Friday, October 21, 2016

‘Movin’ On’ gets its own museum in superfan’s house

Big wheels rollin', gotta keep 'em goin' Big wheels rollin', movin' on.
It takes a special breed to be a trucker, but an even more special breed of fan to open the world’s only official museum dedicated to the trucking-themed TV show “Movin’ On.”

That’s exactly what Bill Bazen did in his Wake Forest home near Falls Lake State Park. Bazen’s tribute to the show, which starred veteran character actor Claude Akins as independent trucker Sonny Pruitt, and Frank Converse as his college-boy co-driver, Will Chandler, received a write-up in a recent edition of The Charlotte Observer.

Bazen, 52, was obsessed with the show as a boy, because his dad was also a long-haul trucker who ran up and down the East Coast. He told the newspaper the museum is a tribute to his father and to truckers.

Among the items on display are a line of trucker hats with the tag line “Do It… Like Pruitt” autographs from every guest star, original scripts, series props, and even a four-finger cigar case that Chandler’s character wore during the show.

The show lasted for 45 episodes from 1974 to 1976, and featured guest stars like Strother Martin, John Ritter, and boxing legend “Smokin” Joe Frazier. The theme song of course became a chart-topping hit for Merle Haggard in 1975. Akins would go on to have a prominent role in another trucking-themed TV show, as Sheriff Lobo on “B.J. and the Bear.”

The “In Tandem” Museum (named after the show’s pilot episode) even has its own Facebook page. According to the page, the museum even received an official endorsement from franchise president Mark Rathaus and Creator/Executive Producer Barry Weitz. The museum is open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and by appointment Monday through Friday.

While the museum’s Facebook page says it hopes to expand and enlarge the museum, visitors are only allowed in one at a time due to fire codes. Plans are also in the works to provide truck parking.