The International Custom Rod Building Exposition is a lot of work. I start on it each year around the middle of May and finish up 10 months later, just a few hours before the doors open for the event.
However, for all Iâ€™m able to do during the many months preceding the Expo, there is no way I could pull off the Expo itself with having many more â€œfeet on the floorâ€ than just my own. For that, I turn to several good and trusted friends whom many of you have probably met in passing, but know little about.
From Left to Right:
Jim George is a retired NC Highway Patrol Trooper. Always looking for extra work these days, heâ€™s happy to help out at the Expo. Heâ€™s in charge of the money. I canâ€™t think of anyone better to handle it. You couldn’t slip a bum nickel past him in the dark.
Wayne McGinnis is another retired Highway Patrol Trooper. We became fishing buddies way back in the early 1980â€™s.Â He handles the ticket gathering and hand stamping and refuses to allow me to pay him for his services because that would mean he has a job – something he swore off when he retired.
Rodney Powell is a big wheel in the Food Lion Grocery Corp. He oversees a good portion of their renowned energy department. We fish together quite a bit. He’s my right hand man during the Expo, taking care of anything that comes up that Iâ€™m not around to deal with.
Christine Farley has been our regular waitress for our Monday lunches at the Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery for 5 or 6 years now. Itâ€™s a natural that sheâ€™s on hand at the Expo each year to sell tickets. Guys seem to like her. Itâ€™s also funny to note how much longer her ticket line always is compared to Georgeâ€™s.
None of these folks are custom rod builders, but without their help the Expo wouldnâ€™t run as smoothly as it does. They are a big part of the pleasant Expo experience that so many of you have come to expect each year.