Line One
Roses & Razzberries

RAZZBERRY to phone company Sprint, who billed an Auburn, MA, cemetery 12 cents, including 10 cents for a call placed by David Towles Feb. 16 — five years after Towles died. Cemetery superintendent Wayne Bloomquest told The Associated Press: “Our clients here don’t usually get mail. Maybe we should start putting mailboxes on the monuments.” 

Meanwhile, a call to Sprint’s automated service March 6 showed charges on the unpaid account had increased Towles’ bill to $3.95.

OOIDA member Earl Evans gives a ROSE to Bridgeport, OH, its mayor, John Callarik, and police officer Larry Jarrel. While hauling air freight from Pittsburgh to Columbus, Earl stopped on U.S. 7 during a blinding snowstorm. “The snow was up to the bottom of my doors, and then it piled up over the headlights — I knew I was in trouble,” Earl recalled. “It was snowing so hard I couldn’t see.” After waiting a bit in the cab, Mayor Callarik approached the truck: “Do you want to get out of here,” he asked. “We can feed you and give you a place to sleep.” Earl said he could wait and crawl out the window if need be. Callarik, who owns a backhoe and bulldozer, wouldn’t hear of it. He called dispatcher Jarrel, who got eight people who worked for two hours, digging out impacted snow from under the rig. Jarrel checked on Earl’s condition several times before the workers arrived. “They all acted like I was one of the family, just one of the gang,” Earl said. “I tried to pay them, they said ‘no,’ and they added, ‘I know your truck is like your baby.’”

ROSE to trucker Gary Whittiker of Soddy Daisy, TN, who helped Tennessee police recently when he got a reckless driver off the road. According to a report from WTVC television in Chattanooga, TN, an unidentified driver on I-24 in Marion County hit signs and endangered other motorists. Whittiker followed the car until it pulled over. He then got out of his truck and pulled the keys out of the ignition to prevent the driver’s escaping. Whittiker kept the driver at the side of the road until law-enforcement officers arrived. Tennessee state trooper Ronnie Roe told the station it would have been hard to catch the driver if Whittiker hadn’t stepped in. “We had officers where we thought was the correct area, but we weren’t at the right place at the right time,” he said. “This truckdriver was. We really appreciate our truckers out there.”

ROSE to the unnamed truckers who came to the rescue of stranded motorists after a winter storm hit Arkansas. The Associated Press reported truckdrivers went down the highway knocking on car windows and checking on drivers, some of whom were stranded up to 10 hours on I-40. “My stomach was growling because I hadn’t eaten anything,” motorist Renee Lewis told The AP. “That man went back to his cab. He brought us chips, cupcakes, baked chicken and rice. I cannot believe somebody took the time to do that.” The storm put more than 12 inches of snow on Arkansas as it spread out over the south-central United States. Roads were closed in parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, and at least 12 people died of weather-related causes.

OOIDA member Carl Sparks gives a RAZZBERRY to the Chickasaw Travel Plaza on Highway 9 and I-35 in Goldsby, OK. The stop, not far from Carl’s daughter’s house, said it would charge $3.00 a night for parking, which would be refunded if Carl purchased fuel. A security guard would watch the parked rigs, he was told. After parking overnight near the fuel desk and under lights, “We found that every LED light on both sides and the back had been taken, along with the rear mud flaps,” Carl said. “The really upsetting part was that the six rear LED lights had been drilled out.” When Carl asked how this could happen, he was told, “No one saw anything.” He asks, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

ROSE to three North Dakota owner-operators who made sure two rare wild horse herds received a month’s supply of free hay hauled to drought-stricken central South Dakota, where the herds reside. OOIDA members Rick Slama and Kenny Gross, along with owner-operator Paul Peterson, all of North Dakota, volunteered their three trucks to haul hay 600 miles from their to two ranches in South Dakota. Karen Sussman, president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, the recipient of the good-will truckers’ hay, said, “We are overjoyed at the miracles that continue to come our way here. We know fuel prices are up, and this makes this response to our needs even more meaningful.” The Grosses also donated 40 large bales of alfalfa. Jerry Lykken, who drove Gross’ truck, volunteered his time. And the Petersons donated 10 large square bales of alfalfa.