While at SEMA this year, I had occasion to meet Rutledge Wood, one of the presenters on Top Gear USA (My wife calls him the lumberjack as he’s always wearing a flannel shirt).
While standing in line to speak with him, I handed my camera to the man behind me to take a picture of the two of us (Pictured above). I then spoke with Rutledge a bit and talked about an episode of TG USA filmed in Moab, UT where they enjoyed some high octane local brewery beverages. I asked if there was any chance that TGUSA would be making it out to Miller Motorsports Park. He said that Tanner Foust absolutely loves Miller, but that they didn’t have current plans.
We then parted after a couple minutes of speaking, and he said, “Bye AJ!” “Impressive,” I thought, “He remembered my name after not hearing it for 2 minutes.”
After walking away, I checked the picture on my camera and realized the dude behind me didn’t make any attempt to stabilize the camera during the shot and I couldn’t even tell who was in the picture.
Dejected, I walked away realizing I wasn’t going to get a chance to get a good picture.
2 hours pass, and I’m walking through Central Hall, adjacent to South Hall where Rutledge was signing autographs, but about 6 miles away. I hear a voice I recognize, and I look up and, low and behold, it’s Rutledge!
Not about to miss my chance this time, I take out my camera and steady it. Right as I go to take the picture, Rutledge starts walking away.
I didn’t even have time to see how the picture came out, because he looked up at me and said, “Hey AJ!” My dim-witted reply after being so surprised that he recognized me, let alone remembered my name, was, “You’ve got an awesome memory.” “I try,” he said as he walked off. Wow…what a stud.
Walking away, I checked the picture I took…