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Millinocket family pleased by TV debut

Posted on : 02-03-2009 | By : Truckdrivernews | In : Thoughts from a trucker, Truck Show, truck driver Industry, truck shows

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MILLINOCKET, Maine — As an image of his face filled the projection screen and various flat-screen televisions arrayed around the large banquet room of the River Drivers restaurant, Rudy Pelletier folded his arms across his chest and watched anxiously.

The 51-year-old is a logging company owner, not an actor, but there he was, one of the leading players in the Discovery Channel’s new reality TV show “American Loggers” as it made its debut at 10 p.m. Friday.

Pelletier stood almost frozen as the show’s narrator introduced Pelletier Inc., the Millinocket logging and trucking company upon which the show will focus for nine more episodes, with more installments coming if the program is renewed.

After the first commercial break, Pelletier turned to local restaurant owner Tom St. John.

“So far, so good?” Pelletier asked.

“Perfect!” St. John replied. “It doesn’t get any better!”

About halfway across the restaurant floor, the show���s executive producer, Sean Gallagher, was asking the same sorts of questions. After a year of preparing the show, he was pacing nervously among an audience of people who would know whether he had truly captured the real story.

“Watching the show with all these people around is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” Gallagher said. “I thought it was going to be like going to a party, and that’s it, but this is tough. They obviously like it, but itâ€�s hard.

Consisting mostly of Pelletier family and friends, the 200 or so premiere party attendees were not the most critical audience. Their pleasure was pronounced. When not enraptured, they cheered, applauded and laughed appreciatively, especially at some of the more zestfully macho dialogue as the Pelletier family — a patriarch, seven brothers and sons, and a bevy of grandchildren — and several employees described their work.

“It’s fabulous,” said Susan Jane, a resident of the Bahamas who accompanied St. John to the party. “I think it’s great for the family and great for Millinocket.”

Thanks to “American Loggers,” a tiny town of about 5,000 tucked into the southern end of the largest contiguous tract of woods in North America is finally being seen for what it has been for more than 100 years, spectators said: a place of great industry, proud, hardworking families, and immense size and beauty.
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© 2009, Truck Drivers News. All rights reserved.

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