PILOT MOUNTAIN — Temperatures approaching the 100-degree mark in Pilot Mountain didn’t stop fans of a popular television show from waiting under a boiling sun Saturday afternoon to meet one of its co-stars.
Taylor Hutchins, who journeyed across Surry County from her home in Lowgap for that opportunity, was among those who lined up along West Main Street to see Bobby Brantley, who appears on “Lizard Lick Towing.”
She had to wait outside Chelli & Associates for about 30 minutes before her time finally came to venture inside the air-conditioned business, where Brantley sat at a table. Hutchins had him sign her shirt, and along with it proudly displayed a big smile afterward.
“It was worth it,” the Lowgap resident said of coping with the long line and heat. “Most definitely.”
Brantley was appearing in Pilot Mountain as part of the Hot Nights, Hot Cars cruise-in series being held on the first Saturday of every month in downtown Pilot Mountain through October. The “Lizard Lick” series, which stars married couple Ron and Amy Shirley, recreates vehicle possessions.
The cruise-ins typically feature live beach music (The Fantastic Shakers were slated to perform Saturday) and an array of classic cars. Organizers believed the visit by the co-star of “Lizard Lick Towing,” shown on the truTV cable network, would provide an extra boost to Saturday’s event and attract people who hadn’t made a point of visiting Pilot Mountain before.
That proved to be a winning assumption, judging by the crowd that came to see Brantley from near and far.
Two people were there from eastern Tennessee, Kamryn Dagel, a 12-year-old who described herself as a huge fan of the “Lizard Lick” program, and her mother Jana.
“I saw the sign,” the youth said of a banner advertising Brantley’s appearance, “and said, ‘Mom, I’m going!’” The Dagels have been visiting relatives in the Pilot Mountain area during the Fourth of July week.
Closer to home, Joshua McCann, 11, of Pilot Mountain, said he likes “everything” about “Lizard Lick Towing.” The youth has been a fan of the program “ever since by dad first tuned it (the TV) in to the show,” he said of Thomas McCann.
Brantley autographed a picture of himself for Joshua. “I’m just crazy excited,” the local resident said while showing it off to others in line.
The visiting celebrity also signed T-shirts and other items for a steady procession of fans, as well as had photos made with them. He brought his golf cart, a trailer and a tow truck with him, which were parked outside.
In between autographs, Brantley said he was impressed by Saturday’s turnout. “I love this crowd,” he said.
Brantley added that the show has developed a solid following that tends to manifest itself during events such as the appearance in Pilot Mountain. “We always have great, loyal fans.”
Despite Saturday’s heat, attendance at the cruise-in was heavy overall. Classic and muscle cars were displayed all along West Main Street as well as parking areas on adjoining streets.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.