Bill Copland's On The Road Report
Thanksgiving day - November 22, 2007
A DAY OFF
Happy Thanksgiving to all, from Danbury Connecticut.
November 22, Thanksgiving Day, a day off ...........
( trivia ............... name the Bennington shipmate who was shot by a sniper in Dallas Texas on November 22, 1963 ........... answer at the end of the page )
We took advantage to have a Board of Director's meeting to assign projects for each of us to do over the winter, then some of us took a trip to the antique truck museum near the hotel,
I'll let Lisa Byers, of Bennington Community Access TV describe the rest of the day :
After the busiest day of our trip (Wednesday), today was mostly a rest day as we spent it in and around Danbury, CT, where we stayed last night and will stay again tonight. Although it was a rest day, there was still plenty of activities and work to be done. Following a late breakfast (7:30 am instead of 6 am like the last few days) most of the convoy headed to The Golden Age of Trucking Museum in Middlebury, CT.
This visit allowed the public and museum patrons to see our antique trucks and trees but it was also a treat for our group because it allowed us to tour the museum and see a wide variety of restored antique trucks and trucking paraphernalia.
It was warm and sunny during our visit at the museum and people drifted between the museum building and the parking lot where our trucks were parked. The day was further brightened by a visit from Miss Connecticut, Dana Daunis who made a special appearance.
The museum staff provided a great spread of snacks and allowed our truckers (Lonnie's note: and our own Bill Cooughlin) to wash the salt and road grit off their trucks that they picked up during the snowy and icy conditions in Vermont Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. It is amazing how much pride these truckers have in their machines. Shortly before leaving the museum we were joined by one of our truckers who spent most of the morning replacing the alternator in his truck, a part that stopped working yesterday and that he somehow tracked down today, despite it being Thanksgiving.
Although it being Thanksgiving, there was still plenty of traffic and our group hit some on the way back to our hotel.
Our tour bus and an RV driven by the former crew of the USS Bennington aircraft carrier (Bill Coughlin) got stuck in the worst of the traffic and spent over an hour on a very creative detour, finding out how tricky it is to maneuver large vehicles around populated areas. At one point they were forced to block traffic for a few minues while they turned around after they encountered a railroad overpass that was three feet too low.
Luckily the other trucks in the convoy made it back to the hotel in a reasonable amount of time and those that hadn't already were able to wash their vehicles while all the drivers checked over their rigs to make sure everything was in good shape. Again, much of our success in moving the convoy from place to place was due to the Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers and the Connecticut State Police.
Also in the afternoon, about 15 members of our group spent some time helping with a Thanksgiving meal for the less fortunate at St. James Church in Danbury. We were grateful to help with this event and give something back to this community that is hosting us today and tomorrow morning. It is fitting that our caravan was involved helping with this event because nation-wide there is a large population of homeless veterans.
Having made a public appearance, enjoyed the displays at the trucking museum, fixed and washed our fleet and given a small bit back to the community, we sat down as a group of 80 for our Thanksgiving meal.
Dave Zsido, the caravan leader began the meal with by giving a short speech to give thanks to the Veterans, our country, our bounty and our good progress on the trip. Later in the meal, Joann Erenhouse and Tom Bluto provided a special thank you to the kitchen staff of the Maron Hotel for working on their holiday to prepare a wonderful dinner.
Although we were away from our families and our homes, we were glad to be sitting with friends, old and new and sharing this special meal.
( answer to the trivia question above Governor John Connally, shipmate on USS Bennington CVA 20, was wounded in the shooting of November 22, 1963 which assassinated President John Kennedy )