Buckner Children's Home Mud Bog
By Evelyn Chaney; Forward By Chris Pagan

Forward:

Last year we were asked by one of our club members to participate in an event for a Children’s Home in Beaumont, TX (a couple of hours east of Houston).  The event is an annual "Toy Run" that has been put on for the last 10 years by a motorcycle club based in Beaumont.  A few years ago, a corvette club and a 4-wheel drive club in the Beaumont area joined in their venture.  Last year the 4-wheel drive club pulled out about 6 weeks before the event.  One of their members who is also a member of Southern High Rollers came to us and asked if we would be interested in going to the event in their place.  The club thought it was a great idea.  The only problem was with such short notice, we couldn't get as many people there as we would have liked.  We only ended up with 3 Jeeps going.  Nevertheless, we had a great time and the kids had a blast!  The 4-wheel drive's roll in the event (other than donating money to the home's Christmas fund to buy gifts) is to put on a "mud run" for the kids.  There is a big field next to the home that the Fire Department waters down and the 4-wheel drives get out there and make a mud track.  The kids get in and take rides around the track.  Even though we had a small turnout last year, those that were able to make it went back to the club with the great experience of the day and suggested that we take this event on as an annual event.  Everyone agreed.... 

This year we had plenty of time to plan for the event and drum up more of the club's support.  I must say that our club members were very generous for this cause and we were able raise a good amount of money for the Christmas fund.  We also had a great response for the event itself.  We ended up having nearly 30 people there and 10 vehicles willing to take the "plunge" in the mud.  Again, everyone in attendance was very moved by the day's activities and the general consensus was it was a great idea to make this an annual event.  The following is a note from one of our members that was able to make the run. 

John and I (Evelyn) just wanted to say that we had a blast at the Buckner Run.  It was an early morning for us (we try not to get up before the sun, even on work days!) and although the day started out cold and a bit worrisome (John's truck starting losing oil pressure on the way to the meeting spot due to a lifter going bad), it ended up being a wonderful, inspiring and absolutely fun-filled day.  Not only did the kids enjoy the mud, so did some of the adults from the Buckner Children's Home.  For those who weren't there, I'll try to briefly sum up the day. 

We met at the Jack In The Box at I-10 and 146 at 7:00 a.m.  About 15 minutes later, we started the trek to Beaumont with approximately 10 vehicles (I don't remember exactly who, sorry).  Along the way, we were joined by J.J. in his Airstream with Jeep in tow.  I'm sure we were quite a site traveling down I-10 with Southern High Rollers tire covers prominently (and proudly) displayed.

We converged on the Pig Stand (a restaurant) in Beaumont a little before 8:00 and lined up the Jeeps along the back of the parking lot.  Several Harley Davidson's and Corvettes were already there and more arrived in the next few minutes filling the parking lot.  A Southern High Rollers banner was placed on J.J.'s Airstream to bring up the rear of the parade.  We had a little breakfast, coffee, bathroom break and a prayer session before starting the parade to Buckner Children's Home through the streets of Beaumont.  About 8:45, the Beaumont Fire Department and Police Department started the parade.  The motorcycles led, followed by the Vette's and the Jeeps with Tow Rigs and the Airstream bringing up the rear.  Traffic was stopped all along the route to Buckners for our parade. 

We arrived at the home to be greeted by the kids at the front as they oohed and ahhed over the Hogs, Vette's and 4x4's.  We parked up in the grass and wondered where we were going to find the mud.  Shawn explained to us newcomers that last year the field we had parked in was a track and then promptly one of the Jeeps got stuck in the grass.  Under the layer of grass was nothing but mud!  We then went into the main hall for a program and to watch the kids get their presents.  After the presents were opened and the kids were fed, most of us retired to field to uproot last year's track.  It didn't take long for the grassy field to turn into several mud bogs!  The fire department started spraying water into one of the open areas, (and on the windshields of passing Jeeps so they could see again!) and the rest were low spots that we found (and promptly churned up).  Before too long, kids started arriving for rides.  Since we had already "prepared" the area (okay, we tore it up and had fun doing it!), it was primed and ready to go. 

Along with the arrival of the kids came the second stuck truck, Linda's Z-71 driven by her nephew, Chris.   It was buried to the frame in one of the back mud holes.  (Linda was video taping the event, so I'm sure there are good shots of ALL of the stuck trucks, not just hers).  It took some doing, (and several no-go's and a broken hook) but Swede drove his Dodge Truck out into the field and anchored to Steve's big red Suburban, they attached the winch to the Suburban and soon the truck was out.  He was, however, right back in the action. 

Ken got Jeep Thrills stuck in another area of the impromptu course and John and Baja were almost lost trying to get him out.  Baja was triumphant, both in getting unstuck and pulling Ken out so both could get back in the game. 

Since Shawn didn't bring his Jeep, he was relegated to dodging Jeeps and flying mud and tromping through the course to take pictures of the event.  Chris was busy assisting kids getting in and out of the Jeeps, trying to help them not get too muddy. 

Tim and sons were there with Voodoo Chile.  I don't remember if Voodoo got stuck or not, but he did have to lock into 4 wheel drive to get out of some bad spots. 

There were other stuck Jeeps, but the thing I remember most were the smiles on the faces of the kids (and of course, all of the drivers on the course) and the mud on the Jeeps.  By the end of the day, you couldn't tell one Jeep from another because they were all the same color - mud.

The Beaumont Fire Department hosed down the trucks, and we drove off into a beautiful Texas sunset at the end of one of the best days I can remember (Next year, let's be sure and take the firemen for a run before we get that final hose down!). 

For those who didn't get to make the run, you missed a wonderful event.  For those of us who did make it, I'm sure we'll never forget it.  John and I plan on making it again next year and every year the club makes this run.

I know I didn't mention everyone who made the run and for that I apologize.  I'm still trying to learn everybody's name (and vehicle).  I'll keep working on it and next year, hopefully I'll know everyone. 

So much for brief...  Evelyn