Line One
Roses & Razzberries

Land Line reader George Sitar sends a truckload of RAZZBERRIES to the town of Dupont, PA, for its anti-Jake brake law. Dupont sits in a valley, with most of the major roads in and out of town coming downhill. One of those roads, Highway 315, is a major truck route, and there are two refineries and a major industrial park just outside of town.

Highway 315, it seems, leads past several residential areas on the way to those destinations. Those residents have complained about the noise from truck engine brakes.

Here’s something for them to think about next time they complain: as loud as those brakes may be, that’s nothing compared to the sound of a truck crashing into your house because it was unable to stop.

John P. Miller, an OOIDA member from Muscatine, IA, sends out an airplane load of ROSES to the truck drivers who saved the life of a crop duster in Illinois in July.

Pilot Patrick Buss was flying his crop duster near the intersection of Interstates 80 and 74 when he had a mechanical problem that caused his plane to lose power. Crashing into a cornfield, Buss was trapped in the cockpit with his legs on fire.

Staff from WQAD-TV, a local ABC affiliate, reported that four truck drivers came to Buss’ rescue, parking their rigs and making their way through the 12-foot-high corn to pull him to safety.

One of those drivers was fellow OOIDA member Doug Kidwell of Bedford, KY. The others were James May of Omaha, NE; Demetrios Rogers of Chattanooga, TN; and Robert Goldman of Niagara Falls, NY.

So ROSES, and then some, to these angels in the cornfield.

OOIDA member David Kemnitz of Ashton, IL, would like to send out “two, count ‘em, TWO” truckloads of RAZZBERRIES to a certain truck stop restaurant he visited earlier this year. We won’t use the name, but you could say that, after his experience, David would like them to take a “Flying” leap.

David walked into the restaurant looking for a little comfort food. What he found was a room full of dirty tables and no wait staff in sight.

David says he sat at a table, along with someone else’s dirty dishes, for 10 minutes before giving up and heading for the door. On his way out, he met another trucker who had the same experience. They decided to fill out comment cards and hand them to the manager, who took the cards, then promptly disappeared without a word.

A word to the wise, Mr. Manager, keep running your restaurant like that and you’ll see a real disappearing act: Poof! No more customers.

A RAZZBERRY to the Louisville Courier-Journal for its, um, “coverage” of the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics in September.

The convoy has its share of great story angles – a good cause; the happy, smiling kids riding in trucks; the truck drivers who are out to do a good deed and help raise money.

So, when it came time to cover this event, which of these angles did the Courier-Journal go for? None. Instead, it chose to highlight the fact that the convoy tied up traffic during its 35-mile run around Louisville.

That was it. Four tiny little paragraphs talking about traffic. No wonder newspaper readership is down so much these days, when papers like this wouldn’t know a good story if it rolled right up to them on 18 wheels.

OOIDA member Richard Summers of Keedysville, MD, sends out some ridin’ ROSES to Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Co.

At the Harley Owners Group, or HOG, rally in Knoxville, TN, in August, the company set up an 18-wheeler with motorcycles parked in all of the blind spots. It then invited motorcyclists to get up into the cab of the truck and see things from a truck driver’s point of view.

No disrespect to motorcyclists intended, but as much as we see them zipping in and out of traffic – only to hear them complain that nobody watches out for them when they’re on the road – it’s good to see a company take the time to educate bikers on just how hard it is for truckers to see them from where they sit.

You never truly know someone until you drive a mile in their big rig. Or ride a mile on their Harley. Or, well, you get the idea. LL

Terry Scruton may be reached at