “The banjo was my voice as far as instruments are concerned,” he says. “It was abrasive, yet it could be melodic. It could be sweet, but it could be very harsh as well. I was really loving that and I just dove right into that.” While Nemo disbanded – “imploded” is the word Scott uses – the brothers turned their focus to acoustic music in 2000, officially becoming the Avett Brothers. They added bassist Bob Crawford in 2002, cellist Joe Kwon in 2007 and touring drummer Mike Marsh, of Dashboard Confessional fame, in 2009. Their success has been a slow burn for the last decade. The band released five fulllength albums, four EPs and two live albums before attracting a major record label. The slow pace is exactly what they hoped for their careers. “I’m very thankful [our success was] at a slower pace because it’s been much more digestible for me,” Seth says. “If we would have been on more magazine covers and stuff when I was 20, 21, I don’t know if I could have handled it. I’m thankful for … the ability to process something slow and to work something up gradually and to put a ton of time into it so when you do get a little bit of success out of it, you can feel OK about that. You don’t have to feel guilty about it.” Their 2007 full-length album, “Emotion-
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE AVETT BROTHERS
“THE CARPENTER,” THE SECOND RICK RUBIN-PRODUCED ALBUM, earned the band a Grammy nomination. alism,” landed No. 1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart, No. 134 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 13 on the Independent Artist Chart. Those numbers caught the attention of esteemed producer Rick Rubin, who has worked with, and can be credited with hits by, artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks, Beastie Boys, Run– D.M.C., Aerosmith and Tom Petty. Collaborating with Rubin on their 2009 release “I And Love And You” was, in many ways, a turning point for the band in terms of commercial success. The record hit No. 1 on the Billboard folk albums, No. 7 in rock albums, No. 8 in best-selling digital albums and peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 bestselling albums. Rolling Stone magazine named them Artist to Watch of 2009. Working with a producer, however, didn’t come naturally. The brothers had acted as their own producers for all of their previous albums. “We come from a long line of and deep history of do-it-yourself,” Scott shares. “To Seth and I, we would rather do it ourselves and only
be a certain amount of success than let somebody else do it, thrust us into this whirlwind of nonsense and music we maybe don’t even believe in.” Rubin’s approach won the brothers over. “He extended an offer to get to know each other,” Scott explains. “He didn’t approach it in business terms at all. It was more like, we love music, let’s talk about music, and that’s the only way we really know if we want to do some things. We kept it extremely honest and real as far as what really matters here. And instantly a bubble was built around the art to protect it from the money and the marketing and the business of it and that’s not always the case for a band.” Rubin’s influence on their recent albums is obvious, especially after listening to “Gleam II,” the last album produced by the brothers themselves. On the Rubin-produced “I And Love And You” album, the banjo was still present, but took a backseat to the melody. Rubin took the best parts of the Avett Brothers’ music, refined them, added depth and layers while still retaining the Avett Brothers sound. Rubin also helped the band
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J U L Y 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 41
Photo: Courtesy of the avett brothers
While their touring schedule seems nonstop, the band plans strategic breaks to recuperate and spend time with family. (L-R) Scott Avett, Joe Kwon, Seth Avett and Bob Crawford. see their flaws and how to evolve from them. “We got in the studio and there was this very nourishing, very funny, very difficult and, at times, highly frustrating thing that would happen where we really had to break down and rebuild several aspects of our technical ability and technical limitations,” says Seth. “In some ways it felt very much like we were a good band that was
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trying to become a great band. Rick being a part of our working process the last few years feels like he is helping us on our journey to attempt to become a great band.” Regardless of their commercial success, their commitment to their family and each other is evident. Touring schedules are planned with family time and creative growth in mind. They refuse to be cogs in the wheel of the mu-
sic industry. “One of the great benefits of touring completely on your own for eight years and then stepping into a major label situation and all that, with eight years’ of worth of leverage and an already established fan base, is that you maintain quite a bit of control,” Seth says. “We don’t really have anybody really telling us what to do.” Scott says spreading out the shows just prolongs the experience and their career. “You can do more, once you get into a groove. You can do it, but you don’t have to. Every time we play is one less time we’ll play in our lives. We have to think of that, let’s extend it to make each time as grand and as special as it can be.” Seth agrees that balance is the key and says touring is similar to other kinds of work, not surprising since their father owned a welding business. “If I was laying brick every day, I would have to decide if it made sense to work 10 hours,” he says. “I would have to figure out what my back can handle, and how much time I really need to be home to reset myself.” In the brothers’ minds, the skills may differ, but the time and commitment are the same. “We’re never dead-on right about our balance, but we’re always revising it, trying to make it better. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but right along with the bricklayers, we all gotta make a living.”
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PHOTOS: P&S Transportation
by: robert nason
t takes a special kind of driver to run flatbed; just ask P&S Transportation recruiter Keith Roberts. “Flatbed is hard work,” he says. “You’re out in the heat, the rain, the cold, the ice, the wind, night time, morning time, so it takes a unique person to do this.” It’s clear, though, that P&S Transportation keeps finding the right drivers. Founded in 2004 by Robert Pike Jr. and Scott Smith with 20 owner-operators and 35 trailers, the company has experienced consistent growth and now, as one of the nation’s flatbed carrier experts, has more than 700 company drivers and 150 lease operators on the road. Based near Birmingham, Ala., P&S Transportation is heavily concentrated in the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Texas and California, but they specialize in hard-to-move freight, which takes them throughout the lower 48.
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While the physical demands on flatbed drivers can be challenging, the reward for P&S Transportation drivers is working for a “driver friendly” company that makes driver satisfaction a top priority. “It’s a good company,” says Dean Gohn, a P&S Transportation driver for nearly four years. “For me, it’s being able to be home every weekend to take care of my family. And they maintain the trucks well.” Gohn used to be an owner-operator and he’s learned quickly the benefits of a company that takes care of its equipment. “As an owner-operator, you scrimped and saved and got every mile you could out of a tire,” he says. “But I’ll go in sometimes, park on the yard for the weekend and I’ll come back and have four, six new tires on the trailer. So it’s a lot less stress too.” P&S is highly selective in choosing driv-
ers. Requirements include a minimum of two years of verifiable, over-the-road tractor-trailer experience, at least six months of verifiable flatbed experience, a clean driving record and a good CSA score. “If a driver has three years or a hundred years of over-the-road experience and he calls and wants to drive flatbed, we won’t hire him because he’s got to have at least six months’ flatbed experience,” says Roberts. “I make no exceptions.” Roberts says seven out of 10 drivers that call him do not qualify. But if they do, the incentives are worth it. P&S Transportation drivers are home most weekends, operate the best equipment in the industry and are offered a competitive benefits package, including a $2,000 signing bonus. Drivers are also paid a percentage of the line-haul revenue (about 27 percent) and w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
Roberts says pay and benefits are consistently in the top 10 of carriers, paying on average 40 to 48 cents per mile. A simple way to prove how a company treats its drivers is to compare their turnover rate with the national turnover rate. “There’s 100 percent turnover rate in the industry,” says Roberts. “Our turnover is consistently the lowest in the industry and we are growing an average of 10 additional drivers per week.” In addition to the standard driver incentives, P&S Transportation also looks after their drivers’ well-being through their corporate chaplain program. At no cost to the drivers, chaplains are available in-person on a weekly basis and by phone 24 hours a day to counsel drivers on everything from stress management to premarital counseling to general issues. “This service is especially beneficial for our drivers who are away from home during the week and spending a lot of time working by themselves,” says Scott Schell, president of P&S. “It allows an employee to speak confidentially to a trained professional about concerns or problems that they may be experiencing.” It’s that understanding of what their drivers face as flatbed operators, from wrestling 130-pound tarps over loads to extreme weather, and the steps they take to care for their drivers that make P&S Transportation stand out as an industry leader. “They’re a good company to work for,” says Gohn. “I’ve been real happy with it.”
P&S Transportation is a leader in flatbed hauling and has more than 800 trucks on the road.
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P&S Transportation 205-788-4000 • pstransportinc.com
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on the road Photos: Courtesy of Travel Channel
Rock My RV By Robert Nason
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ret Michaels has a passion. Put aside for a moment his role as lead singer of the ’80s band Poison, his multimillion-dollar business enterprise that includes his pet accessories “Pets Rock” collection with PetSmart, custom-designed guitars and “Thorns and Roses” cologne, and his Life Rocks Foundation that has raised millions for diabetes awareness (Michaels was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 6). His passion is the open road and he’ll tell you the only real way to enjoy it is in an RV. “For me, RVs are so much more than just a mode of transportation – they’re a tradition and a huge part of both my personal and professional life,” Michaels says. “Some of my best childhood memories are from RV road trips, a pastime I now share with my own kids. It’s what my life is. My life is the open road.” So after 26 years, living a “minimum (of) nine months a year on the road,” Michaels saw an opportunity to partner with Travel Channel on a show that combines his zeal for RVing and his penchant for “rocking out” anything that comes his way. “Rock My RV with Bret Michaels” channels Michaels’ over-the-top imagination into refurbishing dilapidated RVs into “mobile mansions on the road.” Throughout the 16-episode run that started in late May, Michaels and his team of builders and fabricators tackle everything from a 1966 GM
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Buffalo tour bus to a 1992 Coachman Royal to a 1973 GMC Canyonlands. The end results are refurbished RVs with state-ofthe-art sound systems, new slide outs, a bedroom fireplace, a spiral staircase to the rooftop, and even a pressurized carbon dioxide T-shirt cannon. “We’re doing things that have never been done before,” he says. “And I’m amped to work with each of the owners and take their RV experience to rock-star status.” Michaels is quick to point out, though, that the show isn’t simply about outlandish designs. “It’s really a matter of function and fun,” he says. “I’ve got to create both. I want it to be fun, but it’s got to functional. Because a lot of these RV shows, they build these in a garage and they make things that could never
possibly go down the road. My job is to make it be able to go wherever they want it – go under any bridge, go anywhere they want, any beach, any side of a mountain.” The show is also holding an “Epic RV Giveaway Contest” – a chance to win a custom-built RV designed by Michaels. Through July, viewers can submit a video at TravelChannel.com and the winner will be revealed on the show’s finale. Beyond his energy and passion for the end product, Michaels realizes the show is about the people he’s helping. “I’m there to deliver their dream and use my knowledge of this to be able to build it out for them,” he says. “I want to make them the absolute best thing I can.” “Rock My RV” airs Sunday nights on Travel Channel.
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j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 49
Everywhere, U.s.a. PM
w h e r e,
Ju ly 2 013
Field of Change A
s I’ve journeyed across the country in my RV, sometimes I find myself on a road or highway I’ve previously traveled. When this happens, I often look for that same rest stop or travel center with the clean bathrooms. I see the same signs, sometimes even the same road construction. I also see the same landmarks and attractions. But even when I’m on these familiar roads, I’ve realized I rarely see the same thing twice. Time, season, perspective, it all changes, and so while I’m seeing the same things, it’s with different eyes. I guess that’s part of why I love to travel so much. I can tread along the same path but have a totally different experience. We were returning from Minnesota on one of our favorite roads less traveled when a small red square on our Rand McNally map caught our eye. It was the site for the film “Field of Dreams.” In my younger years, I played second base and, like many boys, spent hours dreaming of hitting the walk off homerun in Game 7 of the World Series. This movie, in numerous ways, represents the American dream. So seeing how close we were to the iconic field, we had to stop. The field is nestled within a 96-acre sea of corn stalks near Dyersville, Iowa. By cornfield standards, that’s not very large, particularly when compared with the thousands of acres of lush, green fields that surround it.
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BY: CHAD BLAKE
It was a Chamber of Commerce kind of day and when we approached the site, we were amazed to find that it looked exactly as we remembered in the movie. Nothing had changed. The summer corn crop bordered the ball field and looked perfect. The movie set was basic – home plate and three bags, dirt field, protective screen and lights for night ball. It was a ball player’s dream, beautiful in its simplicity. It represented the clean elegance of America’s pastime. Open to the public, there were players scattered throughout the field. No, not the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, but ordinary folks – moms, dads and kids sharing a special moment. They were batting, pitching and running, and I saw by the looks on the dads’ faces that they had been transported, for a moment, to a simpler and more innocent time. It made me wish my dad or kids were there to throw the ball around. I learned recently that the entire farm was sold to a large group of investors. I hope their nostalgia outweighs their profit margin. I worry that it will never be the same after the themepark designers and money managers get through with it. But with any luck, they will be able to maintain the magic and simplicity of the original site. Change is inevitable. But maybe, like in my Little League days, the new management can think big and knock it out of the ballpark.
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Pump up while you fuel up by: bob perry Bob Perry is the chair of the American Trucking Association’s Safety Management Council’s Health & Wellness Working Group email: firstname.lastname@example.org • facebook.com/rollingstrong
any drivers I talk to know they need to work out but just don’t have the time. But I also know that more and more drivers are making the time to work out and realize the value of taking control of their health. At the end of the day though, only you can make the choices related to taking care of yourself. Understanding the challenges of the professional trucking life means finding ways to make positive changes, even if they are small ones. One tip I always recommend is to incorporate cardio with strength training so you can burn more calories in less time. In a recent driver workout test that combined cardio and strength training, drivers burned up to 9 calories per minute. Let’s say it takes you 15 minutes to fuel up and in that time frame you had a 12-minute workout. You could even save time by combining a workout with your safety-check walk. If you did this four times a week while cutting out one high-calorie drink per day and cutting back on one high-calorie food, here is what you could burn in one week:
• Four 12-minute workouts at a calorie burn of 108 each: 432 calories burned • Cut out one high-calorie drink per day at 200 calories: 1,400 calories saved • Cut out two slices of pizza per week at 230 calories: 460 calories saved • Fewer calories per week: 2,292 That’s almost a pound. Do this for a year and you could lose up to 50 pounds. So let’s get started. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
1 Take three brisk walks around your truck, making mental notes along the way of any potential safety issues. 2 Open your driver’s side door and do one set of 25 push-ups off the bottom door jam, keeping your feet and hands shoulder-width apart. 3 Move your hands closer together and do 25 more push-ups, this time using your triceps muscles instead of your chest and shoulder muscles. 4 Take three more brisk laps. 5 Move back to your door, place your hands on your first step and do 25 squats. 6 This exercise, called 21s, is the only one for which you’ll need equipment. If you carry chains, use them. If not, you can use 1-gallon water jugs (one in each hand). Take the weight object, stand straight, tighten your abs and keep your knees slightly bent. Start with 7 reps of curling the weight up halfway, then, without stopping, start halfway up and curl up another 7 reps. Then, again without stopping, curl the weight through the full range for 7 reps. 7 Now move back to your door, placing your hands close together, and do 25 more push-ups off your door jam using your triceps. 8 Repeat one more set of 21s. 9 Do three more brisk walks around your rig.
By the time you’re done, your rig is fueled up, you’re pumped up, you’ve performed your safety check and you’ve burned 108 calories. And you didn’t need to spend any extra time. The next time you stop to fuel up, pump up your lungs and guns too. Roll strong. j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 51
focused on family by: brenda potts
t’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know about the “Duck Dynasty” television series. According to the A&E network, the season finale broke a cablenetwork record, with 9.6 million viewers. What makes this show so popular? “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson may have the answer. In his interview with FOX411’s Nicki Gostin, he said, “It’s hard to figure, but it’s been awhile since shows like ‘The Waltons,’ ‘Andy Griffith.’ This is a 21st-century version of one of those type of shows. The only thing I can figure is something about the closeness of family.” If you are old enough to think back to the good old days of iconic series “The Brady Bunch” and “Little House on the Prairie,” you will agree they too were focused on family. If America is longing for enterprises that are focused on family, there is one company that has stepped up to answer the call. Family Expeditions is a booking service catering to the entire family, whether you are looking for hunting or fishing adventures. They work hard to ensure that families and couples feel safe booking their next vacation in a multitude of destinations and offer thoroughly researched locales in North, South and Central America, Africa and the South Pacific. There is something for nearly every budget and interest. A top-notch team headed by Kevin and Corrina Slaughter runs the company. I have spoken with Corinna several times
over the past few years. She is an avid world traveler and outdoor enthusiast. She began traveling internationally as a young girl living in Paris. She enjoys fishing, big-game hunting, wingshooting and adventure travel. Kevin is a native of Dallas and grew up hunting. He has since fished and hunted all over the world. The couple personally check each destination before recommending anything to clients. One look at the big-game gallery on their website (www.familyexpeditions. com) shows a variety of trophies, from big bears and whitetails in the States to African game and New Zealand stag. The wingshooting gallery is filled with images of pheasant, quail, waterfowl and fine accommodations. If fishing is your thing, there are trips for nearly every species, including rainbow trout, largemouth bass, king salmon, redfish, striped marlin, tuna, piranha, peacock bass, bonefish and more (even whale watching). Whether your family is more like the “Duck Dynasty” crew, “The Brady Bunch,” “The Waltons” or a “Modern Family,” everyone can benefit from a good old-fashioned outdoor vacation. There’s nothing like a family vacation to an outdoor destination to bring everyone closer and provide memories for a lifetime. Whether you want to stay in a remote tent camp at high elevation or in a luxury lodge with all the comforts of home and more, Family Expeditions can recommend trustworthy destinations and take the stress out of planning the trip.
Check out Brenda on her new show “Legacy Trails TV,” debuting in early July on the Sportsman Channel (check listings for times). Each episode will feature family hunting and fishing adventures while pursuing the philosophy best described by Proverbs 22:6: “Teach children how they should go and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.”
For more information, visit www.legacytrailsmedia.com. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 53
Listen to Claire B. Lang’s radio show on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90. Photos: Courtesy of Claire B. Lang Claire and Jack Roush on Roush’s P51 Mustang. Inset: Behind the bar in Roush’s hangar
jack’s hangar by: claire b. lang
ack Roush, of Roush Fenway Racing, is one owner in the NASCAR community who truly personifies the patriotic spirit seen on the Fourth of July. The man lives it. Roush has a home in Michigan, where Roush Industries is based, but when he comes two days a week to his race shop in Concord, N.C., he flies into Concord Airport and lives in the “Officers’ Quarters” he has built above the hangar where he keeps his airplanes. Roush’s airplane hangar is far from average. It is, as he calls it, a “shrine” to the fighter pilots who fought bravely in World War II. Over the door hang a crest and a sign that says “357th Fighter Group.” Inside there is a themed bar, photos of fighter pilots, a jukebox with classic music of the era and, of course, “Gentleman Jim,” one of his beloved P51 Mustangs. The bar is a themed tribute to the 363rd fighter squadron. Roush told me that in the last 18 years he has had three P51 Mustangs, all of which have been 363rd squadron airplanes. “We celebrate, recognize and show respect to the pilots and the airmen who served in Europe as a means of expressing our appreciation to all the military, past and present,” he says as we tour the hangar. “For the freedoms that they protect and for the life that we are able to enjoy as Americans.” On one wall hangs a black-and-white photo of four 363rd squadron pilots who flew two of the airplanes Roush has owned. The pilots are in their flight gear, walking away from the airplanes in, as best he can tell, late 1944, early 1945. “They have just come back from a mission and are on their way to their debrief hut,” Roush says. On another wall in the hangar there’s another black-and-white photograph of four women pilots. “The women pilots sacrificed as much if not more than the men
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did,” says Roush, “because they didn’t have life (insurance) and health insurance or really much in terms of security.” The women flew the planes in and out of theater only and were not in combat. Roush points out, though, that a third of the airplanes that were built were lost going either to or from theater, or on training missions. The bar in Roush’s hangar is organized around what he calls “meager materials” that would have been available to pilots in England at “their marshalling points.” Behind the bar is a piece of engine cowling off of Pete Peterson’s airplane, a flight leader in the 363rd responsible for leading a group of planes out of battle. The message “Hurry Home Honey” is painted on it. There are also the names of patriotic sponsors of the day stenciled behind the bar, like Willy’s Jeep, Studebaker, Harley-Davidson, General Electric, Buick, Maytag, Cadillac and others. Roush says his dad was his biggest hero and was engaged in fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific in World War II. He was enamored at first that his dad was a brave sailor but eventually, he says, he wanted to tie his interest in aviation with World War II history and the hangar, which was a dream of his, became the focus of his efforts. For this Fourth of July, Roush says, “I’d like for us, the moment when you hear a national anthem or see a flag flying, to be appreciative of the sacrifice that has been made down through the generations to provide Americans with the security and the lifestyle that have allowed us to enjoy the standards of living that we’ve had and the freedoms that we have in this great country.” Roush lives the patriotism that he speaks, and his hangar stands tribute to just that. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
New DOT Secretary by: mike howe Follow Mike on Twitter: @TruckingDC • Like Mike on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TruckingPoliticsMore
t was just after the presidential election that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced he would not be staying on through another term of the Obama administration. LaHood’s decision was not surprising, nor is it uncommon. Obama has since nominated Anthony Foxx, mayor of Charlotte, N.C. As of this printing, Foxx was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate with little fanfare. So who is Foxx? At 41, Foxx has an impressive legal background. After attending Davidson College and then graduating with a law degree from New York University, Foxx served as a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, and as staff counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. It wasn’t until 2009 that he had his first real taste of the transportation industry as an attorney for DesignLine Corporation, a hybrid electric bus manufacturer. He held that position while serving on the Anthony Foxx Charlotte City Council. He was elected mayor of Charlotte in 2009. The challenges for Foxx, according to Sen. John Rockefeller (D-NY), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, are multifaceted. “The Department of Transportation is enduring a tumultuous time of constrained resources. Despite this, the department is tasked with implementing a large number of new safety mandates and, simultaneously, presiding over a transportation infrastructure network in need of significant and immediate investment,” said Rockefeller during Foxx’s nomination hearing in May. “This country’s transportation network has been a critical factor in our long-term economic growth. However, years of under-investing in our roads, airports and air-traffic control systems, rails, and ports have left us with an overstrained transportation system. The weakness in our transportation system has been a drag on our growth.” Foxx, in prepared remarks, reassured the committee, saying, “When I became mayor in
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2009, Charlotte was facing an economic downturn and steep revenue declines. I decided to make efficient and innovate transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte’s jobcreation and economic-activity efforts.” What has Foxx really done in the transportation sector? According to Obama, under Foxx’s watch, “Charlotte made one of the largest investments in transportation in the city’s history.” “Since Anthony took office,” Obama said, “they’ve broken ground on a new streetcar project that’s going to bring modern electrictram service to the downtown area. They’ve expanded the international airport. And they’re extending the city’s light-rail system.” While those achievements are transportation-related, the trucking industry needs much more than someone who can preside over the development of a streetcar project. Hours of service, cross-border Mexican trucking, infrastructure improvements, EOBRs, distracted driving, CSA, long-term funding, parking and more will be major issues facing Foxx. These issues require not only good staff to offer counsel, but a solid understanding of the issues. Based on Foxx’s background, he’ll be looking at a sharp learning curve. The Charlotte City Council, where most of Foxx’s accomplishments in transportation are being touted, is a part-time council. Being mayor of Charlotte is also a part-time job, which is why Foxx needed to work for DesignLine. As mayor, there was no real requirement to manage the projects or even the personnel, as the city council is responsible for choosing and evaluating the city manager. Of course, none of this means Foxx won’t do a fine job as DOT secretary. It is important, however, to have realistic expectations and an honest approach about his qualifications. Though this nomination and position are billed as not high-profile, I would argue that it’s one of the most important positions in the administration if we are serious about economic development and national security. Foxx went through the nomination hearings without a hitch, though he should have been asked more questions about the breadth of his experience in the transportation industry, his actual role in improving Charlotte’s metro transit system, and how those experiences parlay into a positive for the trucking industry. j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 55
know when to say when
t was about four years ago that I was laid over on the Michigan-Indiana state line. The temperature was bitter cold and the roads were packed with snow and ice. It was reported as one of the worst winter storms in years. Being from the South, I wasn’t experienced with such difficult road conditions. I’ve been in the transportation business for more than two decades, but most of those years were spent in the safety of a climate-controlled office. A return to truck driving landed me a route that was farther north than I had ever been. I awoke the next morning to lights and sirens blaring throughout the truck stop. Nobody from the road was allowed in and nobody in the parking lot was allowed out. There had been a tragic accident in the night. A fellow driver of a flatbed was lying dead by his truck. The investigation determined that the driver fell from the top of the load while securing the rig. He landed on the far side of the truck, rendering him unnoticeable to anyone who could
by: kitty cowhick
Kitty Cowhick is a 25-year veteran of the transportation industry and is author of the book “Hammer Down,” available at www.tatepublishing.com.
have helped him. He was not robbed and nothing was missing from his vehicle. It was reported that he was knocked unconscious from the fall and froze to death. I’ve never forgotten that tragedy. I remember praying for the man’s family. I know our families pray for us when we are on the road heading to places unknown. And I believe with all my heart that we make it through dangerous and difficult times as a result of those many prayers. Fast-forward four years. I run from Kansas to Colorado. I still confess to being only slightly acquainted with wintry road conditions. Safety is my priority and I think I’m getting better. But this past winter the Midwest endured several record-breaking winter storms and blizzards. I’m pretty sure I drove through most of them. During one of the storms, Interstate 70 was shut down from Denver to Salina, Kan., for almost two days. I was stranded at a truck stop in Oakley, Kan., and, I made sure someone knew I was there and when I’d be leaving. While stranded, I met some nice people like
by: rick stearns
Felix, George, Stephen, Doug, a cattle hauler from Garden City, and a father-son team from FedEx. We discussed safe driving strategies and it was very helpful to me as I’m still learning to drive on icy roads. I’ve heard of the brotherhood that exists between truck drivers. I experienced it during that snowstorm. If I learned anything in those hours, it was know when to say when. I knew it was time to make the call after feeling my rig getting loose underneath me. I pulled over, parked my rig and called dispatch. But honestly, I was afraid to get back out there and didn’t want anybody to know it. My dispatcher told me not to move until I felt safe. He didn’t know that I was almost ready to change my address to that truck stop. The advice and tips I received from those fellow drivers gave me the courage to “trucker up.” I listened to the weather reports and stayed informed as to when the interstate reopened. I knew what I had to do, not only for my company, but for myself as well. I had to get back out there and face my fear.
Photo: Courtesy of Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre
by: greg girard
lmost everyone between the ages of 35 and 70 can recall a weekend night in the summer when the family piled into the station wagon for an outdoor double feature. Sleeping bags, pajamas, contraband popcorn and soda, awful audio on the speaker box (car window replacement business exploded thanks to people driving off with the speaker still hooked on) and trying to stay up through the second movie were all part of growing up in America. The first drive-in theater opened in 1933 in Camden, N.J. (it was called a parkin theater back then). Apparently, Richard Hollingshead’s mother couldn’t get comfortable in the traditional movie seats, so he went about finding an alterative and came up with showing a movie where people don’t even have to get out of their car. Can’t get much more American than that. Over several months, Hollingshead experimented by putting a projector on the hood of his car and pinning a screen to trees in his front yard. He put it to the test, too, working on ways to give the full movie experience no matter the weather. He even used sprinklers to mimic rain. Armed with a patent for the idea and $30,000 in start-up money, Hollingshead opened Park-In Theaters, charging 25 cents per car. At the peak of their popularity, there
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were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters operating across the country. While fewer than 400 remain today, their popularity is making a comeback as an affordable family-friendly activity (many theaters charge just $7-$10 for a double feature). Here’s a list of some of the more unique drive-in theaters around the country.
Starlight Six Drive-in – Atlanta
Since 1949, the Starlight Six has entertained residents of the Atlanta metro area with the outdoor movie experience. Open yearround (except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve), the theater has six screens showing double features. The theater allows grilling before the movies start and it even has a dedicated contingent of patrons calling themselves the “Drive Invaders” that attend shows weekly. starlightdrivein.com
Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre – Orefield, Pa.
Shankweiler’s was the second drive-in theater to open in the U.S., back in 1934. Now celebrating its 80th consecutive season of operation, you won’t be able to find a more quintessential drive-in theater in the country. The first screen was a white w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
sheet hung between two telephone poles. Thankfully, Shankweiler’s has made a few upgrades and now has digital projection and sound equipment. Only three families have owned America’s oldest operating drive-in and not even when Hurricane Diane leveled the projection booth in 1955 has Shankweiler’s missed a movie season. shankweilers.com
Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in – Gibson City, Ill.
Opened in 1954, this Midwest drive-in is about two hours south of Chicago and 30 minutes north of Champaign. New digital projectors were installed this year and the theater hosts a number of themed nights, including college night, pajama night, throwback Thursdays and Frightfest. Surrounded by 11 acres of prairie, Harvest Moon offers the perfect drive-in theater experience. It’s open from April to September. harvestmoondrivein.com
Galaxy Drive-in – Ennis, Texas
Even as drive-ins were closing in droves around the country, Texas was stubbornly hanging on to this piece of Americana by consistently offering the most drive-in the-
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At Their peak, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters across the U.S. Now around 400 remain. aters of any state, including Galaxy Drivein just south of Dallas. One of only a few outdoor theaters to offer 3-D movies, the Galaxy Drive-in charges just $6 for a double feature and has a miniature golf course as well. galaxydriveintheatre.com
Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre – Baltimore
Boasting one of the biggest movie screens
in the U.S. (52 feet high and 120 feet wide), Bengie’s offers the ultimate drive-in experience. The theater runs triple features on the weekends as well as “dusk till dawn” features on some holiday weekends. It even runs classic cartoons and vintage trailers between movies (remember the “Let’s all go to the lobby” jingle?). Bengie’s is Maryland’s only operating drive-in. bengies.com
j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 59
Have an inspiring story from the road? Maybe a poem or song? We want to share your creativity with our readers. Write down your thoughts and send it to us by mail or email (email@example.com).
Submissions must be original, unpublished and created by the sender or the sender must have permission to submit. All submissions become the property of Challenge Magazine and will not be returned. Submissions may be edited and may be published or otherwise reused in any medium.
The Gear Grabber’s Ditty By Brent Raisch
Well you know I am a trucker ’cause you see I’m never home. The nature of my business will determine where I roam. My hide is tough as leather and my mind’s sharp as a tack. My neck is sore and so is my back. Well I git a lotta fingers and I git a lotta rage. I git on the horn, then I turn another page. It takes a lotta nerve to keep from actin’ like a clown. I gotta keep the rubber side down. Well I had me some chicken and a biscuit while back. Now I’m a-drivin’ and a-hurlin’ in a sack. I can’t stop for nothin’ ’cause the shipper doesn’t wait. A trucker knows to never be late. Well the chicken coop’s open and they’re lookin’ at my log. They see something’s missin’ so I blame it on the dog. I git a citation and I put ’er in a file. I leave ’em with a wink and a smile. Well I shut down my diesel and I put on some duds. I’m out honky tonkin’ and I’m soakin’ up some suds. I get out on the dance floor and give it a whirl. It’s therapy for me and my girl. Well I put down some vittles and I git on the road. I drive all night just to git another load. Hopin’ that my dispatcher’s treatin’ me right, So I can see my baby tonight. w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 61
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Created with the help of Wordsheets - www.Qualint.com
6 3 7 1 2 3 5 4 4 1 5 6 9 1 7 9 2 6 5 3
4 Puzzles 6 by 8 Pappocom (c)
Solution, tips and3computer program at www.sudoku.com.
HOW TO PLAY: The Japanese puzzle “Sudoku” tests reason6 4 ing and logic. To solve the puzzle, fill in the grid above so every 2row, every 7column 6 and8every 3-block by 3-block box contains the digits 19through 9. That means that no number is repeated 1in any 3 row, column 7 or box. No math is needed. The grid has but nothing 8numbers, 2 6 has to equal 4 anything else. Answers are published in the next issue of Challenge Magazine.
62 C H A L L E N G E j u ly 2 0 1 3
1 5 H26
7 3 6 9 5 2 4 1 8
9 5 8 1 6 4 7 3 2
4 2 1 8 7 3 6 9 5
6 1 5 4 8 7 9 2 3
2 4 9 5 3 6 8 7 1
8 7 3 2 1 9 5 4 6
3 9 4 6 2 8 1 5 7
5 6 2 7 4 1 3 8 9
1 8 7 3 9 5 2 6 4
w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
63 69 74
10 To awake 11 Part of the verb to be 13 Remarkable 17 Possessive form of me 19 Affirmative reply 20 Sound 22 Color 24 Metal container used for frying 26 Legendary emperor of China 27 Lumpy 29 To exist 32 Yellowish color 34 Unintelligent 35 Doctor 37 Petroleum 38 Millennialism 40 Perform 42 Support for a climbing bean 44 Advanced in years 46 Record produced by tomography 47 Domineering 48 In front 50 Speck 51 Stain 55 Hindu music 58 In the direction of 60 Worn by women in India 64 Throw 67 Narrate 69 Resin 71 Definite article 72 Otherwise 73 Negative vote 75 The ratio between circumference and diameter 77 Plural of I
41 46 52
65 Depart 66 Acquire 68 Canines 70 Revolving part 74 Resembling a lump 76 Move slowly 78 Emblem 79 Younger Avett brother 80 Honey
2 Monetary unit of Western Samoa 3 Any living being 4 Hinder 5 Worship 6 Caribbean dance music 7 Open mesh fabric
JUNE CROSSWORD SOLUTION
editorial content ACROSS The highlighted clues come53from Shout of exultation in this issue of Challenge Magazine. 1 *STEWART 54 Hamlet 5 Missing 56 Being at the middle 8 Female sheep 10 On fire 57 Type of gun 9 Admiration 10 To owner 121 Eldora Woodblock 59 Itawake is 11 Part of the verb to be 5 Missing 1410Cleanse 61 Small part in a play 13 Remarkable On fire 17 Possessive Woodblock 1512Consumed 62 Latherform of me 19 Affirmative reply van Garderen’s home state 1614 meaning without 63 Near to 20 Sound 15Prefix Consumed 22 Color Prefix meaning case without of I 1716Objective 65 Depart 24 Metal container used for frying 17 Objective case of I 1818Sailor 66 Acquire 26 Legendary emperor of China Sailor 27 Lumpy Monetary unit of Japanof Japan 1919Monetary unit 68 Canines 29 To exist 21 Weep 2123Weep 70 Revolving part 32 Yellowish color Hide of a small beast 74 Resembling a lump 2325Hide of a small beast 34 Unintelligent Unit of force 35 Doctor Musicalof instrument 76 Move slowly 2528 Unit force 37 Petroleum 30 Monkey 2831Musical 78 Emblem 38 Millennialism An Australianinstrument 40 Perform Father 3033 Monkey 79 Third son of Adam 42 Support for a climbing bean 36 Not (prefix) 3138An 80 Honeyin years 44 Advanced MaleAustralian swan 46 Record produced by tomography Similar to 3339Father 47 Domineering 41 Therefore 3642Not (prefix) DOWN 48 In front Exclamation of contempt 50 Trunk ofswan a tree 3843Male 2 Speck Monetary unit of Western 51 Stain 45 Auricular 3947Similar Samoa 55 Hindu music Blue-gray to 58 the direction Brief romantic affair 4149Therefore 3 In Any livingofbeing 60 Worn by women in India Not off 4252 4 Throw Hinder 64 53Exclamation Shout of exultation of contempt 67 Lone Ranger” intro composer Hamlet of a tree 4354Trunk 5 “The Worship 69 Resin Being at the middle 4556 Auricular 6 Caribbean dance music 71 Definite article 57 Type of gun 4759Blue-gray 7 Otherwise Open mesh fabric 72 It is 73 Negative vote Small part in a play 4961 Brief romantic affair 8 Female sheep 75 The ratio between circumference & diameter 62 Lather 5263Not off 9 Plural Admiration 77 of I Near to I N S U L I U N G D I S O N E T A I Y E T L E E V I N R E N H O C A C O I L P A N I X O S M U G L E Y R A E S E R G O N C O N M O C H A E S C A P E
D D A E N L N N E A S A R L M A T U U B P B U L A I S A N E N I D D U P P A S G E S T O S Y
U D U A R O P E B R E I L A D S R I A N T I N C E
L E Y W G E R O A U K B S A S A W T H I O N P G V E L L E M E E S T S O
S T A A L W A A K I E N O I B L O S T S O Y N T O
E W I I G S H T P A P N B A E H A E N A P D O L T E
A R E H T A A R D E C A H I L L I A G S U M M
A E D W O O T E R Y E Y N E A U S S O B A B O L D Y L L O D O T S W A T R O T P I S H I S E
B S O D C A N O B I E S E S R P A L G O A T C T H
E N E U T N C R O E D D O T O M K O G O R R A M
T A W M E Y A S I N I N E
D O C D
T E W L E L
P O X
H E N A E R S T
Answers will appear in next month’s issue and on www.ptcchallenge.com w w w. p t c c h a l l e n g e . c o m
j u ly 2 0 1 3 C H A L L E N G E 63
Rest Area Beauty
Hawk in a Tree Shirley Gilliland
Split Rock Lighthouse Shirley Block
honorable mention A Lil’ Bit Of Snow – Kristine Molmen
Sun in Phoenix
Southern Highways Matt Crouch
These are the faces of Pilot Flying J who have excelled in customer service PTC 061
Joyce Summerow, David Ross, Jerry Shannon, Doug Crolley Clinton, SC
A customer wrote, “A very clean store and very friendly staff. Enjoyed stopping there on my way back from Florida.” PTC 386
Caleb Hibbs Brooks, OR
A customer wrote in, “The Brooks, Ore., Pilot had a young man by the name of Caleb cleaning the showers on April 5, 2013. He was working his tail off to keep up with demand. I came in at the end of a huge surge for showers. My shower was completely clean and dry! Most places will rush you, and you end up with a poorly washed and wet shower when it gets busy. Kudos to Mr. Caleb.”
If you would like to recognize a Pilot Flying J employee who has made your visit fast, friendly or clean, or if you have any comments, please call our customer line at 1-877-866-7378.
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in Dallas Aug. 22-24 NASCAR legend Richard Petty and No. 43 driver Michael Annett will be on hand and Pete Thomas, from NBC’s “Biggest Loser” and author of “Lose it Fast, Lose it Forever,” will share some of his weight-loss secrets. Visitors to our booth (No. 19039) will also have a chance to win great prizes when they play the MyRewards loyalty game.
The Pilot logo is a registered trademark of Pilot Travel Centers LLC.
Final Four Sweeps Winner :
Steve Shanahan t seems the luck of the Irish was with Steve Shanahan this spring. The San Diego resident is heading to the 2014 Final Four Tournament thanks to the second quarter Challenge Magazine and Pilot Flying J MyRewards Loyalty Card sweepstakes sponsored by Coca-Cola and Hershey. “I was blown away when I was notified that I was the winner of a trip to the 2014 Final Four,” he says. “I have told all of my family and friends. We are big Final Four fans and so excited that we will be seeing it live and in person.” A father of three, Shanahan has used his MyRewards card for a couple years, usually stopping at the Pilot Travel Center in San Diego, but has also stopped in Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Since Pilot is where he usually stops for a pick-me-up, he immediately grabs a copy of Challenge Magazine to “scan for sponsor offers and the discounts on purchases,” he says. As a Preferred Customer, he likes the Coffee Club and the Deli Value Menu, but it’s the occasional candy bar that really paid off for him. He still can’t believe his luck. “Wow, what an awesome prize.” Awesome, indeed, Steve. Have fun in 2014!
Interested in being our Customer Profile of the Month? If you’re a MyRewards card member who loves the Pilot Flying J loyalty program, we want to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with Customer Profile in the subject line. You could be our next featured driver!
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