Memories of the First Convention
May 1, 1998 12:00 PM, John V Crowe
In May 1949, I was a student at Regis College in Denver, Colorado. My parents drove out from Chicago in their new Buick-a three-holer-to attend the first NTTC Convention at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.
My dad took me to the meetings, and I remember these men were all asking each other how many trucks they operated. Fifty was big! At the banquet, we sat with the carriers from Illinois: Larry Sibr, Cecil Davis, Jim Hannah, and Walter Mullady.
At the head table were Austin Sutherland and an unforgettable character-Frank Baird-Smith, who was chairman of the Refiners Transport & Terminal Corporation, a major bulk carrier, and at that time owned by Union Tank Car Company. He was a courtly, somewhat arrogant person who resembled a portly college professor. Refiners Transport was sold to Leaseway Bulk Transportation Group and today does not exist.
No one particularly impressed me favorably, and I seriously questioned my father's confidence and positive attitude toward the group. I now admire all of them-men of vision-committed to lives of hard work, building an industry from virtually nothing. I know our family did not go to the Broadmoor with the others for the post convention trip. My dad wanted to get back to his business, and we had already blown the family budget. My father, John V Crowe, the founder of Transport Service Co, died in 1957 at the age of 56.
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