Roadside Attractions

Overdrive Staff | September 01, 2011

Trucker helps grant a wish

When 82-year-old Margarette Kirsch, with the help of the Twilight Wish Foundation, was granted her wish to roll across the country in an 18-wheeler, little did she know she’d get the opportunity to run with a bona fide “Truck Drivin’ Mama.” Though she’s no longer a “gainfully employed trucker at this point” by her own estimation, Pennsylvania resident Annabella Wood (pictured, left, with Kirsch) continues to haul in a straight dump truck for a tree service company once a month or so to maintain her on-highway credentials. She spent nearly 30 years driving 18-wheelers, beginning as a company fuel-tanker driver in Los Angeles and ending with her own authority hauling dedicated for a technology trade-show touring company. Wood’s also a musician with a new album, “Truck Drivin’ Mama,” available at

Bumpless, burnless

Two Auburn University researchers say it’s time for the paving industry and governments that allocate funds for roads to step up to the plate. In a report to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, they say smoothing the pavement could save 3.3 billion gallons of fuel, a fourth of it diesel. Researchers Richard Willis and Rob Jackson calculate the savings at $12.5 billion yearly in fuel.

Whoa! And if you’d like to see a number with even more zeros at the end, that would be how much governments would have to spend to eliminate those fuel-robbing potholes and cracks.

Better health

How to cut tension, build confidence

• De-stress your neck. Your neck often takes the brunt of a stressful day. Relax those tense muscles by soaking a hand towel in hot water. Place the towel on the back of your neck and other tense areas. Let the heat help calm your body.

• Make your mantra. Find a saying that encourages you. “I think I can,” “You can do this” or any self-encouraging phrase will help build confidence in yourself, improve your concentration.

• Find positive people. Relationships are important, but some take a negative toll. Surrounding yourself with friends who are encouraging, who make you happy and who are upbeat can improve your emotional health. Get rid of the other kind, where you can.

• Pat yourself on the back. Finally, don’t be afraid to recognize your own accomplishments. Be the first to congratulate yourself on the little things for a job well done.

Right-side sweep needs practice

2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram attempted a right-side pass, but failed when he hit Paul Clewis, who will stay on for the rest of the 2011 season. There were no refs on hand for this collision as Ingram’s four-door Infiniti encountered the right front end of Clewis’ tractor. Clewis, a long-haul driver and a Green Bay Packers fan, wasn’t aware a New Orleans Saints football personality had hit him “until a reporter told him,” wrote Lee Roop of the Huntsville (Ala.) Times on July 22. No one was injured in the crash.


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