Always a pleasure, it is, to get a call from Mike “Mustang” Crawford (pictured), the Prime-leased owner-operator who is Overdrive’s 2010 Trucker of the Year (follow that link for my story about him in our February edition). I got one such call just last week. Crawford told me about his truck’s recent inadvertent inclusion in preparation festivities for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade along 54th Street in Miami. “I got down there on Sunday afternoon,” he says, with a load of insulation on his flatbed. He and two other Prime drivers set off the next morning to load in West Palm Beach when they came to an intersection that was partly blocked off by police. “I looked to my right, and about five or six blocks down I could see trucks going by.”
Thinking it was a route to I-95, Crawford turned and took it and quickly found himself behind a pickup pulling a float on which dancers in African garb were performing. “I got to looking and they had gates up on the sidewalk, and there’s people behind them, a lot of people behind them.” It wasn’t yet time for the full parade, but for all intents and purposes, Crawford says, with the dancers in front of him and the crowd going wild, his tractor and empty flatbed was part of something special that day.
A spectator then yelled out, “Mr. Prime, what are you doing in my hero’s parade?”
As Crawford tells it, “I said, ‘He’s my hero, too! I just wanted to join the parade!’ A couple other people were waving, yelling, ‘Hey Prime you look good up there!’ And my truck was clean. I’d washed it recently.”
Making the best of what might have been bad circumstances in another man’s hands has been a defining trope of Crawford’s stellar career. I won’t belabor the point here. Check out his story when you get a moment. And if you’ve not seen my video interview with him, it’s included below. Enjoy.