Line One
Roses & Razzberries

Douglas Westbrook, an OOIDA member from Menard, TX, sends a Texas-sized RAZZBERRY to Valero Energy Corp.

Douglas was driving down Interstate 35 in Oklahoma recently when he saw a billboard proclaiming that the Valero Travel Plaza was “for travelers, not truckers.”

Guess the folks at Valero don’t seem to care that truckers drive four-wheelers, too, and have any number of choices when it comes to deciding where to buy their gasoline.

The folks at Valero could take a lesson from Petro. A ROSE for the truck stop and travel plaza giant, which donated a dollar to the USO for every chicken fried steak sold at its Iron Skillet restaurants in the month of May.

The USO provides recreation and entertainment for military personnel around the world. Petro said in a news release it hoped to raise $100,000 for the organization. That’s a lot of chicken fried steak.

A roadside ROSE goes out to the mysterious trucker who used his rig to prevent an accident scene from going from bad to worse.

Police in Madison, WI, said the trucker was westbound on the city’s west Beltway in early May when an eastbound pickup crossed the median, slamming into two other cars.

The quick-thinking truck driver angled his truck across several lanes to shield the accident scene from oncoming traffic.

Although the pickup driver was killed and two others were injured, it could have been a lot worse if not for the thoughtful truck driver.

Randy Newton, an OOIDA member from West Unity, OH, sends out two truckloads of RAZZBERRIES to the truck driver who ran over “Peanut,” Randy’s 2-and-a-half-year-old Jack Russell terrier at a truck stop in Virginia.

Randy said he had raised Peanut since the dog was 6 weeks old and he was his “trucking buddy and beloved family member.” To make matters worse, the driver who did it didn’t even stop to apologize.

We haven’t used one of these in a while, but it’s time to pull out one of our patented ROSEBERRIES once more. First, a big, fat RAZZBERRY to Indiana State Sen. Tom Wyss of Fort Wayne.

In the wake of a crash on the Indiana Toll Road earlier this year, the senator had this to say: “Whatever you do, don’t call them accidents. They are crashes, and they are done by irresponsible, aggressive commercial vehicle drivers.”

Well, here’s one for you, senator: “Whatever you do, don’t call it intelligent discourse. It is an asinine statement and it is made by irresponsible, uninformed Indiana lawmakers.”

On an interesting side note, the senator’s comments appeared in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, as well as the Indianapolis Star as written above.

Yet on his own Web site, they appeared with slightly different wording: “Whatever you do, don’t call them accidents. They are crashes often caused by irresponsible, aggressive drivers.” No commercial vehicle drivers here, Sen. Wyss? Guess big rig wheels aren’t the only things that know how to spin.

For the ROSE part of this, we turn to Dave Hughes, a truck driver from LaGrange, IN. He was so incensed by the senator’s comments that he penned a thoughtful, well-written, intelligent response that was published in the Journal-Gazette.

Dave was quick to point out that trucks aren’t the only ones out there on the road, and they aren’t the only ones who cause accidents.

Thanks, Dave, for pointing out to the senator what the rest of us spending any time at all on the
road – even going to and from work – know is the truth.

Jeff Phillips, an OOIDA member from Pocahontas, AR, sends out some billboard-sized ROSES to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Yeah, we thought it was crazy, too, but Jeff said he saw signs posted by the DOT along the highway reminding drivers that trucks can’t stop fast, so they shouldn’t cut them off.

Jeff said he thought he was reading it wrong when he saw the first sign, but then he saw another one. Don’t worry, Jeff, given the state of Illinois’ previous record of unfriendliness toward truck drivers, we’d have probably thought we were hallucinating, too.

“Roses and Razzberries” is written by Terry Scruton, senior correspondent for “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio. He may be reached at