March 2002

THE OTHER JESSE JACKSON

U.S. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., son of the civil rights leader, briefly had an unusual opponent in this month’s Illinois Democratic primary: a trucker named Jesse L. Jackson.

Jackson the trucker withdrew, citing deaths in the family, before the state elections board could hear a complaint from Jackson the congressman, who called the trucker’s candidacy a scheme by his enemies to confuse voters.

Jackson the trucker, 68, of Robbins, Ill., has no legal middle name, but says his relatives have long called him “Lee.” He also says the congressman should campaign for re-election on something more than his famous name.


“TERMINATOR” TOUGH ON TRUCKERS

Fortunato “The Terminator” Perri, Philadelphia’s Traffic Court judge, explains his courtroom manner: “I want to scare people. If you come in with a cocky attitude, I’m going to croak you.”

Among his pet peeves are truckers he deems unsafe. He told one trucker: “If you come back here again, I’m going to knock your socks off.” To another trucker, who was wearing a lot of hair gel: “Stop and buy a comb on your way back to New York.”


7 MILLION PENNIES SAVED ARE

a) $70,000 earned
b) a big pain
c) both

An October tractor-trailer wreck near Snyder, Texas, spilled more than 7 million pennies en route from the U.S. Mint.

Heavy equipment scooped up the pennies, and nine fully loaded dump trucks took them to a Lubbock warehouse. Now a retired city employee, Robert Massengale, has been hired by an insurance company to clean the pennies of dirt and mud – first with large sifting screens, then with an acid wash – so they can be circulated again.

“I hope we can find somebody to take them in bulk, rather than having to roll all of them,” he says.


AS THE CROW FALLS

If you drive in the D.C. area near the intersection of I-395 and Virginia 7, watch for falling crows. A roosting flock of thousands of crows has been deemed a health hazard, so federal officials are setting out poison, and police switchboards are lighting up. “It’s been raining dead crows all over Arlington and Falls Church,” resident Judi Buckalew says.

DO WE DETECT SOME CONFLICT HERE?

“If they take my radar detector away from me, I’ll go right back and get another

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