Friday, August 28, 2015

Limited edition

Our OOIDA Board of Directors meets twice a year here in Grain Valley. I serve on that board as the employee director. When I walked into our OOIDA Board Room in April and took my seat at the large oval table, I really wasn’t surprised to see one of our board members with a .22 rifle lying on the table in front of him.

It’s the OOIDA Board, after all. Nothing really surprises me.

Photo by Nikohle Ellis
It was a Henry “Golden Boy” model, special American Trucker Limited Edition, a carbine rifle presented by Historical Armory as a tribute to truckers. Through the generous donation by an OOIDA Board Member, the Association’s Foundation is currently making this rifle available to win in a sweepstakes drawing.

At the spring board meeting, we had the chance to look at one and handle it. Lewie Pugh passed it over to Terry Button. And on to Gary Carr. And on it went. The Henry is a lever-action, breech-loading, tubular magazine rifle with a long service history in this country, especially in the settling of the Wild West.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#TBT: How Katrina ‘Shattered’ the lives of one member and his family

Editor’s note: For this installment of “Throwback Thursday” we’re bringing you an incredible story from our March/April 2006 issue by Field Editor Suzanne Stempinski. Suzanne interviewed OOIDA Life Member Jay Hosty and his wife, Katt, who lived in the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Like so many victims of Katrina, the Hosty family lost everything but each other and put their lives back together, one piece at a time. Check back tomorrow when we will have an updated story about the Hostys and the region 10 years after one of the worst natural disasters in our history.

Katt Hosty starts her day quietly. Her husband, Jay, is on the road. Their three daughters are sleeping peacefully in their beds. She looks around her FEMA-provided trailer and wonders how much longer it will be before they will live in a home of their own.

She wonders if she'll ever really feel safe again.

It has been more than six months since Hurricane Katrina blew into the Gulf and tore their world apart. For the most part, the rest of the country has moved on to other events topping the news.

But for the Hostys and thousands of others like them, there has been nowhere else to go. Every day is another step in the process of rebuilding and redefining their lives – lives that they had no desire to change.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rules are (sometimes) meant to be broken

A few days ago a friend asked “What say you, Elizabeth?” on my Facebook page. She had shared an article titled “Dear Pedants: Your Fave Grammar Rule Is Probably Fake” and knew I would probably have an opinion or two because I’m a copy editor. In fact, my profile on Facebook says: “Copy Editor. I read the dictionary for fun.” As I told a new acquaintance once, “I’m the funniest copy editor you’ll ever meet. Of course it’s a very low bar.”

For the past eight years I have been the copy editor for Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now” at OOIDA.

I finally had a chance to sit down with this article, read, and reflect. Rules vary according to usage and the style in a given field. In the first sentence of this paragraph, I used the Oxford comma, but The Associated Press, or AP, style (which we use here at Land Line) dictates that I remove the final comma in a simple series. Also, immediately above, I used a comma after “In the first sentence” although some would say a short introductory phrase does not require a comma.

When I edit, I keep the reader in mind and prize clarity above all. I agree with this sentence in the article: “It is indeed important to learn the accepted linguistic conventions of the standard dialect for reasons of communication, clarity and even persuasive style.” As author Dorothy Allison so eloquently put it at a literary convention last month, you should know the rules. Then f*** ’em (her language, not mine).

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bulldogs, bikes and Jackasses: Not your typical Hollywood movie premiere

I recently had the honor and privilege of attending an exclusive movie premiere in Hollywood, Calif. Yes, it was a work trip, technically. And even though I’d never been to a premiere before, I can say without a doubt that it was anything but typical.

A glance at the motley cast of characters reveals all. We had Mack Trucks and their iconic Bulldog, stunt performers from the “Jackass” movie and TV show empire, and genuine motorcycles, leathers and other memorabilia used by none other than the iconic Evel Knievel, all in the same place.

All of these and more were in Tinseltown to promote a new documentary, “Being Evel,” a no-holds-barred look into the “brash, bold and daring” life of Evel Knievel, the King of the Daredevils. The movie is produced by Johnny Knoxville of “Jackass” fame and “Jackass 3D” director Jeff Tremaine, and directed by Daniel Junge.

“Big Red,” a 1974 Mack and custom trailers, fully restored to its original glory. 
Photo by Ryan Cavanaugh, courtesy of Mack Trucks
The trucking press, at the invitation of Mack Trucks, was on site to report from the red carpet on a fully restored “Big Red” – the very 1974 Mack FS786LST and trailer that Knievel used to transported his Evel Empire around to stunts to act as his personal dressing room.

Mack featured prominently in the documentary as well, as “Big Red” was Knievel’s homebase during the infamous Snake River Canyon jump. The Mack Bulldog logo appears on the tailpiece of the rocket built for that controversial stunt. You’ll have to see the film to get the true essence of the controversy and the fallout from it.