Columnist Howard "Porky" Cutter, MGWC, recounts his experiences at the 2003 NGWA Expo.

Porky and Charles Brinkley, Jr. take in the sites at the show.
This was a somewhat different trip for Bess and myself in that we drove some 1,800 miles for a change. We usually are in a hurry to get to our destination, but this time we took our time. We overnighted in Yulee, Fla., and located some relatives. The next day, we drove on to Orlando and checked into our motel some nine miles from the convention center.

As normal for the Cutters, unusual things always happen. First, the motel directed us to the back door. It was locked and we had to make three calls on our cellular phone to the front desk to get someone to unlock the door. Once we got in, the elevator would not move with two people on it. It only would carry one person at a time. Some kind of sensor problem, I guess.

Our friends, Darrell Dake, MGWC, and his wife, Lavonia, called us on our cellular phone and gave us directions to the convention center. It's a good thing because we would have gone to the wrong center. Darrell met us at the front door and unloaded me. Then Darrell took my car and Bess around behind the convention center to park the car while Lavonia and myself walked the short distance inside.

Later in the evening, I realized the reason for Darrell's parking the car - it's probably close to a mile from the parking lot to the NGWA convention hall. Darrell knew that I couldn't walk that far.

In the evening, Darrell and Lavonia took Bess and myself to a nice place for dinner. The next morning, with my scooter in the car, we drove back to the convention center, paid our $10 to park the car and unloaded my scooter so that I could ride what seemed like almost a mile to the front.

When we unloaded my scooter from the trunk of our car - in the rain - the scooter key locked up and I couldn't turn it on. I thought about calling AAA but didn't think they could help. We rolled the scooter inside where I sat on the floor, took the scooter apart and hot-wired it with a knife and fingernail file.

Once there, everything was great. We met many new and old friends and even had tables and chairs to sit at.

At lunchtime, our group decided to go across the street to the motel for lunch. Again, thank goodness for my scooter. I had to ride to the corner and up the driveway as there weren't sufficient ramps for my scooter. The motel was about one-half a city block away but must have been over a city block the way I had to go.

The next two days at the Exposition were great as usual, with many excellent displays and exhibitors. I would guess there was a turnout of more than 3,500 people. There were some excellent workshops, and most were well attended. I met some very nice drillers from Guatemala and they are members of the NGWA. As usual, I talked until I was given out.

The NGWA came up with a great idea - they issued purple jackets to all the past presidents. I think it was great.

We had an excellent turnout at the MGWC's luncheon and worked on several issues. The National Driller, Water Well Journal and WorldWide Drilling Resources media and photographers attended. We hope to see photos in their upcoming publications (see pg. 43). Also, you may be interested to know the MGWC green jackets will stay.

On the second day with all my riding, I ran the battery down on my scooter and was forced to leave it at the motel across the street from the convention center. We caught a cab around to the back of the convention center, picked up our car and drove back to the motel to pick up my scooter.

Even though the Orlando exposition was great, we still prefer the exposition in Las Vegas. Bess and I aren't gamblers, but Las Vegas is more accommodating, has easier parking and is a lot more fun and far less expensive.

Even though it rained on us most of the way home, our return trip was just as enjoyable - it's always good to get home.

It's “Viva Las Vegas” for us next year, and we hope to see everyone there. ND