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August 9, 2013

 

Brockway brothers’ passion

BrockwayJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Clay, left, and Mark Derick, brothers from Quebec, Canada, polish their 1970s Brockway trucks Thursday in preparation of Saturday’s annual Brockway Truck Show in Cortland.

By STEVEN HOWE
Staff Reporter
showe@cortlandstandardnews.net

It wouldn’t seem that a popular brand of potato chips and a now-defunct truck manufacturer would have much in common. For two brothers who came in from Canada to attend this weekend’s 14th Annual National Brockway Truck Show, they’re similarly addictive.
“It’s like with Lay’s potato chips, you can’t eat just one,” said Clay Derick of Clarenceville, Quebec. “Well, with Brockway trucks you can’t have just one.”
Both Clay Derick and his brother Mark own a pair of Brockway trucks, though each only brought one — this year.
“I’m going to restore this one here and there’s another one that I bought that I’m going to be restoring, too,” said Mark Derick, who said his girlfriend has offered to drive the second truck down for next year’s edition.
The truck show has become a yearly ritual for Clay Derick, whose passion for Brockway was established long ago.
“I haven’t missed a show since 2000,” Derick said. “He (Mark) drove a truck years ago, a Brockway, that I fell in love with when I was a kid and it just grew from there.”
The brothers are both owner-operators and have been driving trucks for years. It’s something that helped stoke their devotion for the brand.
“Once you get a piece of this in your blood, it’s like a disease,” Clay Derick said. “It consumes you but it’s a passion.”
For Mark Derick, this is his first truck show. He’s already making plans for a return visit in addition to his restoration efforts.
“My first highway job was driving for Brockway,” Derick said. “I’m getting to the age where I can do more stuff like this.”
Over 3,000 visitors are expected in downtown this weekend for the show. The event runs through Sunday and will feature a variety of activities for enthusiasts and families alike.
“It’s a boost to the economy and pays tribute to Brockway,” said Doreen Bates, the chief operating officer of the Central New York Living History Center.
Events continue tonight, with a pork roast buffet at 5 p.m. at the Brockway Museum in the center. That will be followed by an auction of Brockway parts and memorabilia at 8 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday is the biggest day of the show, with a parade from the museum down to Main Street. Trucks will be parked down Main Street from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., allowing visitors an opportunity to see the variety of vehicles that Brockway produced. An awards ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. in front of the NBT Bank.
One new event to the show is helicopter rides at the museum.
The parade’s unofficial parade marshal is Betsy Brockway, the granddaughter of George Brockway, the founder of the Brockway Motor Truck Co.
The truck company, formerly Brockway Carriage Works and Brockway Delivery Wagons, was incorporated in 1912. The company’s Cortland plant on Central Avenue would remain open until the liquidation of Brockway in 1977.
The weekend wraps up with two additional meals, a chicken barbecue and Brockway employee reunion Saturday at 5 p.m and a pancake breakfast Sunday morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The museum will have extended hours and a discounted, $5 rate for admission. Instead of the usual 5 p.m close, the museum will be open until 9 p.m. today and Saturday. There will be additional Sunday hours as well, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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