Volunteer truck drivers prepare for wintry weather

A truck pulls out in the snow on Dec. 25.

A truck pulls out in the snow on Dec. 25.

Chains are put on the trucks that will carry the band's equipment to California.

Chains are put on the trucks that will carry the band's equipment to California.

Drivers secure the trucks in the snow.

Drivers secure the trucks in the snow.

In advance of a planned 4 a.m. departure on Sunday, Dec. 26, two truck drivers spent Christmas morning putting chains on the wheels of the three trucks taking the WCU Pride of the Mountains Marching Band’s equipment to California for the Rose Parade. Jimmy Crocker and Stacy Wyatt coordinated with a salt truck and snow plow in order to move the trucks 2 miles closer to the highway – a project that took four hours to complete.

“We couldn’t even get to the trucks when we first got there,” said Crocker.

With wintry weather making travel more challenging, the drivers are considering an alternative route that is south of Interstate 40 once they get to Little Rock, Ark.

“One of the drivers said there was a bad storm somewhere over Oklahoma. The southern route will take us along the border of Mexico and through the lower part of Phoenix,” said Crocker.

Using the trucks to transport instruments, equipment, uniforms and luggage is saving the band $40,000 in checked baggage fees. Many thanks to Jimmy Crocker, Marion Ferguson, Carol Ferguson, Stacy Wyatt, Martin Clark and Jeremy Parker for volunteering their time to drive the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band’s equipment to Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses!

Crocker is the only driver with a child in the band. (His daughter Haley M. Crocker plays cymbals.) That’s not his only tie, however. His father, the late Jim Crocker, was WCU marching band director Bob Buckner’s band director when Buckner was in high school in Waynesville.

Watch their progress across country here at roseparade.wcu.edu.

Related story: Trucks get ‘wrapped up’ for the trip west

5 Comments

  1. Merry Christmas to all!
    Posted December 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Have a safe trip!

  2. Elizabeth A. Gillespie
    Posted December 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Unbelievable! These folks have volunteered for a Herculean task. Many thanks to each and every one of them for donating their time and talents to make this trek. You deserve a merit badge! Or better yet, a merit medallion!

  3. Bill
    Posted December 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Above and beyond the call of duty by the drivers…and by Teresa for keeping fans of the Pride informed! Merry Christmas to all fans of the Pride of the Mountains!

  4. Anna
    Posted December 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you guys so much! I cannot tell you how fantastic it is to have such great and honorable people as you helping! Please travel safely!

  5. Gail Mehaffey
    Posted December 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    God speed. Our prayers are with you !!!!!!!