The next stop for The Spirit has historical significance for OOIDA

By Chuck Robinson, Land Line staff editor | 10/9/2018

The next stop for OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer is Lamar, Pa. It is a place of historical significance for the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association.

This is where OOIDA’s first president, J.W. Edwards, stopped traffic with his rig during the oil embargo in 1973. He refused to move until he got a meeting with power brokers in Washington, D.C.

Truckers were fed up with high fuel prices and aggravating regulations.

The governor of Pennsylvania arranged meetings in Washington, D.C., for Edwards. When Edwards asked for support from other truckers for the meeting, one of the truckers who responded was Jim Johnston, who would become OOIDA’s president and lead the organization for more than 40 years.

You can read more about OOIDA’s early history here.

Jon Osburn and the Spirit of the American Trucker touring tractor-trailer plan to be at the Lamar TA on Oct. 11-12. The Lamar TA is at I-80 and state Route 64, Exit 173.

I-80 in northern Pennsylvania does not go through major metropolitan areas. It is known as the the Keystone Shortway. It is a toll-free alternative to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has pitched the idea of tolling I-80. Funds would have helped pay for other transportation needs in the state, officials said. The Federal Highway Administration rejected this application for a third time in 2010.

This is the first of three consecutive stops in Pennsylvania for The Spirit. Stops also are planned Oct. 13-15 in Carlisle (Exit 226 of I-81) and Oct. 16-17 in Scranton (Exit 178B of I-81).

The stop before Lamar was at the Ann Arbor, Mich, TA. Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit, said he chatted with many new Americans, immigrants making a new life in the U.S. and in the trucking industry.

“They were asking questions, good questions,” he said. “They are being serious about being a truck driver, and that is great.”

The trip from Ann Arbor took Jon just south of the Allegheny National Forest and through the southern part of the Moshannon State Forest. There also are some state game lands near I-80.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. You also can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Also, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.




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