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Roses & Razzberries

Although spring is here, Land Line reader Greg Beckwith offers up some wintry ROSES to some folks in Iowa.

During a snowstorm in early March, Interstates 80 and 35 were shut down near Des Moines and the major truck stops were overflowing. The Jordan Creek Town Center mall in West Des Moines opened its parking lot to truckers until the roads cleared.

Greg also offers a ROSE to the local news crews who covered the shutdown, who gave special focus to the plight of truckers who were stranded. A lot of mainstream media outlets would have blamed truckers for both the highway shutdown and the storm itself.

A bushel of RAZZBERRIES go out to the readers of the Bloomsburg (PA). In February, the paper was filled with letters to the editor from readers who blamed trucks for snowstorms that shut down interstates in their area.

A ROSE, however, goes to the editor, who responded with this comment:

“If they took all the trucks off the road, chucklehead, you’d have to start growing all your own food and making your own clothing and everything else you need to survive, because just about all of that stuff is delivered by trucks. Get a brain.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

OOIDA members Jerry and Cindy Ankney of Chatsworth, GA, send a bouquet of ROSES to Truckers Helping Truckers, which provides emergency financial assistance to truck drivers.

Jerry suffers from several illnesses. The couple is raising their adopted 7-year-old grandson and Jerry’s truck repair fund ran out last year. Cindy said without the help of Truckers Helping Truckers, they wouldn’t have made it through.

We’re all for any organization that can help truckers – or anyone else, for that matter – out of a tight spot.

RAZZBERRIES to the much-maligned Halliburton Co., which in March decided to pack up its Houston headquarters and move to Dubai, one of the countries in the United Arab Emirates.

Media reports said the move could save the company hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. taxes.

Right. Because if there’s one company that needs tax relief, it’s poor, struggling Halliburton. Other than being connected to Vice President Dick Cheney and getting exclusive rights to billions in U.S. military contracts in Iraq and elsewhere, that company just can’t catch a break.

Whoops. The ROSES & RAZZBERRIES sarcasm meter just exploded. Maybe we can contract Halliburton to fix it.

Land Line reader Jim Gates of Oklahoma City sends out a big ROSE to the two Arizona State Troopers who helped dig several trucks out when they got stuck in the snow on Interstate 17 near Flagstaff.

Jim said the troopers even helped one of the other truckers put chains on and hooked one of the trucks to a snow plow to pull it off the median.

Jim wrote: “You know, the rest of the country’s troopers should take lessons from the Arizona State Police.”

You’ll get no argument from us on that one.


A temperature-compensated RAZZBERRY goes to fuel pump manufacturer Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

On the verge of making a deal to bring temperature-compensated pumps to California to combat the problem of hot fuel, the pump company suddenly backed out, citing logistics and software problems.

We’re sure, of course, that pressure from the big oil companies that constitute much of Gilbarco’s customer base had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the decision.

There goes that sarcasm meter again.


Faye Wieloch, widow of OOIDA member Ken Wieloch, sends out a truckload of ROSES to the city of Madras, OR, and to the folks at the J&L Truck Stop & Cafe.

Ken was at the truck stop in January when he collapsed. Several people rushed in to help with CPR, calling paramedics and even the company Ken was leased to.

Unfortunately, Ken did not survive. A friend of his picked up the truck a few days later and found it decorated with flowers. Faye has received sympathy cards from the people at the truck stop and from the doctor who treated Ken.

We’re glad those people were there to help Faye through what must have been a very difficult time.

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