The history of 2 %
Ever see a 2% Patch or pin on a vanners jacket and wonder why?
Turn the clock back 30 years and here is the reason they wear them.
2% is spreading rapidly and its feelings seemed to pop up throughout this country and Canada at about the same time. The movement originated from a letter published in the March '76 issue of the National Street Van Association's (NSVA) newsletter. The letter claimed that 98% of the van movement felt that Midwest
Vans LTD (MVL), of which I am a member wasan undesirable element in vanning. It claimed that 98% did not mind how the NSVA treated their
members, or how they ran their truckins, 98% did not care about the NSVA's list of no-no's...
no all night partying, no "boogie 'til you puke", no wet T-shirts. Just the NSVA and suburban
camping at its finest.
Thus the 2% was born, and word spread fast as the MVL, over 500 strong, vanned to every major truckin
this year to find that vanners all over shared their "feelings" too. Vanners everywhere who cared became known as the 2%.
that the NSVA cares more about the almighty dollar and its sponsors than it does about the average vanner. The feeling grows that the NSVA, rather than offering itself as an information source and promoting unity among vanners, merely "sanctions" events and
clubs and offers a list of no-no's. Clubs and independent vanners are either approved, chartered and sanctioned, or unrecognized and/or labeled undesirable (as MVL was).
Commercialism is another point of conflict between NSVA and the 2%. Commercialism is a universal concept that is definable only through its application.
Take a club like Syndicated Truckers from Niagara Falls, Ontario. They held a field meet in May, made "x" number of dollars, and turned the money they made back to the members in the form of a set of club
colors for each. That's the way it should be. A club hosts an event, makes a buck and gives it right back to its members.
When a national
association like the NSVA makes a buck, like at Bowling Green, you can bet that the administrative costs of running the association will devour almost every penny of the members treasury, leaving nothing for its coast-to-coast, border-to border members.
When people depend on an organization for a living they start to look away from the people's need and see only the dollar sign.
Compare the 4th National Truck-In in Colorado to Bowling Green. Rocky Mountain Vans expected and provided services for 4000 vans, and got much less. They
kept concessions to a minimum and barely broke even when it was over. They put most of the money into services, dash plaques and beer for the vanners. At Bowling Green, on the other hand, the NSVA expected 8000 vans, got 6500, and provided services for 1500.
Then they provided a long list of rules, not to mention the police. Reports have it that there were 25 to 30 plainclothes officers and 10 narcotics officers.
I have been to many truck-ins where there were police, and still had a great time. I have seen them walking the West Coast Van Nationals with an attitude of "we're here if you need us". At Butler, Pennsylvania, the police attitude
was "stay out of the stables and everything is cool". But at Bowling Green, officers with guns concealed under their Hawaiian shirts moved through the crowd. Letting the police dampen the party spirit of the vanners showed that the NSVA has lost sight of why
vanners go to truckins. It certainly isn't to file obediently past rows of commercial booths. Vanners like to know what's new but the commercialism should be secondary to the partying.