Like every show, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, but like in the theater, the show must go on. The second annual Mayberry Truck Show, held on September 30th through October 1st in Mt. Airy, NC, was an unseasonable mix of cooler temperatures, sunshine, rain, wind, and a hurricane! In 2021, with approximately 300 trucks and raising $351,000 for Brenner Children’s in Winston-Salem, NC, the inaugural Mayberry Truck Show set the bar high, but the goal in 2022 was to exceed the amount raised – and they did.
I arrived in town on Tuesday, September 27th to help with preparations for the show. This is also the same day that Hurricane Ian decided to make landfall in Florida causing unfathomable damage in its wake. The hurricane went through several changes along its path, including going from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, then back to hurricane status, and it hit landfall on the western side of central Florida, bringing storms, strong winds, and heavy rain. And it was only a matter of time before that heavy wind and rain would make its way to Mt. Airy, NC, during the show.
There are many moving parts to every truck show, and this one was no different. My part is the collecting of items for the goodie buckets and then stuffing them prior to the show. This year, there were 350 buckets, and I’m grateful I had help from a few of the great guys working in the Bottomley shop and from my friend Amy Blough who didn’t miss a beat in asking if I needed help and following through with that offer. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you.
For those who attended, the days leading up to the show saw several changes in the show schedule as the decision makers were trying to navigate through the impending weather. We all enjoyed cooler, sunny days up until Thursday when the forecast showed the rain coming in midday on Friday. A race against time looks different in many scenarios, but at this show, it was a race against the weather. Evan Steger of Evan’s Detailing and Polishing is the president of the Mayberry Truck Show board, and with all of his responsibilities before and during the show, he was also appointed to pick the calendar spot holders for the show’s 2023 calendar.
Wanting to do something different this year, Evan decided to have some months of the calendar feature multiple trucks photographed together. We took advantage of Thursday and Evan picked out six calendar spot holders for me to photograph. These included Cody Warner with his 2022 Peterbilt 389, Todd Gribble and his 2012 Peterbilt 389, David Strickland and Danny Glea with their antique Mack trucks, Dale Bennet and his 1985 Peterbilt 359 and 2018 East dump trailer, Oscar Lizano with his 2000 Freightliner Classic and 2007 Reitnouer, and I rounded out the day at sunset with Rob and Karen Hallahan and their 2022 green and orange Peterbilt 389.
For the second year in a row, Thursday evening served as a gathering for volunteers, vendors, and registrants to be able to visit during dinner prior to the show starting. There was a shrimp boil (some may call it a low country boil) graciously put on by Jim McClure of Panelite, and there was plenty of seating in the Bottomley shop for everyone.
The schedule had been moved around but, in the end, all events were pushed to Saturday. I grabbed some photos of the lot Friday morning, then Evan picked out more calendar spot holders to try to photograph prior to the downpour of rain we were anticipating. Friday’s calendar spot holders were Boe DelaBarre’s 2005 Peterbilt 379 combo with Greg Butcher’s 1981 International Transtar 2 cabover, Don and Crystal Wood with their 2003 Peterbilt 379, and a group of three rigs made up of Evan’s 1984 Peterbilt 362, Brent Hall’s 2014 Peterbilt 386 and Brian Holshouser’s 1986 Peterbilt 362. The last of the spot holders shot that day, just as the rain started, was a pair of trucks owned by Tim Cody Jr. – a gray and green 2023 Pete 389 and his driver Logan Taylor and his tan and brown 2023 Peterbilt 389.
As anticipated, on Friday night, the rain came, in sheets, along with the wind, and it showed no signs of letting up. But this weather didn’t stop people from gathering in the shop to visit and hang out. Saturday was way more promising than Friday. Around 9:00 AM, the rain stopped, and Ryan Lalone from Diesel Freak brought out the “Foolish Pleasure” truck – his brother Wade’s 2000 Kenworth W900 – for a little burnout action before taking it back to park it along with their merchandise trailer. I had to take a break and put together the plaques that were to be given out that afternoon at awards. Inevitably, when a schedule is packed with so much, it tends to overlap, but all-in-all, everything seemed to have gone off without a hitch this year.
The first big event for Saturday was the auction for spots in the convoy, then there was the opportunity for everyone to witness the wedding of Jacob and Emily Bonham. It was a well thought out plan for the inside of the shop. Jacob and Emily’s Legacy 379 was parked front and center, along with trucks parked on either side, which all showcased plenty of lights before and during the ceremony. Emily was a beautiful bride, and Jacob was a smiling, proud groom.
Following the ceremony, awards were announced quickly by Bottomley president Ken Kaelin. Trophies were custom made and sponsored by Mike Horan and Dickerson Custom Trucks. The “Top Notch 10” and “Fine Nine” plaques were sponsored by both Diesel Addict Photos and 10-4 Magazine. Even before the awards were finished, Evan was running around getting trucks lined up for the convoy. Music entertainment happened throughout the evening by Craig Southern & Phoenixx, followed by Steven Molanders, then Tony Justice took the stage and played while a fireworks display was put on, which I know is something that everyone enjoyed!
And, just like that, another show came to an end, and it is probably one to remember with the weather, the wedding, and all the other great events that took place after the rain on Saturday, October 1st. Sunday was dreary, but Kyle and I rounded out our work obligations by shooting the last calendar spot holders, which included Terry and Kasey Aslinger and their 1996 Peterbilt 379, which was photographed alongside Jay and Megan Westgate’s 1999 Freightliner Classic XL, and then the last to be photographed was the 2022 Mayberry Truck Show Best of Show winner – Robert Eddins of TriState and their red 2005 Peterbilt 379 hooked to a matching 2022 Galyean water tanker. After Kyle and I finished up, I went to the hotel to pack up, check out, and head out of town back home.
Special thanks from the show to all of the registrants, volunteers, vendors, donors, sponsors, and spectators who helped to make this show such a success. Without all their continued support, this show would not be able to raise as much money as it has, nor would the show be possible. The show parked approximately 290 trucks and raised an astounding $410,758 for Brenner Children’s!
Thank you to the Mayberry Truck Show and Bottomley Enterprises for the warm welcome and the opportunity to attend. Thank you also to Kyle Miller of Kyflyz Photography for coming up from Texas to help with video and photography at the show, assisting me with detail photos for the calendar, and helping to provide extra images for this report. This show was meant to happen, no matter what, to help fund Brenner Children’s and change lives for the better, because rain or shine, the show must go on! As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.
TOP NOTCH 10 (TRUCKS FROM NC)
Michael Gerber of Taylorsville, NC
Luke Strickland of Middlesex, NC
Luke Mathis of Roaring River, NC
Chase Hudgepeth of Wendell, NC
Danny Mattox of Statesville, NC
Eury Castro of Cary, NC
Joe Taylor of Faison, NC
Justin Austin of Marshville, NC
Cecil Gillespise of Dobson, NC
Bryan Rominger of Mocksville, NC
FINE NINE (TRUCKS 1990 & OLDER)
Luke Kissner of Church Road, VA
Michael Teague of Lenoir, NC
David Williams of Cana, VA
John Stewart of Elk Park, NC
Chris Burke of Clarkesville, GA
Chase Hartman of Maysville, WV
Rick Sowers of Cana, VA
Mitchell Wright of Mt. Airy, NC
Michael Waddell of Mt. Airy, NC
GREAT 8 (OUT OF ALL TRUCKS)
Clayton Driskill of Montgomery, TX
Jason Akers of Columbia, KY
Brandon Smith of Raleigh, NC
Jacob Bonham of Carthage, TX
Cody Warner of Riverton, WV
Don Wood of Denmark, WI
Todd Gribble of Somerset, PA
Robert Hallahan of LaCrosse, WI
BEST INTERIOR: Clayton Driskill of Montgomery, TX
BEST ENGINE: Austin Kiser of Rosedale, VA
BEST LIGHTS: Kason Akers of Columbia, KY
BEST PAINT: Kelly Richardson of LaCrosse, WI
LOWEST TRUCK: Brent Hall of North Mankato, MN
FARTHEST TRAVELED: Shawn Dirksen of Lake Stevens, WA
OLDEST TRUCK: Michael Waddell of Mt. Airy, NC
MITCHELL BOTTOMLEY’S PICK: Don Wood of Denmark, WI
MITCHELL BOTTOMLEY SONS PICK: Luke Mathis of Roaring River, NC
BEST OF SHOW: Robert Eddins/Troy Massey of TriState Vacuum & Rental in Nacogdoches, TX