I recently received an email from a viewer asking me why I haven't updated the blog here at www.expeditiontexas.tv in over a year. I could only answer honestly, "I didn't think anyone read it!"
His thoughtful answer to that was, "I guess you were wrong."
He was right.
I have never understood the purpose of blogs. What's the point, I wondered? Why would someone want to read the personal random musings of another individual? Yet, all over the internet, there are blogs about this, that, and the other. I have a unique opportunity that I have been missing out on with you. I have the chance to share with you some of the stories of life on the road with Expedition Texas that I have only shared with friends and sponsors, until now. On TV, you see the lost history. You see the places that make Texas special, but what you don't see is what makes this show special.
I have the unique privilege of working with people I really love and care about. If you've ever watched the credits at the end of the show, you'll see that there is more than one Mauldin listed. Jacob Mauldin is my 13 year-old son. He loves traveling the highways with me and has always been my biggest fan and toughest critic. He lets me know if something is cool or if it is lame. Jacob's responsibility on our "expeditions" is to make sure we have all the equipment we need and that all release forms are signed at each stop.
Michael Shackelford has been my best friend since second grade. I trained him to run the camera and he was able to spend time on the road with me shooting the show.
Joe Silva worked for me at a radio station I managed several years ago. He went on to manage the station himself after I left. Joe occasionally shoots the show and is a great travel companion and we spend hours talking as we drive. Jacob and Joe always have lots of fun.
Jeff Miller is a producer and has occasionally joined us for expeditions. His company produces the TV show, Young Country. I've hosted his show. He's shot mine. Jeff is a great guy and I really enjoy talking to him during our recent long trip to South Texas. I had taken Jacob and my son Ryan along on that trip. Ryan and Jacob had been kidding each other and Ryan got a bad case of the giggles. He was laughing constantly and I finally told him to calm down because I though he was bothering Jeff. Jeff immediately told me, "Hey, there's nothing wrong with a happy kid." That almost brought tears to my eyes and that one little bit of wisdom has totally changed how I relate to my kids. There is NOTHING wrong with a happy kid. Treasure that laughter. Thanks for the lesson, Jeff.
Valerie Anderson is a monkey.
Okay, that sentence was a joke. She'll get it. Valerie Anderson is a family friend. She is my wife's best friend. She is also a great photographer, so she is a natural behind the camera for Expedition Texas. Valerie never goes on any of the road trips with us...because you don't go traipsing across the state with your wife's best friend. But, when we have a local shoot in East Texas, I always get her to run the camera.
Crystal Gonzalez is a recent addition to the show. Her title is associate producer; a job that she can mostly do from home while she enjoys the company of her sweet baby, Paisley and her smart and talented husband, Michael.
Of course, I couldn't do any of it without the love and support of my wife, Julia Mauldin. Dang. I guess I should put her in the credits too!
That's a little about the people. They are the cast of behind the scenes characters that you will begin to hear stories about here in this blog, "Road Stories with Expedition Texas."