Correspondence leads to love
Miller later contacted the offices of ACT to share the story, so the company would reward Byram for his heroic efforts.
“Truck drivers tend to get a bad rap out on the roadway these days,” says Tom Kretsinger Jr., president/chief operating officer of ACT. “At ACT, we recognize and celebrate the diverse background that our drivers bring to our team. Byram is a great example of this diversity.”
“We should all be so fortunate to have a driver like Byram and others that have more skills than driving a truck; these are special people who can take charge of good and bad situations,” says Robert Dinning, evening planner at American Central Transport.
The Truckload Carriers Association named Byram a Highway Angel for saving the life of the driver. He received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for his efforts, and ACT also received a certificate for acknowledging a Highway Angel in their midst.
To nominate a driver online, go to this site.
First Prize to First Novel
Mark Twain Essay Contest winner publishes book about a fictional trucker
For owner-operator Howard Glass, winning first prize in the Truckers News Mark Twain Essay Contest two years ago was a dream come true. Winning gave him the confidence – and the $1,000 prize money – to work on publishing his first novel about a troubled trucker facing big traumas.
The novel, To Catch a Cradle, tells the story of company driver Ross Martin, who has a good job, a storybook marriage, a beautiful son and another child on the way. But even as he lives the perfect life, he is haunted by a tragedy from the past. He blames himself for a high school friend’s drowning death, and every moment that should be joyful is tempered with guilt.
Just as Ross is learning to make peace with his past, a second tragedy strikes and sends him into a downward spiral of self-blame and depression. With his marriage and family torn apart, he contemplates drastic measures to make amends. But as he experiences the ultimate crisis of faith, a sinister turn of events forces Ross to choose whether to finally forgive himself or give in to the darkness of guilt.
“I was inspired to write the book because I personally knew two truckers who committed suicide,” says Glass, a trucker for 21 years and resident of Grove City, Pa. “Neither one of them was a close friend, but I knew enough about them and what their lives were like to feel their pain. One in particular, I used to stop and pick up his kids and take them to Sunday school. We said to him one time, ‘When are you going to come to church?’ And he said, ‘When they put 8 days in a week. I just don’t have time.”
The novel began as a short story and expanded from that.
“I know there’s a lot of truckers, including myself, that have family problems from being in the business,” Glass says. “I wanted to capture the stress that a driver deals with.”
Glass and his wife Julie own Express Image Transport, Inc., which hauls sawdust on a dedicated run to a plant. He has a 26-year-old daughter and 27-year-old son, who is also a truck driver.
When he’s not driving his 2000 International, Glass writes stories and is working on another novel. He’s had five stories published in Truckers News and several articles published in religious magazines, and he was a columnist for three months for a newspaper.
“I didn’t get into [writing] until I was in my ’40s,” he says. “I just discovered I had a little talent for it, and I started enjoying it.”