The Spirit sets up in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

By Chuck Robinson, Land Line staff editor | 11/6/2018

Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, hears the Grand Ole Opry calling as he directs the truck to Nashville, Tenn.

The Spirits of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Candy Bass TA Travel Center in Nashville on Nov. 7-9

It is at the James Robertson Parkway exit off I-24, Exit 48.

The Spirit will be coming from Spartanburg, N.C., and before that Kenly, S.C.

The truck stop is named for Candy Bass, who was recognized in 2016 as a Citizen Driver.

TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers brands, recognized exemplary truck drivers who demonstrate good citizenship, safety, community involvement, and leadership through this program beginning in 2013. Each Citizen Driver gets a TA or Petro truck stop named for them, and Candy picked Nashville.

OOIDA’s Jon Osburn also was named a Citizen Driver in 2016.

Jon and Candy share a connection that goes beyond being named Citizen Drivers at the same time. Land Line’s Greg Grisolano wrote about it here.

Candy was involved in a wreck on I-40 near Grants, N.M., when a pickup with a motor home behind it hit her tractor. She was severely injured. A paramedic was flown in to stabilize her and transport her to a hospital. That paramedic was Jon, then 34 and a former Navy hospital corpsman who had done three tours of duty in Vietnam.

The Candy Bass TA is in the thick of things in Nashville, across U.S. 41 from Titan Stadium

The Nashville TA is a couple of miles from the Grand Ole Opry’s Ryman Auditorium, on the other side of the Cumberland River. It is a mile or so from the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum and about 2 miles from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and don’t forget the Johnny Cash Museum.

It also is close to the state capitol.

“If I wanted to get away and see stuff, it’s a walk – just a walk,” Jon said. “Anyone who wants to hang out for a weekend and be a tourist, this is the perfect stop.”

Stuff is in easy walking distance or he has ridden a bicycle on some trips.

The truck stop, being so close to the Cumberland River, was flooded by heavy rain in May 2010 and has since been renovated.

There are 167 parking spots at the Nashville TA.

The first part of the week The Spirit was in Spartanburg, and it was busy, even on a foggy, rainy Monday. Parking was at a premium. That truck stop has a healthy number of reserved parking spots (51), and those were all taken, Jon said.

There are some warehouses in the area, including an Amazon fulfillment center that opened in 2013, so that must have contributed to the number of professional truckers in the area and at the truck stop.

Before Spartanburg, at the Kenly 95 truck stop in South Carolina over the weekend, several OOIDA members stopped in to greet Jon.

“This was a ‘thank you OOIDA’ weekend, which is really nice to have every once in a while,” Jon said.

Staff Writer Tyson Fisher got several “attaboys” for his monthly blog on parking, the Parking Zone. 

Also, Contributing Editor-at-Large John Bendel’s take on the American Trucking Associations’ Independent Contractor Ambassadors Program representing independent truck drivers, struck a chord with a lot of professional truckers. He called them “the goofy ambassadors of trucking.”

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit. 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.

In addition, during OOIDA’s annual Truckers for Troops campaign, which runs through Friday, Nov. 9, you can join OOIDA or renew your membership while also helping raise funds to send care packages to service personnel in combat zones. Jon will be glad to sign you up.

During the Truckers for Troops campaign, new and renewal memberships are discounted to the special price of $35. In addition, 10 percent of the amount paid goes into a fund for the care packages and OOIDA matches every penny that goes into the fund.

Truckers for Troops also helps a variety of veterans’ facilities in the United States, including those that assist or provide housing for wounded, disabled or homeless service members.



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