Travelin’ on down to Louisville

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It’s the traditional rite of spring for trucking reporters near and far – travelin’ on down to Louisville, Kentucky for the annual Mid America Trucking Show (MATS) for three days of non-stop press conferences and product introductions, elbow to elbow with thousands upon thousands of truckers.

[Here’s a glance at scenes from last year’s show. You’ll see all kinds of trucks and related components, along with the famous – race car legend Richard Petty and country music star Aaron Tippin – and not-so-famous enjoy the sights and sounds of MATS side by side.]

I must also admit that, over the years, the city of Louisville has grown on me as I’ve been fortunate to sample many of its unique cultural offerings as well as partake of some great meals in its many fine dining establishments.

In fact, the magazine Men’s Journal added Louisville to its list of the “Best Places to Live in 2010,” citing the city’s arts scene, coffee shops and stores — specifically touting the Bardstown Road area, a place loaded with great restaurants.

“To some, Louisville is just bourbon, baseball bats, and a famous horse race,” according to the review in the upcoming April issue of Men’s Journal. “To those who know better, it’s artistic funk and gentlemanly class. Packed with eclectic coffee shops, thrift stores, skate punks, and bluegrass street musicians, Bardstown Road is a slice of weirdness in the midst of an upscale neighborhood.”

The story went on to note that Bourbon’s reemergence as “a sophisticated beverage” rather than “redneck swill” parallels the city’s cultural renaissance. [Sort of a not-so-nice, backhand compliment, don't you think?]

All that aside, it’s shaping up to be a fun visit this year. But of course one must survive the journey to Lousiville first! With that in mind, I’ll leave you with one of the funniest scenes from that great John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which is a film that truly captures how utterly maddening travelling can be in this day and age (even if the film is almost 30 years old by now.)

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