Once again I made the long drive from Dega to JRM and back in one day. It was an easy drive there and a total pain coming home but it was all worth it.
After I parked my truck I was greeted by JRM employee Allen. It has been three years since I was last there and he still remembered me. That leaves a great impression on a guest. We chatted for a bit as he was directing traffic and people while the displays were being set-up. I went to the check in area to receive my wristband for the autograph session. The ladies were warm and cheerful as they check my name off the list. They put a silver wristband on me and I was set to go.
With a couple of hours before the line would start to develop I made the rounds of the vendors that sponsor cars of JRM. Nationwide Insurance, Hunts Bros Pizza, Vienna Sausage and Earnhardt Outdoors were there among others. Earnhardt Outdoors has Kerry Earnhardt handling the their show. Thanks to Twitter I learned that Kerry would be at JRM so I showed up with a few items for him to sign.
Kerry was more than happy to talk about racing, fishing and the housing line he was promoting. He signed a couple of die cast and a very old hero card. He must have still been in his teens in the hero card and we both laughed about how we have changed over the years.
Then it was off to wait in line for the Dale Jr. autograph session. You do that a lot for a Dale Jr. autograph. Wait in line for the wristband, then wait in line to go in for the autograph session and then finally wait in line for Dale Jr. to sign your item.
There were other drivers in the session with Dale Jr., Chase Elliot, Cole Custer and Kasey Kahne, but I was there to get an autograph from Dale Jr. The most difficult part of going to one of these sessions is choosing which item you want signed. I’ve got hundreds of items to choose from and this time I picked one of my treasured die cast. His 2010 Hallowdega die cast.
While Dale Jr. was signing, I asked him if he got the BBQ rubs and sauces I asked Kelley to drop off. He said he did. I joked with him about liking Myron Nixon BBQ and that he should try Johnny Trigg BBQ. He replied “he’s great”. I had to remove a few die casts from my bag to get out a Johnny Trigg BBQ kit. And told him that Johnny Trigg is the man in BBQ, try his stuff and you know for sure who is better.
I repacked my bag with the Hallowdega die cast and as I was putting back the die casts, Dale Jr. pulled his Mom & Pop’s Camaro aside and signed that one as well. Glad I left that one out. Wink. I took a chance that Dale Jr. would see it and sign it and he did.
I thanked Dale Jr. for signing the Camaro, and off I went. Allen was greeting all the autograph session winners as the left and talked for a few seconds and then left to come back home.
All the fun for the day was over. Pain was next, the drive home. Over 7 hours of driving. Lots of stop and go when I got to the Georgia state line and it didn’t clear out until I reached Alabama. From there on home the drive was fine.
Looking back it was a long day but a very fruitful day. I do believe that Dale Jr. must think of me as the BBQ guy. Guess there are worse things to be known as.