Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

OOIDA Life Member Gordon Alkire of Riley, KS, would like to send out some ROSES to Rush Trucks of Yuma, AZ.

Gordon was heading into the Arizona desert when the air conditioner in his truck went out. Not a situation you’d want to be stuck in. He stopped at Rush Trucks and explained what happened to the parts department. They decided it was most likely the compressor clutch. While they had one that fit, they were so busy they said they wouldn’t be able to get to it for a couple of days.

Not only did they let Gordon stay on the property and work on the air conditioner himself, Gordon says they gave him all of the advice and assistance they could and answered every question he had along the way.

As Gordon wrote in his email, that is service above and beyond the norm. We couldn’t agree more, and it’s good to know there are still some companies out there that do care about their customers.

ROSES to TravelCenters of America’s Band Together campaign, which this year raised a record-setting $278,000 for the St. Christopher Fund.

This is the third year for the campaign and it is the first time they sold out all of the wristbands. In spite of that, drivers kept on donating.

As if that wasn’t enough, when the bands were gone, TA employees came up with special events and contests to keep the promotion going including bake sales and even a pie-in-the-face contest.

The efforts resulted in the largest single donation the St. Christopher Fund has ever received. A truly remarkable effort for a truly good cause. 

ROSES to Pilot Flying J for its campaign to raise $100,000 for Wreaths Across America – the nonprofit group that places wreaths on the graves of thousands of military veterans each year.

The program started in October by selling special-edition mugs for $4.99 each at Pilot Travel Centers or Flying J Travel plazas across the country. With each purchase, $3 will go toward the wreath program. As of press time, we didn’t know yet how much money they had raised, but any money for Wreaths Across America is a good thing.

It’s called the “Cup for a Cause” campaign and that’s only fitting. We’ll raise our cup to that cause.

ROSES to the Texas Transportation Commission for its plan to waive the fees for disabled vets, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients to travel on certain state highways that are toll roads near Austin, Laredo and Tyler.

The commission approved the plan back in October after it was authorized by the state legislature in 2009. Currently there are more than 7,300 specialty license plates for disabled vets, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients in the three counties where the roads are located – and more than 160,000 such plates statewide.

We don’t know if the commission plans to extend the discounts beyond those areas, but we hope they do. There is no gesture too big or too small to show our thanks for all that those men and women have done.

RAZZBERRIES to The Bronx, as in the New York City borough. Actually, in truth they have to go to the Bronx Community Board 10 for its attempts to deal with trucks that are parking along streets in the area.

We understand that this is a residential area that doesn’t want a lot of trucks around, but the attitude of Kenneth Kearns, the district manager, leaves a lot to be desired. Kearns told Land Line Magazine that, “the trucks tend to be very big, very old and very dirty,” and that “we are not interested in our community board becoming a truck stop.”

His quotes only get better from there. After admitting that “I don’t know how to talk to them,” Kearns went on to say he “couldn’t even venture to guess where you could put them. Nobody wants them.”

While we do understand the problem, we also understand that Mr. Kearns is telling the truth when he says he doesn’t know how to talk to truck drivers. His comments come off a bit snooty, to say the least. Treating truck drivers as if they are some foreign invaders who don’t even speak your language is not the way to deal with this situation.

You know it’s no coincidence that another term for RAZZBERRY is Bronx cheer. LL



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