George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

C’mon, Warner Robins — show us some love

| February 23, 2013

I grew up in South Georgia, and both my Grandmothers, most of my Aunts and Uncles and a whole bunch of my cousins still live there. We had the pleasure of going through the town in which I spent many of my formative years this past week. I got to visit for about an hour with both of my Grannies and had a beautiful meal with one of the funniest, sweetest cousins you could ever want. My other cousin drove about a 90-mile round trip so she could jump out of the car, hug my neck and run off.

Only family does stuff like that.

We just had our 10-hour break, so it was a quick visit, but extremely nice to see family we don’t see often.

We were fortunate to find a spot at the Pilot, and were able to stop by 3:30 p.m. so we could get showers and spiff up for the fams. George registered the (empty) trailer and we bobtailed out, leaving it to save our spot for the night. By the time we got back two and a half hours later, the lot was completely full and sharks were circling.

I hadn’t been to Warner Robins for a couple of years — I was absolutely horrified at how big it’s become. I couldn’t find my way around until I got on familiar ground, which started down around Carl Vinson Parkway. Back in the day, the Sheriff’s Department was the only thing out that way. The Cove Lounge is gone, there’s a gazillion houses everywhere and not a peach tree in sight. When I was a kid and we’d come from Atlanta to visit, the stretch of 247 between 75 and town had nothing but peach trees on either side of it. I’d get dizzy looking out the window at the rows and rows of peach trees, but I loved seeing them, because I knew it meant I was close to my Grannies.

No peach trees. I was sad.

As we got further into town, I could point out almost every other business and say, “Hey! That’s so-and-so’s place, I went to school with her!” I was both delighted and sad to see Nu-Way was still there, but closed for the day. I strongly considered breaking into McCall’s for a “Death by Chocolate” cake. (Yes, I said cake, I mean the whole damn thing; if I’m going to jail in my hometown, it’s going to be for something good.) I even had a story prepared for the WRPD that I was pretty sure would fly, because about 25-odd years ago I told WRPD all kinds of stories. And they either believed I was abducted by aliens and forced to drink a quart of whiskey, or they pitied my poor, embarrassed family enough to have the decency to act like they believed me. Bless their hearts. That was back in the day when you could be stupid for a minute when you were young without being labeled a terrorist.

Wendy Parker grew up under the menacing gaze of the Warner Robins’ high school mascot, the Demons

Ah, but I reminisce. It was really nice to see the people I went to school with are successful. A lot of them stayed in town and took over family businesses and I’m proud they’re able to keep traditions in our town alive. I know and understand their concerns with traffic and big trucks – the older parts of town are not equipped or designed to handle big trucks. I get it. There are truckers who have no regard for their surroundings, and will leave piss bottles and trash all over the place. I wouldn’t want them staying in my yard, either. I really do get it.

The point is, Warner Robins is a great town. I’d love for people to visit and spend money there. Hell, go have a mani/pedi at Hollywood Hair and Nails, mosey on up to Crosby Furniture and pick out a big, comfy chair. Have a drink at Cricket’s (which will forever be Molly’s Lounge to me), drop your kids off at Children’s Friend, enjoy a round of golf at Houston Country Club.

It’s a nice place with a misguided City Council. I believe in my hometown, and I’m related to enough people in it to sway a vote, if you know what I mean. (Kidding! That never happens any more!) I think with the open end they’ve left for dialogue, and their willingness to hear what the truckers have to say, a compromise can be reached.

My mother-in-law wrote a nice, concise letter to the City Council. It was precisely the type of letter that needs to be sent. It offered a purpose, a personal interest in the problem and a solution that could be agreeable to both parties. I hope a lot of people write letters to City Council and I hope they re-think their ban on truck parking. Eventually, someone is going to get fed up enough with being hassled and ticketed for parking, they’re going to take this to court and win. Federal law mandates a 10-hour break and makes no provisions for where it happens. It’s my understanding that Federal Law supersedes any State or City Law. Isn’t that how the Feds are still busting people for pot in California? They can’t have it both ways, something has to give.

I’d like to encourage my hometown to set a precedent for the rest of the country. Find a way to not only make it work, find a way to make it work for both the trucker and the city. I understand the fears you have surrounding a big truck parking lot and I know the type of activity it attracts. I live in a truck enough to know good and well there are lots with some shady stuff going on, but I also know it’s possible to have good, clean, safe areas. I encourage you to use the resources you have within the city, ask the large scale delivery places to sponsor lots — it’s to their benefit to have a place drivers can park.

Walmart can afford to throw some money towards a project like that, and they loooove to have their name on commemorative plaques. Truckers Against Trafficking is an excellent organization that I’m pretty sure would also support clean, safe lots and they could care less about commemorative plaques.

Truckers talk to each other. They pass information on that is pertinent to making your day better. All you have to do is listen to the CB for a few minutes and you know where the law is posted up, if the scale house is open and what lies ahead for you on the road they just passed. If word gets out that Warner Robins is truck friendly and has good lots on the outskirts of town, I’d be willing to bet they’d make an effort to keep out of your city as much as possible and take care of the lots.

  • Pingback: C’mon, Warner Robins — show us some love - Truck Drivers Careers | Truck Driving Jobs

  • jj mcclure

    local reporter wants to hear from truckers joining the boycott of Warner Robins. He email is: chwright@macon.com and phone is: 478-256-9685

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.mckelvie William McKelvie

    Won’t matter much what you tell the reporter, city councilmen were determined to make this happen. No matter how wrong it is and how stupid, just like the rest of the politiicans, they got voted in this year, special interests hoarders. Unfortunately company drivers will take the loads there, and from there, because that is their job.

  • Wendy Parker

    I spoke with JJ McClure – the reporter who is interested in speaking to truckers who intend to boycott. She is linking the blog post to an article she will have in the Saturday edition of local news. She and I both have hopes of the City Council being able to come to a compromise with truckers regarding the parking ban. It would be nice for local drivers in the area to help us get behind this and show we can make changes for the positive. Write letters containing effective solutions using positive language, make suggestions, cite other places you’ve been or seen that have safe, clean lots and what it was about that place that made it that way. It’s easy to sit down and write about what a bunch of ya-hoo’s the Council are acting like, but I think it’s pretty evident already and redundant. You draw more flies with sugar, and unfortunately, we need those flies to work with us on this.

  • JERICO

    Dear Sir,

    We are a small trucking company. In other
    words, a small business just like many small
    businesses in your neck of the woods.

    We struggle to survive, and are very cautious of
    how and where we spend our money. We try to shop
    along our routes of travel where it looks to be
    safe for us to do so.

    We are taxpayers, not loafers nor drug dealers.
    We don’t wear our pants dropped off our rear-ends
    like some of the citizens of your great little city.

    For years we have traveled Hwy 96 from I-16 to
    Hwy 80 in Georgia, and the reverse route as well.
    Late at night that is a really lonely highway,
    especially if you become ill.

    As we have come through your area, we have been
    extremely ill a couple of times. We have had to
    stop at whatever stores were located along that
    highway.

    Now you have a medical facility. I guess I’ll be
    denied medical care there because your city
    does not want trucks to be there. I guess we are just
    supposed to go on down the road to die, right?

    Well, buddy, let me tell you this: if I’m sick,
    I’ll park wherever I have to in order to get the
    medical attention I need. And if me or my truck
    is given any trouble, I’ll see all of you in court.

    We have shopped the Dollar General store purchasing
    items for the truck and home.

    We have purchased many things for the building
    of our home at the Lowe’s store on our way home.

    At no time did any of those stores refuse our
    business. No they were more than anxious to have
    the sales of whatever we bought, and welcomed us to
    come back. Now I guess those were lies. No one wants
    us to come back.

    If we are so unwanted in your community that it has
    caused a nationwide news story, then I believe I will drive through, and keep rolling to somewhere more
    courteous of others’ rights.

    Thank God there are more stores in other communities
    where we can make a quick stop to purchase various
    items.

    Although it may not be a major loss of revenue for
    Warner Robbins, it is outside dollars that come
    through your hands. Those tax dollars go into the
    local government coffers, and it is at least a drop
    in the bucket that must be filled in order to keep
    things running (to include paying for you). The money
    we spend also helps to keep other little businesses
    stay afloat.

    Maybe I’ll just go back to traveling the interstates,
    and take my money home to spend with people whom at
    least appreciate it.

    Another thing, drivers in your area need instructions
    that it is not safe to pull out in front of trucks.
    We are not able to stop on a dime. And if I ever hear
    about an accident where a car/pick-up pulls out in
    front of a truck, I will personally witness that it
    is a very common problem there.

    Now that you to are aware of this problem, you to can be held liable in the event of an accident of this nature through what is called “Punitive Damages.”

    Those types of damages come directly from your pocketbook, ownership of property, bank accounts, present and future earnings, and yes, even your dirty laundry. No the government office you hold will not pick up that tab.

    And while you are at it, it would be nice if your
    city would teach that it is courteous to dim your
    lights when approaching oncoming traffic.

    When it rains, the highways throw off a reflection
    that blinds us. This can easily cause accidents. It
    may be nice to explain to them that if they cause
    an accident involving a truck that is passing through
    their community; that they and you can be held even
    more liable since you have been officially notified of the problem by virtue of this email.

    As to whether or not I ever come through there again,
    I pay for my truck to be on the road. I guess you forget
    the federal funds that trickle down to your community.
    If we cannot be allowed to stop, then you are really
    telling us to go elsewhere.

    Maybe we will stir up the federal government on the
    legal rights of passage. And if there are any businesses
    open to the public, it is illegal for them to stop us
    from patronizing them. Remember that it to is illegal to
    interfere with Interstate Commerce. (That is federal.)

    And by the way: Maybe the Tide will Roll Over you
    again next year!!! R-o-l-l Tide!!! 32 – 28 Ain’t no Bulldog
    gonna roll over us without a fight.

    Sincerely,

    Earnest and Bonnie Williams
    P. O. Box 565
    Greensboro, AL 36744
    Email: jerico_way@yahoo.com

    P. S. I guess your community would like to consider
    themselves as Christians, doing what things are Christlike.
    This reminds me of something totally the opposite. Wonder
    what that is? Well, if it is not of God, then maybe they
    are of satan.

  • Wendy Parker

    http://www.macon.com/2013/02/22/2366889/truckers-rally-against-warner.html

    Small victory! The Mayor is pretty hot with the Council right now for a knee-jerk reaction. I’ll keep everyone posted on details.

  • JERICO

    It is not always about drawing more flies with honey!

    We have legal rights, which we as truck drivers need to start standing up for.

    If there is a city along our routes which we travel to or through, then they have businesses that are open to the public. They must accept the bitter with the sweet.

    If there is a business open to the public, we are entitled to be there. As far as having a limit of 2 hours parking, that is hogwash!

    No state can enforce laws over laws which are set by the federal government. If Warner Robbins happens to be the place whereby break is required by law, then Warner Robbins is where I’ll take it.

    Beyond that, I’ll see them in court.

  • Wendy Parker

    I agree whole-heartedly, which is why I said ‘unfortunately’. I just sent a couple of e-mails with information on the shut down mandates to the Mayor and Council. I also mentioned the federal law enforcement issues. I know (and they probably know) someone could take this to court and win, but it shouldn’t have to come to that. No one has time or money to pay an attorney (the only person who ALWAYS wins, because they get paid no matter what) to hash this out. I think the Council was completely unaware of the shut down mandates by the feds, like a lot of people are. I’m going to continue offering information as needed and plugging away at this.

  • JERICO

    You are doing a fine job! Keep up the good work.

    I have no problem assisting in whatever way I deem needed.

  • otrgb

    Unfortunately, a city can ban parking within the limits. Federal law requires a break, and doesn’t say where it has to be, but it also has no verbage saying it can be anywhere you want it…only that it has to be legal. It cannot force a city, county, or state to provide a parking spot for an idiot that can’t plan ahead. It’s a sorry excuse of a truck driver that can’t plan ahead for a break. Wheel monkeys drive until the end of their hours and then hope for a parking spot. Having said that, I am a staunch supporter of communities and states that provide parking for truckers. I will go out of my way to spend money in those communities, encourage my friends to do so, and will walk right up to a driver that has no respect for others or the places they park and insist that they pick up their trash. I have on more than one occasion placed their trash back on their truck if they just walked off.

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