Chicken Dinner News
Precious cargo, marrige vows
Covering member news and the happenings in trucking is much like reporting community news; it’s just that our stomping ground is bigger than most. Keeping up with the “community news” keeps our big old coast-to-coast neighborhood connected. Here’s one story about a couple who accepted a special load and one couple who just tied the knot – and all found a higher purpose.

By Kerry Evans-Spillman
Land Line staff 


Arizona pair makes permanent connection to amazing cargo
They used to be called “Lucky Lima.” But after losing 22 Marines and one Navy Corpsman in 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, that name no longer fit the Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment of Brook Park, OH.

Ohio artist Anita Miller read a newspaper article about the fallen soldiers, and a few months later she dreamed about a memorial. In her vision, paintings would be arranged in an octagon with life-size portraits of the men on eight 6-foot-by-7-foot canvases featuring their names as well as “ever-living” candles and boots for each soldier.

After more than two years of researching and painting, Anita was thrilled to see the Lima Company Memorial unveiled on Memorial Day 2008 in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse where it was displayed for six months. The exhibit moved to the Cincinnati Museum Center and was then requested by the National Museum of the Marine Corps for display from September 2009 to March 2010.

It was late last summer that OOIDA Member Dudley Campbell of Kingman, AZ, got a call from his load planner who said he had a load but it wasn’t very many miles. Anita called Dudley and his wife, Konnie, to tell them more about the precious cargo they had agreed to haul to the USMC museum in Virginia.

Dudley and Konnie immediately felt a connection with Anita and her creation. They carefully loaded and drove it to Virginia and later turned down a better-paying load for the privilege of taking the memorial back to Ohio.

Anita’s ultimate wish is for the memorial to tour nationally, and she would specifically like the Campbells to haul it. Dudley and Konnie are trying to help Anita make this happen. Konnie said: “Have you ever had a calling? This is what we’re supposed to do.”  

Anita is currently seeking sponsors and locations to host what she hopes will become “a true traveling exhibit.” To see the memorial and learn more, visit limacompanymemorial.org.

It’s a nice day for a chrome wedding
Myrna Russell wasn’t sure she had ever even known a trucker before meeting OOIDA Life Member Chuck Kemner of Punta Gorda, FL.

She’s a Wisconsin native who moved to Florida, enjoying retirement there with her husband until he passed away. Myrna remained in Florida but often went back to Wisconsin in the summer, always returning with fresh Wisconsin cheese to share with her friends at the Eagle Club in Port Charlotte, FL.

Chuck happened to be at the club one night when Myrna delivered another batch of the famous cheese. She said that night he ate most of it. Shortly after they went out for karaoke and kept bumping into each other around town.

It wasn’t long before Chuck, co-founder of the National Association of Show Trucks, introduced Myrna to truck shows. When Myrna attended a NAST show in Miami with Chuck, she loved the event, and loved seeing families work together to prepare their trucks for the show. Myrna now considers herself a “full-fledged NAST person.”

After four years of dating, she and Chuck finally tied the knot and in the most appropriate way – at a truck show. A NAST event was held at the Faith Assembly of God Church in Charleston, SC, on June 25 and 26. They married on the second day of the show as Grady Hendrix, aka “Shady Grady,” officiated the ceremony. Myrna’s sister Bonnie was her matron of honor and granddaughter Hope was the flower girl. Michael Fry, aka “Lowboy Lucas,” was Chuck’s best man.

There wasn’t much stressful pre-planning. The couple was thrilled with the ceremony and festivities, although they were surprised at being sent to the coroner’s office in Summerville, SC, to obtain their marriage license.

Joey Holiday performed a song written especially for the bride and groom. Myrna played a bit of a prank on Chuck for the garter toss, which was broadcast on Shady Grady and Lowboy Lucas’ “American Trucking Report” on WLCN TV 18, a South Carolina station. Video of Chuck discovering Myrna’s giant yellow bloomers is available at youtube.com/user/WLCN18. LL