Line One
Roses & Razzberries

ROSE to the people of Brunswick, MO. While OOIDA member Mark Meller was in Iraq serving in the military, his wife, Doris, was holding down the home front and working at the Route 24 Diner in Brunswick. March 21, a fire burned the couple’s home, taking everything except the clothes Doris was wearing, the car she drove to work and Mark’s truck. The fire even took their beloved dog. The Mellers could not find affordable insurance since the house was so old. That’s when Doris’ neighbors, the 925 residents of Brunswick, stepped up, providing her an apartment, clothes, furniture, appliances ... even a purebred spaniel. “The people have been fantastic,” Doris told The Kansas City Star. “That’s just the way they are.”

OOIDA member Maury Tieszen, Estherville, IA, gives a RAZZBERRY to a driver he noticed while fueling in California. A United Van Lines rig out of Fenton, MO, was next to his. “As the driver is talking, I realize he’s taking the cap off his porta-potty and dumping raw sewage into the garbage can! The smell was atrocious.” Meanwhile, Maury noticed an RV dump less than 20 yards from the driver’s fuel island. “Maybe we should all start relieving ourselves in the garbage cans instead of using the restrooms — this way the truck stops could save on the water usage, labor paid to clean restrooms, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. The only person to suffer would be the poor peon hired for garbage detail.”

ROSE to American Airlines President Colleen Barrett, who recently told PBS radio that she’ll always remember a special group of truck drivers. “I was raised in New England by a poor family and worked for a paper company that printed bills of lading. I would give the bills to the drivers and talk with them. But I was instructed to not be too friendly — the office manager said it wasn’t professional, but I didn’t like that instruction.” One winter, Colleen’s house burned down, and the family lost everything. The drivers who had come to know Colleen got together and for a couple hundred dollars, bought her a coat. “If I had paid attention to the office manager, this probably wouldn’t have happened — that winter coat was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received,” she recalled.

OOIDA member William Chinn, Loudon, TN, gives a ROSE to the Tom Nehl Truck Co. in Lake City, FL, where William recently bought a rig. When workers discovered two teeth broken on the crank gear, they didn’t just “throw it back together,” William said. Instead, they tore it down and replaced it no charge. As a courtesy, they also added a couple antenna and a light kit. “The service was fast, and they gave me a really good price. The sales manager, Jim Echols, said his dad was an owner-operator all his life, and he feels compelled to go the extra mile for owner-operators. The service I received was unbelievably great ... the whole experience was definitely unusual in these times, and I just wanted to say a public “Thanks.”

In trucking, professionalism is important on all levels. OOIDA member Alvis Meaney gives a ROSE to Garry L. Yeramyshev for consistent professionalism. Garry’s been a dockworker for 12 years at Lincoln Poultry, Lincoln, NE.

OOIDA members Daniel and Helen Brasure, Elkton, MD, give Land Line Magazine a RAZZBERRY for the “buxom” ad that appeared in the March/April issue. “We were very offended,” the two wrote. “We feel the Long Haul advertisement insert was in poor taste. The photo was indecent, and the heading was even more disgusting. This advertisement implies that waitresses are a hobby for truckers. How wrong they have it. I thought we’re trying to clean up our image. Well, this certainly doesn’t help.”