Monday, December 17, 2012

Goodbye to Big Blue!

It's like losing an old friend. The station is selling off two of our satellite trucks. If you've followed my blog, run you might be familiar with Big Blue and the Ice Cream Truck (or as some called it, Little Blue).
To the right in shot above is the new SNG unit that's replacing our oldest two trucks.
Big Blue was the first satellite truck I ever learned to operate. I solo'd on the Robert Downey Jr. trial in Palm Springs back in 2001.
Seems like I've been driving SAT trucks for much longer than that, but heck, them some hard miles behind the wheel.
Little Blue went through a major reconfiguration at one point, so it's like I had to learn to operate it twice. Fun stuff for me.
To the left in the shot below is Jeff Mailes. He's one of the guys like me, who had the pleasure of operating Big Blue and is also a little sad to see it go.
The other SNG guys and I have had many an adventure covering breaking news, major court cases, snow storms, wildfires, hurricanes, oh, and don't forget the many runs to Las Vegas and the list just goes on.
I remember how complicated running the SNG truck seemed when I was first learning how to fire up and find birds.
For me, it wasn't exactly fun to drive, but I love having driven it. You haven't lived until you've
wheeled a big truck halfway across the country (2005 Port Arthur, Texas for hurricane Rita, two weeks post Katrina).
The day of the big truck is over for now. I may never see another "Big Blue" (or little blue) in my career.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
It helps to share the last shots I have of my first SNG vehicles. As always, I'm looking forward to the next time I have to put someone on TV (maybe in a hurricane, maybe in a snowstorm).
Man, I love what I do.

1 comment:

Scott Pinkerton said...

I stumbled upon your story from a friend that works at CBS Sacramento, and I have to say that I know exactly how you feel.

We (KSNV Las Vegas) are in the process of retiring our 30 year old SNG truck and it's a bag of mixed emotions.

She was also the first truck I ever learned on, along with a dozen or so operators that came and went through our doors.

I will miss hauling all 32-feet of her around crowded streets, up and over medians and sidewalks and the occasional interstate drives.

The Sprinter that's replacing her will have some big shoes to fill, and the memories? Those will die off along with our "Big Blue".

Here is a picture I took of her last shot, perched on a sidewalk in downtown LA.