Since the launch of Overdrive‘s “Most Loved Pet” competition, I’ve been thinking about an owner-operator I managed to meet back in the year 2010 here in Nashville at what is now the Love’s location on Trinity Lane at I-65. He’s the old hand you see in the picture from 2010 here, showing his pet macaw Mugsy and Mugsy’s home: Leckrone’s 1962 C523 Model Kenworth leased to Sammons Trucking. For weeks now in spare moments here I’ve been searching my computer for notes on my conversations with Leckrone and his phone number from that time, to no avail.
I’d neglected, however, to look to the contacts in my phone: “Mugsy’s answering service,” came Leckrone’s familiar voice when I called him this morning. How is Mugsy, anyway? “Mugsy’s upstairs back in the bunk taking his morning forty winks. I don’t ever go anyplace without him.”
The pair were sitting in San Antonio at the Petro.
Mugsy turned 25 this year, Leckrone said, his truck 51. Since the pictures here, a “‘baby’ truck driver took the whole front end off last January,” he said of his KW, and Leckrone “repainted it red, white and blue with the ’76 Centennial stripe on it. I did everything myself. I do not pay anybody to do anything. I do everything from the major motor work on down.”
Leckrone takes an “old-school” approach to truck ownership, as he puts it. “If you can’t fix them then you don’t have any business owning one – it’s an old way of looking at things, but when I talk to the young drivers out here, that’s what I tell them…. If you can’t spread it out all over the ground, then you shouldn’t own it.”
Leckrone’s been doing what he does since 1969.
As for Mugsy, “he’s still a baby.” Macaws in captivity, says Leckrone, can live to be 100-125 years old.
Enjoy the photo gallery from my 2010 shoot with the owner-operator below. N
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