The sight of the Houston skyline at sundown nearly eclipsed the previous day's mishaps, bu
I've been at Truckin' for over a month now, and it's time I introduced myself. I'd planned on telling you about my hometown of Prunedale, California, the auto body classes I took with Mr. Milam at North Monterey County High School, the metal fabrication and engine technology I took with Prof. Jim Rumsey at UC Davis, and how my older brothers got me interested in hot-rods, musclecars, motorcycles, and trucks. Honestly, the rough draft of that column was horrible, so I did what I do best; I procrastinated. I decided that something interesting would happen on my first trip with Truckin' Magazine. Something would surely inspire me. Was that really asking too much?
My first trip was with Truckin's Senior Editor, Dan Ward. The plan was to fly to Houston at 7:00 a.m. on a Friday, get a few covers shot, along with a couple of features, and get back Sunday night. Seemed innocent enough. Well, not exactly. Here's a condensed version of Friday's events:
5:00.Woke up, showered, got dressed, and headed downstairs
5:25. Got in my truck and headed to John Wayne airport, which is about 10 miles away. I took Interstate 5 to highway 55 (note, I haven't lived in SoCal long enough to call it "the 5"), and traffic was nonexistent.
5:45. Arrived at John Wayne airport, parked, and surveyed the area to make sure I knew where I needed to go. I unloaded my bags, carried them up the stairs, and did a personal inventory to make sure I had everything I needed.
5:46. Ran downstairs, climbed into my truck, and sped home.
6:01. Got home, ran upstairs, grabbed my wallet, and got back into my truck.
6:17. Arriving late at the terminal at John Wayne I passed Dan, who's in line for security. As best I can tell, the look on his face said, "Freakin' new guy."
6:20. The woman at the ticket counter greeted me with, "We have a runner." I was not in the mood. She informed me that the baggage claim was not exactly up and running at the moment and that I'd have to check my bag on the jet way. No problem.
6:37. Past the security checkpoint, putting my shoes back on, I realized that security is taking an awfully long time with my bag in the x-ray machine.
6:37.05. Remembered that the bag has a pocketknife inside-a big one.
6:37.06. Began my apologies and explanations while the thought of a cavity search began to grip my mind.
6:40. Security unpacked my bag and did a thorough search, checked for explosives residue, the whole nine yards.
6:55. Repacked my bag, signed an incident report, and heard my options. Option one, surrender my knife and maybe make my flight. Option two, send the knife home and have a very slim chance of making my flight. I chose option two.
6:57. Back through security, first class this time since I've got friends at the TSA now. (It's amazing how much you bond during a cavity search.)
7:01. Reached my gate to find the jet way door closed. Boarding ended at 6:50.
Since this is the condensed version I'll skip my cab ride, the helpful Texans who helped me when I got stranded, and the plague of mosquitoes that tried to bleed Dan dry. I definitely learned my lesson-several lessons actually-and I got some material for this column. I just want to make my flight next time. Is that asking too much?