A Public Statement

Trucks Take Over in Junction City

How many times a week do we all catch ourselves looking over into storefront windows and checking out our trucks as we drive by? Chances are, we can’t even count how many times! Even on our worst days, simply jumping into our trucks and putting some miles down can have great therapeutic results. Little do we ever realize, but a big part of the general public also admires our fancy rides. We may be only a small percentage of the overall huge world of trucking, but we can sure make a public statement.

On September 28th, at the local high school in Junction City, Oregon, a bunch of us “truck nuts” got together for the first Truck Function in Junction Show and Cruise and made a huge public statement with a fine group of pressed-out rides. This event, which featured a day of hanging out, talking truck and showing off our rigs, followed by an evening cruise through the city of Junction City, Oregon, proved to be a fun and laid-back event for the whole family.

The morning started out wet and rainy, but that didn’t stop Dan Alley and his die-hard crew of organizers from getting the party started. Before it even got light out, they were out there setting up the event. Debbie from Esley Truck Accessories was the first of many great sponsors and vendors to arrive, shortly followed by the folks from McCoy Freightliner, along with a few of their latest and greatest new trucks. It’s a good thing Hole in the Wall Barbecue was there to keep everybody fed with some of the area’s best BBQ cuisine. Needless to say, by daybreak, we were all soaked – but heck, this is Oregon, so it was no real big surprise to any of us!

The gloomy weather forecast didn’t appear to stop a whole lot of truckers from making this event because as the rain kept falling, the trucks kept rollin’ in, such as Ned Vander Ploeg and his red and black “Ned Sled” Peterbilt 389, as well as a few of his fellow Bert Matters buds, including Ryan Harriman with his white and red Pete 379. Gary Amoth and Eldin Easterday even came over from Idaho, rollin’ in Gary’s two beautiful viper red Kenworth A-Models. Sponsors Mike and Susan Brown brightened up the scene with their narrow window Pete log truck, as well as Brad VanDyke and his son Ryan, who came cruisin’ in driving Ryan’s dark teal 379. A few other favorites included Randy Chizek and his dump truck, Jesse Bounds and a few of his hay-haulers, and Mike McKay and his 1973 V-12-powered A-Model (we hope to see his turbine truck engine next year).

Our friends Harm and Thelma Speerstra mentioned the cruise to a good friend in Holland named J.J. Verweij – and we are sure glad they did! When J.J. pulled into the Junction City High School parking lot with his European-plated two-tone blue Scania that he shipped here to the states to drive on a cross-country vacation, nobody could believe their eyes. For J.J and his family, they could think of no better way to kick off the trip then to participate in the show and cruise. And what a great way to see and enjoy the sights this country has to offer – in a cool truck pulling a comfortably-modified “RV” trailer.

Then, as the darkness began to fall, the local Junction City Police Department, along with several volunteers including the All American 4-H Club, local high school football players, and cheerleaders, began to close down Junction City’s main streets, making way for all of the rigs to go cruisin’ through town. Within minutes, downtown Junction City was crowded with many wet and waving spectators, cheering on the loud and lit up trucks. What a great way to end a fun and laid-back day. There were about 40 trucks at this first annual event, and it was a great get-together for everyone who participated.

There is no amount of thanks that can be given to all of the sponsors and volunteers for making this whole thing happen – and thanks a million to the J.C. City Council for letting us borrow your fine town for the day. Most of all, thank you to the hard-working truckers and their families who participated in this first-ever event – we promise to do it all again next year, but maybe in July. So, stay tuned. We hope to see all of you next year at the Truck Function in Junction!

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’d like to thank Colby Williams of Fueled Photography in Washington for providing all of the cool photos for this report.

About Bryan Welsh

Bryan Welsh’s love for trucking, both old and new, probably began while rolling around in his custom lit-up Radio Flyer wagon with chrome wheels when he was a kid. Over the years he has owned, built and driven several trucks and his involvement and pride in the trucking industry has only grown. Bryan, who writes from both “the road” and his home in Junction City, Oregon, has been a regular contributor to 10-4 Magazine since October 2009.