Watching the EXPO get built

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All photos Don Barone

“Say a prayer for the common foot soldier…”

Dateline: The Classic EXPO behind the scenes

"Dreams don’t work unless you do."
– John C. Maxwell

There sits within a forklift a man with a grimy nametag and a well-worn baseball cap.

He is in the machine, but is not of the machine. He is a working stiff; he is your neighbor here in Greenville. He is your neighbor here in South Carolina.

Matters not his race, matters not his politics; what matters is that he is a human being worthy of respect, worthy of dignity...he is a working stiff.

His advanced degree can be seen in his cracked knuckles, can be seen on the calluses lining his feet, can be seen in the nagging tweak in his back...he is a working stiff.

Yesterday morning I went into the TD Convention Center not to see the chrome and bright lights, but to see the grease, hear the hammers of those who are putting the GEICO Bassmaster Classic EXPO presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods show together.

The working stiffs.

I came there to do two simple things:

Shake their hands.

And tell them, simply, "Thank you."

THANK YOU.

“…spare a thought for his back breaking work…”

These big convention centers are pretty cool, but they are not magical; we don’t just show up and water and poof…there’s everything, all done.

When you walk in the doors this place is going to rock. I’ve been to a lot of expos in all the major sports and trust me on this, what you will see when you walk in the door is no second rate presentation. This is a major sporting experience for you in this joint.

By the way, it doesn’t matter what day you come - Friday, Saturday or Sunday - we guarantee you this, many of our players, our anglers will be here waiting to meet you, waiting to shake your hand, to sign something for you…and…none of them will charge you a dime for their signature.

Imagine that.

“…say a prayer for his wife and his children…”

“Without labor nothing prospers.”
- Sophocles