Line One
Roses & Razzberries

A hoo-rah and a bunch of ROSES to marine Lance Cpl. James Stewart of Plattsburgh, NY, for coming to the aid of a trucker in need. In January 2005, Stewart happened to be on Interstate 87 in New York when a fuel tanker collided with a parked tractor-trailer and burst into flames.

Before the fire reached the cab, Stewart and another marine ran to the truck and freed the driver. Stewart was recently awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his actions.

We think he deserves that, and a whole lot more. Thanks to Stewart, that trucker can go on to live a wonderful life.

A digital ROSE goes to the folks at Pixar. Their latest animated feature, “Cars,” not only features a character called Mack who happens to be a talking Mack truck voiced by John Ratzenberger, but is also one who knows the rules of the road.

When Mack’s owner, a race car voiced by Owen Wilson, asks Mack to keep on driving even though it’s late at night and he’s tired, Mack actually cites hours-of-service regs as the reason he can’t continue. Though he is forced to keep driving by his owner, it is ultimately a group of rowdy four-wheelers that gets Mack in trouble.

Pixar’s previous movies have always shown a remarkable eye for detail, and “Cars” keeps that tradition rolling.

Cpl. Norm Schneiderhan, special project coordinator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, sends out a special bouquet of ROSES to an OOIDA member from Michigan. Schneiderhan, who organizes the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics, said the trucker showed up at a go-kart race for Special Olympics of Florida in Orlando and talked with a couple who were participating in the race to raise money.

Though he had never participated in the truck convoy because his schedule didn’t allow it, he said he had read about it and knew who Schneiderhan was.

It came time for the couple to get ready for the race, so they left him. When they came back, he was gone, but not without leaving behind a check for $500 made out to Special Olympics. Though he never identified himself while he was there, we think he is one OOIDA member who deserves to be recognized.

We interrupt this column to bring you an important message: RAZZBERRIES to Flying J which, according to a recent lawsuit, used special software to replace broadcast commercials on the televisions in its truck stops with commercials for trucking-related products.

Those replacement commercials were, of course, sold by Flying J. We’re sure the companies who paid millions of dollars to major networks for their original advertisements to be aired nationwide aren’t too thrilled with the idea that they might be replaced with a spot for Yosemite Sam mud flaps.

OOIDA members Sam and Delissa Tweed of Pulaski, VA, send out a truckload of fire-engine red ROSES to a group of firefighters Sam met on a recent run.

Sam was delivering a firetruck to Montreal when, on a routine rest stop, he happened upon another firetruck carrying a group of firefighters. Sam said the captain pulled him aside and asked him about the firetruck.

After chatting about the firetruck and looking it over for several minutes, the firefighters hopped on their own truck to leave. But before they did, the captain jumped off the truck and gave Sam the uniform shirt off his back as a sign of thanks for Sam’s hard work. So we offer this as a sign of thanks for the captain’s kind gesture.

A RAZZBERRY goes to the mainstream media for its reporting of former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey’s memoir earlier this year detailing how he came out of the closet before leaving office.

The media jumped all over McGreevey’s story, blaring salacious headline after salacious headline of his late-night encounters at “truck” stops all over the state.

Trouble is, McGreevey never said anything about truck stops: “So, instead, I settled for the detached anonymity of book stores and rest stops,” he writes in “The Confession.” That’s right, rest stops, not truck stops.

To the mainstream media this may seem like an insignificant difference, but for an industry that’s already struggling against an image of being a haven for every sort of illegal, illicit activity you can think of, it makes all the difference in the world.

By Senior Writer Terry Scruton. He may be reached at terry_scruton@landlinemag.com.

Do you know someone who deserves a ROSE or a RAZZBERRY?

Send suggestions to Land Line, Roses/Razzberries Department, 1 NW OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO, 64029. Or, you can fax it to (816) 443-2227.

Be sure to include your name, address and a number where you can be reached.

July Digital Edition