The Tater Team ‘Meat’ Their MakersSeptember 5, 2012
If you aren’t getting the double meaning in this week’s blog title, then you haven’t been paying enough attention to our Facebook page. So let’s catch you up! Being home in the Great Potato State brought about anything but an ordinary week. We finally tracked down those elusive hotdoggers, met the lady whose title graces our tractor, and rubbed elbows with everyone who is anyone in Idaho’s potato industry. After that was all done, Kaiti and Ellis caught up with their long lost families while Paul hung out with some in-town friends. All-in-all, it was definitely a week worth blogging about.
If you are a simple person with simple tastes, then you probably enjoy a good ol’ meal of meat and potatoes. And if this is the case and you were in Boise last Monday, then, well, you may have just died and went to heaven. After chasing the Weinermobile all around the country, the Big Idaho Potato finally got to ‘meat’ up with the iconic promotional vehicle in a Winco parking lot. Oscar Mayer paved the way for driving around in food 76 years ago, and has to be considered an inspiration for the Big Idaho Potato concept. Abraham “Abe the Ham” Luna and Kelly “Cookout Kelly” Goldthorpe were the two characters manning the ‘big dog’ and were overjoyed at the opportunity to meet up with our ‘big spud’. After the event, the two-dogger team was excited to swap war stories from the road over Blue Cow Frozen Yogurt with The Tater Team. It was remarkable how similar their anecdotes were! One key difference, however, was the support system behind their tour. At any one time there are SIX Weinermobiles and TWELVE Hotdoggers on the road. That would certainly make for a whole lot of BBQs!
The two crews celebrate while everyone feasts their eyes on the delicious vehicles; a beautiful perspective of perfection; a legacy in postcards
On Tuesday the team headed up to Sun Valley to meet all of the people they have been representing. Every year the Idaho potato industry gets together to discuss latest trends and future goals for ‘the biz’. The Team and the tuber were invited up, seeing as how they were kind of a BIG deal this year. Any anxiety about their big debut slowly slipped away as the dry arid land before Mountain Home slowly gave way to coniferous trees and crisp mountain air.
The beautiful view looking out of Sun Valley Inn
It was a busy week for the team and they hit the ground running! At a luncheon Wednesday afternoon the team got a very special opportunity to share their experiences with the people they represent. Everyone there knew that they had a stake in what was taking place, but very few of them have gotten to experience it firsthand. That was the Team’s job. And according to the reviews that followed… they nailed it! Stories just seemed to flow from the Teams’ mouths as they recounted some of their fondest memories of the tour. Afterwards the Team got to finish their dessert as they listened to the hilarious Ryan Hamilton prove that clean comedy can still be funny. As an Idahoan himself, he was the perfect candidate to wrap up the luncheon even though I’m not so sure the laughter was good for the digestive track.
“I have time for one more question…” (inside joke); Ryan Hamilton absolutely killing it on stage; the potato and the crew keep rolling with laughter
After lunch, the Crew went out to partake in their most challenging video project yet. THE Miss Idaho, Whitney Wood, not only graced them with her presence in Sun Valley, but she actually asked them to help her film a crucial video in her campaign to gain the title of Miss USA. It was an honor for the Team and truck to be a part of the process and several takes, note cards and interrupting fans later, they were able to wrap up the shoot before dinner! I think I can speak for everyone by saying that we had an incredible time helping the beautiful and talented Whitney Wood! Be sure to support her on her quest to become the first Miss USA from Idaho.
Idaho’s very own Whitney Wood shows off the Big Idaho Potato Truck after the crew get done shooting her People’s Choice video
Thursday was no time to rest. The Team was up at the break of dawn to make the annual marketing breakfast. This is the breakfast where the ‘top potatoes’ at the Idaho Potato Commission talk about the successes of last year and the endeavors to come. This was also where they debuted this year’s national commercial featuring none other than the BIG IDAHO POTATO! In fact, two versions of the commercial were shown at the meeting: one called ‘The Truck’ and one called ‘The Kids’ (the Team are the kids). The commercials were a success and Frank Muir, the President of the IPC, asked the Team to stay after and autograph postcards for their adoring friends… And I swear that AT LEAST two people came by the table (we have pictures to prove it). Those two fans were enough to justify the Tater Teams new found stardom. Let’s just say they rode the wave all the way to Friday’s BSU Game… where the commercial would be released to the public via ESPN.
The ‘superstars’ show off their big autographed post cards… and big heads
After Thursday, the team was able to sit back and breathe a little. Morning meetings followed by afternoon pizza with their Mama Bear, Laura Herrick, left the Team to explore Sun Valley in their own unique ways. Friday night, however, they met back up to go out on the town and support Boise State University in their opening game of the season… and see themselves on TV. But the latter was just an added bonus! Kaiti’s sister came into town for her birthday and the whole group danced their blues away after the terrible terrible loss of Boise State’s Broncos. But while the football scene wasn’t the happiest, life is still good in the potato world. And that is something we can all be thankful for. We still have two more months on the tour, so keep your eyes ‘peeled’ for the Big Idaho Potato.
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