By Dave Sweetman, Land Line columnist
About 10 years ago, I was fortunate to be able to recognize some individuals on the truck show competition circuit with an award called “Diesel Dave’s Pick of the Litter.” My criteria has always been that the individual would be a good mentor to new competitors, someone who exemplifies a true professional driver on all levels, as well as being a seasoned show truck competitor. One of the most important things is the friends we make along the way – friendships that many on the competition circuit can tell you will last a lifetime.
At this year’s edition of the Paul K. Young, I was able to once again award my “Pick” to a guy I have known for nearly 20 years. He’s the owner of a red Peterbilt 359 that is one of the world’s most famous trucks for many reasons.
Did you ever meet someone who is just cool? Not James Dean or Fonzie cool, like Hollywood wants us to see, but real life, good guy cool. “Cowpoke,” the shiny red Peterbilt with the cartoon character of the cowboy on a rocking horse has been a mirror of the class and professionalism of its owner, Bob Martin, for as long as I can remember. See, Bob is kinda like a Will Rogers character, full of great stories, experiences and opinions. His sense of humor and ability to tell tales has also opened new doors, as he has been writing those tales for Land Line Magazine.
Recently, with the tragic earthquakes in Japan, Bob was very concerned about the welfare of his Japanese friend, Mr. Kato, also a Peterbilt owner and “Oval head.” You can read more about that in the Land Line blogs. But my point is, it shows even further that Bob’s class and his friendships know no bounds or limits. He’s a good egg (but slightly cracked), and I am pleased that my Diesel Dave’s Pick of the Litter Award goes to our friend, Bob “Cowpoke” Martin. LL