Line One
Roses & Razzberries

RAZZBERRY goes to Nashville lawyer Bart Durham for the creation of a 20-episode series of commercials that features a continuing storyline about a little league coach who gets into a crash with, you guessed it, a tired trucker.

There's even a Web site dedicated to the series, called "Coach Foster Fights Back." As of press time, only one episode had aired, so it's impossible to say just whom Coach Foster will be fighting, but we're betting the trucker isn't going to be the hero of this piece.

Memo to Mr. Durham and all the other ambulance chasers out there: The tired trucker is a tired stereotype. It's time to give it a rest.

Okay, so maybe we're being nitpicky here, but a RAZZBERRY goes out to The Kansas City Star. A December news story bore the headline, "Truckers help haul markets down." Only one problem. Technically, it wasn't the truckers themselves doing the hauling in this case, it was the carriers.

Specifically, it was Yellow Roadway Corp. and SCS Transportation Inc., whose stocks were both down on the last week of trading in 2005.

In a world where truckers get blamed for pretty much everything else, do we really need to blame them for the condition of the stock market as well?

Speaking of news coverage, RAZZBERRIES to the Indiana media, specifically the Indianapolis Star. With headlines like "Truckers endorse toll plan" and "Truckers back revised plan to raise tolls," you'd think everyone in the trucking industry had given the thumbs-up to increasing tolls.

Of course, you would be wrong. It was only the Indiana Motor Truck Association who backed the move. We can think of at least 133,000 truckers who'd rather not pay more than they already do to drive through Indiana.

And just so people don't think we're completely anti-mainstream media here at Land Line, a ROSE goes out to Bob Driver, a columnist for Tampa Bay Newspapers - a collection of weekly community publications.

Driver - whose name we love, by the way - wrote a column in December 2005 lamenting the changes in the trucking industry over the past 30 years. He wrote about all of the problems truckers face today - tolls, taxes, police stops, weigh stations and legal restrictions, to name a few - and how tough life is on the road.

Driver then went on to urge his readers to take more care when driving near trucks on the road and remind them that truck drivers don't have the maneuverability or the line of sight that four-wheelers have. Driver wrote, ".truckers are no longer universally admired, as they once seemed to be."

Maybe not, but we know one columnist who is certain to be universally admired by truckers.

RAZZBERRY goes to Georgia State Rep. David Graves, R-Macon, for trying to weasel his way out of a drunken driving charge. Though we do have to give Graves credit for coming up with an interesting defense.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Graves tried to cite a 100-year-old law that makes General Assembly members immune from prosecution while in session. 

The trouble is, the law - which was written to prevent politicians from ordering the arrest of their rivals - only applies if the politician in question is on his or her way to or from a session or committee meeting.

Graves could not prove that the dinner he had attended that evening was either, so he was convicted.

"I'm playing every card I got in the deck," Graves told officers during the stop. Too bad it wasn't a full deck.

Land Line's own Bill Hudgins sends out a ROSE to Robert Miley, of Palistine, AR, and his family. 

For about the past 20 Thanksgivings, the Miley family has handed out coffee, hot chocolate and cheerful greetings to truckers and other travelers at the Palistine rest area on Interstate 40. 

Hudgins tells us Miley got the idea after returning from a mission trip to Colorado, where he saw members of a local Odd Fellows chapter giving out coffee. Miley's church took on the project for several years, but eventually everyone dropped out except him. 

Hudgins said Miley still sets up his table outside the rest stop building and gives travelers a welcome break from the road.   

We're thankful for guys like Miley, who give truckers a welcome break from the way they are often treated on the road.

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

July Digital Edition