The first official day of MATS is now under way. Most of the major press conferences are over and the real stars of the show - the truck drivers - have been pouring in all day.
I just spent the last hour at the Land Line Now booth in the North Wing lobby, meeting and greeting all kinds of great people. For starters, I met Lee and Jazzy Jordan for the first time face to face. I had interviewed both of them over the phone, but had never met them in person until a short while ago.
Jazzy is adorable, with a sweet disposition and a thousand-watt smile. She's very soft-spoken, which is just the opposite of most of the folks who stopped by our booth - not to mention most of the folks working there. It's a nice counterbalance.
Speaking of folks stopping by the booth, I just met OOIDA member and longtime Land Line Now caller Floyd Miller. Floyd is instantly recognizable by his distinctive Arkansas drawl and deep voice. Once I saw the name on the badge and confirmed it, I knew Mark would want to meet him.
Mark was in the midst of doing a segment with Rod Nofziger, so when it was over I had Floyd turn his badge around so Mark couldn't see the name. I was wondering if Mark would recognize the voice right away. He knew it sounded familiar, but couldn't quite place it. When I told him who it was, Mark gave the man a big bear hug and the two were still chatting away when I left to come back to the press room.
This is what the show is all about. Now it truly does feel like show time.