Layd Out at the Park 2013
I couldn’t believe April came so fast, but I’m glad it did. I look forward to this awesome Tennessee show at the beginning of every show season. Since it’s only 5-6 hours away from us, we typically bring a ton of rides down, and this year was no exception.
About halfway into the trip, we all assumed Denny’s made sense for brunch. What surprised me most was that no one (that I know of) ordered one of those bacon sundaes. Those just sound terrible!
A few more hours on the road and we entered the beautiful place land of Morristown. Everyone started getting their trucks unloaded, checking into the hotel rooms, and figuring out beer plans. Just standard operating procedure. I on the other hand needed to find a way to make it to Johnson City and pick up a ton of shit.
A buddy of mine let me use his brand new F150 with 900 miles on it and another friend jumped in for a little road trip. We headed to the Graphic Disorder compound about an hour away to pick up a massive tshirt and hat order. In case you didn’t know, they do all the screenprinting and embroidery work for all the Mini Truck Scene clothing. Some of the nicest people around that do some amazing work at killer pricing!
We hung out a bit, got a couple of free shirts, packed the truck up with like 10 huge boxes, and were on our way back to the hotel. But not before another client of theirs arrived to pick up their order of shirts. It was a couple young girls and an older lady, possibly one of their moms. It was Friday night and that older lady was ready to get the party started ASAP. I think she was taking shots in the parking lot before they left. Party on!
Back at the Comfort Suites hotel, I decided to start putting all of shirts I just picked up in our room. Then I forgot like 4-5 dudes would be in there, so we carried them back downstairs to another friend’s room. Got them all in there and remembered I was going to be at the show at 8am, so I packed as much as I could in my car and left the rest in a room. What a hassle, but I guess that’s what I get for driving a ’98 Subaru Legacy. Haha
After all this, I was starved. My dude Etter hadn’t ate either so we got in his freshly stock-floored Chevy 2500 (ya it has a Duramax Diesel motor in it) and drove through the Travelodge hotel looking for a parking spot. We were told the Mexican joint attached to it was pretty decent and we would have to agree. On our way back into the hotel, we noticed the parking lot was packed with tons of minitruckers and full of bagged trucks. Perfection!
The night went on for several hours longer, and a quick walk to Waffle House happened at some point. Me and one of my roommates for the night also shared a 40oz of Olde English. We like to keep it gangster. The only part of the night that wasn’t too pleasant was the large quantity of sugar all over the room and beds. And the last bit of beer getting sprayed around the room, that made for a good combo. All that driving and all those sweet activities put us to sleep in no time.
Of course I didn’t get to the show at 8am, but I got there pretty early compared to most shows. It took me about an hour, but I got the vendor booth all setup and operational. This show was actually the first show I’ve ever had a vendor booth at and I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out. They instructed me to set my booth up next to the Drop Jaw Mag crew, and I must say, Glenn and Sabra are some of the nicest people around and I hope to be setup next to them at future shows!
Right off the bat, people started coming up buying shirts and hats. I had a few people ask if I accepted credit cards, so I whipped out the Square credit card reader for my iPhone and the swiping began. I had never used it before that day and it turned out to be awesome and very simple! Highly recommended!
At one point, one of my friends came over to check out the booth and decided to bring a few more friends over with their chairs and beer. They just hung out for awhile, then a couple of them took over and freed me up for an hour or so. I needed a break, but I really needed to go shoot some coverage, so off I went.
Right away, the quality is noticeable. So many clean rides come out for this show, and it gets better and better every year. Not to mention all the nice people that I meet every year. One of the nicest guys I met was the head Freaks of Nature guy. I can’t remember his name but he drove his bagged car out to the show from Vegas. Damn, badass! I made it to the other side of the park where my club had a huge tent full of food. I grabbed a plate and filled it up instantly. The few Clif bars I ate did nothing for my appetite. From being in the shade most of the day at the booth, I realized this might be the first show I wasn’t going to get sun burnt at. It was getting pretty hot out and I figured the guys at the booth were ready to bail, so I headed back.
Walking back over to the booth, it was crazy to see a small gathering of people trying to buy gear. I was humbled for sure. Especially when both my friends who were running the booth for that short time told me how much they sold. Wow, why did I wait all these years to start selling minitruck stuff in my own vendor booth? I also met Aaron who makes the BMT (Black Mini Truckers) shirts that I’m sure you’ve seen around. I had to have one so we did a little trading.
By this time, the show was ending for the day, so I started the packing up process. After everything I sold, I could almost fit the rest in my car! With my car parked back at the hotel, I knew I needed to buy a bunch of beer for my friends for helping me out. I walked down the street and came back with a couple cases of Coors Light to relive their thirst. And somehow food is always on our minds too, so a few of us walked down to the Golden Dragon Buffet. We had it last year and the hibachi grill in the corner is pretty epic. I also recommend this place! Plus, they let you drink cans of beer in the bathroom!
Seven pounds of fried rice later, we dragged ourselves back to party central, and there were way more people there than the night before. But hey, the more minitruckers the merrier, right? I think we even ventured back down to the Travelodge hotel to check on that spot as it usually has something interesting going on. When my beer was gone, I headed back to the room, and decided to call it a night as I needed to get up early again.
The alarm rang too early like it always does and I jumped in the shower before everyone else woke up. I actually almost didn’t go to the show on Sunday, as my friends all head home Sunday morning at the majority of shows. But I figured, why not see if anyone wanted to buy some gear. Turned out, it was definitely worth staying for Sunday just for the extra sales, but the show still had a ton of trucks in attendance all the way to the end of awards.
Drop Em Wear was raffling off a mini dirt bike that I wish I had won. There were also a few awesome trucks competing for best debuted truck, and I’m glad I wasn’t judging that. The white dually and the gray/red S10 were very impressive! John Mata and his wife Jessica stopped by the booth at one point. They bought a bunch of gear and she also gave me a Canadian drink that I had to try. It was a Somersby Apple Flavoured Cider, and ya, it was pretty amazing! It was what I needed for sure after the artery-clogging burger and hot dog I had earlier. Ugh, show food.
My friend with the recently featured silver square-body Ranger was parked next to my booth all day, so at least him and his girl kept me company. Then, before I knew it, the weekend was coming to an end and it was time to pack up everything one last time. It took some creative packing skills, but I got it all back in my car for a comfortable ride home. A little over halfway home, I stopped at City BBQ, and it was the perfect ending to a long and busy weekend.
I just want to thank everyone that came out and bought anything at the vendor booth, and to anyone that just wanted to stop by and say whatup. And of course a big thank you to my local crew for helping me out since I was a total vendor booth noob. I appreciate you all and it’s awesome to have so many people that love what I do and the coverage/clothing that I put out. Without all of your support, this wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t be worth it. I’m not trying to make a lot of money off of this at all. I just want to leave my footprint in the scene, help people showoff their custom trucks with great photography, write about my journeys as I travel all around the country to different shows, and make some sick shirts/hats that people love to wear.
So in closing, if you’ve never been to this show before, I really hope you make it to the next one. It’s held at the perfect time of the year in the best type of location. The environment is very chill, the hotel parties are always exciting, and again, the quality at the show is some of the best around. Tons of minis, fullsize trucks, SUVs, some hot rods, some imports, and a lot more. All the vendors you know and love, live music, typically nice weather (let’s all forget about the 2007 show weather), and always a lot of things to do nearby after the show.
Next up is Showfest. Yes, we are making the 10 hour trip down to Tunica in less than two weeks! I really can’t believe it’s been three years since the last time I went to this show. Man time flies. Mini Truck Scene will also have a vendor booth setup there, so be sure to stop by and check us out. We are a friendly bunch, and we always have some specials going on. Also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with what’s going on, coupon codes, shows we are going to next, and much more. Thanks again everyone, minitruckin for life!