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Todd Dills

Salute: Writer trumpets independent truckers

| December 14, 2011

Colleen Kelly Mellor (pictured) is a 30-year veteran of the classroom with near a decade in real estate. Today she’s a writer who keeps a blog dedicated to items of “encouragement in a difficult world” at Biddybytes.com. Her husband was a long-haul household-moves owner-operator with Atlas Van Lines with more than a million accident-free miles before exit from the industry, and Mellor recently drew on that past to sing the praises of long-haul independents as “unsung heroes” of the American highway in this post.

I asked her a little about where her inspiration came from, and here’s what she had to say:

I try to focus the spotlight on folks who do America proud, so to speak, and truckers represent that to me. How’d my interest come about?  Well, my husband was a long-distance driver for 30 years, drove the big 18-wheelers cross-country, carting household cargo. As such, he has plenty of stories….

I began telling my three little grandsons stories we called “Grandpa and the Truck,” and each night they’d clamor for another, so I decided to write them down, adding all the color their Grandpa told me in his accounts. For he’s an Arkansan Boy — born and raised on a cotton field — who became a trucker.

But he’s had a colorful life in many ways.  He was in the Navy (Seabees) for 4 years, then Army National Guard for another 26 years. In addition, he’s been a corrections officer for [around 20]. But his roots are in trucking and he learned most of his life skills in trucking and moving folks across this great land.

Now I’m a writer. That, too, comes on a colorful life experience of [being a teacher for 30 years], which is why I know what kids like, real estate where I made a six-figure salary for 8 years, and then I determined to give it up to write freelance….

So, the Arkansan trucker and the writer came together…been so for 20 years.

Mellor is planning a series of children’s books based on her “Grandpa and the Truck” stories, “as soon as I identify an illustrator,” she says, and she’ll market them via biddybytes.com, so keep an eye on the site. “It’s my intent to shine a beam on the trucking industry, long left unsung except for the country songs which my hubby so loves (they kept him awake over many years).”

Looking forward to it, Colleen….