A guy from Cadiz drives that.
I didn’t know that until Monday when he called our office and said he’d be coming through Trigg County on Interstate 24 that afternoon.
The first question I heard from a few folks who knew I’d been on the bus when it stopped here – Were any of the on-air talent on the bus?
No. And even if they had been, that wouldn’t be the story, anyway.
Curtis Wilson is a 1981 graduate of Trigg County High School. He grew up in Cadiz, but he didn’t stay here long after high school, immediately joining the military.
Wilson said his chosen profession probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knew him when he was younger – when he graduated, he received a toy limousine as a gag gift.
“I always knew I would be a truck driver or a bus driver,” Wilson said. “I got out of the military and started driving a tractor trailer. I realized I was getting to see a lot of the country, but I didn’t get to do a lot of things I thought I’d be able to do.”
Shortly after that, Wilson moved to his current home city of Atlanta, where he began driving limousines. So he was working night-life hours but still not getting to experience much anything.
Then he got into corporate transportation and started his own business in 1999.
“Then in 2007, I crashed and burned, like a lot of people,” Wilson said.
He then joined with another driver who had an account with ESPN, and that opened the door for what he’s been doing the last five-plus years.
Monday, Wilson was the secondary driver of the Gameday bus. This week, he’s helping get it from where it started last Saturday – Clemson, for the Tigers’ game against Florida State – to where it’s headed this Saturday – Eugene, Ore., for the Ducks’ game against UCLA. He’s also driven buses for ESPN’s Saturday Game of the Week bus as well DirecTV, Pepsi and Coke, among others.
Through his driving gig, he’s been to four Super Bowls as well as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic. He’s also worked for non-sports entities, including CNN. He’s been through all 50 states.
“Transportation has allowed me to live the quality of life that I couldn’t necessarily work 40 hours a week and live,” Wilson said. “I’ve done the majority of what I want to do through transportation.”
And to think, it all started in Trigg County, where he drove many area fields on a tractor and later took Driver’s Education with Buddy Perry at Trigg County High School.
“I’ve been driving since I was 7,” Wilson said. “I realized at that time that the guys working behind the truck or tractor were working harder than the guy driving it.”
Wilson said he tries to keep in touch with Perry and George Radford, especially when his route brings him close to home.
“I always try to stop in and see someone when I get a chance,” Wilson said, adding that he hopes to get another vehicle and start his own business again.
“I’m living the dream,” Wilson said. “Not everybody is going to be a doctor or a lawyer, scientist, school teacher or politician, but at the same time, whatever your passion is, roll with it and let it take you where you want to go.”
When he’s not on the road, Wilson is home in Atlanta with his wife Deede and their daughter Kobe.
Justin McGill is general manager of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.