Day 1 for me at Louisville has already been an eventful one.
Bendix had a lot to say at their press conference, and Kenworth had a good follow-up. Terry Scruton and Jami Jones are out at Peterbilt seeing what new things they have to offer while the rest of us do some preparation work for the other press conferences and get ready for what's coming this afternoon.
But while the big event for me started today, for the rest of the world, the real Mid America starts tomorrow.
That's because this is a family reunion. I have seen some of my old friends already. Suzanne Stempinski, Paul Abelson, Bill Hudgins and others who work with us at Land Line, but who live elsewhere. This is one of the few, great occasions all year where we see them personally.
And while I was sitting here in the press room, I saw Yoda - OOIDA Life Member Rusty Wade - wander briefly in the front door here, asking a quick question of the folks who run the show.
And tomorrow, I'll start seeing all of you. Old friends I've known and looked forward to seeing for years, new friends I have yet to meet.
It's really at Mid America that you learn that trucking is more than an industry. It's a community - a community not defined by geography, like a city or neighborhood, but a community defined by a trade held in common.
People have always found ways to get together in this community, talking on the CB and the AM radio as those got big, adopting cell phones and large conference calls when they came along, moving into chat rooms as the Internet started and now into the social media, like Facebook and Twitter, as well as the so-called "photosphere" (God how I hate that pretentious word!)
But nothing replaces face to face. And no place offers so many chances to do that as Mid America does.
We hope you're coming. If you get here, we'll welcome you. If you can't - we'll catch you whenever we can.