June 2002

TRUCK DRIVER WINS A GRAMMY

This year’s Grammy Award for Best Country Song went to a songwriter who’s been a full-time truck driver since 1994.

Robert Lee Castleman wrote “The Lucky One,” performed by Alison Krauss and Union Station on their album New Favorite. The track also won a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, while the whole CD won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.

Castleman’s own first album, Crazy as Me, was released in 2000, and his songs have been recorded by Chet Atkins, Suzy Bogguss, Alan Jackson and Jerry Reed, but he hasn’t given up his day job, hauling for Aluminum Resources in Smyrna, Tenn.

He told The Tennessean the Grammy would “make a good hood ornament.” He also joked about his wilder days and a more famous country singer, saying, “I used to drink bottles of whiskey bigger than Kenny Chesney’s head.”


PITCHER WOULD JUST AS SOON HAUL AS HURL

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Anderson, who signed a three-year, $9.7 million contract extension, was asked by ESPN The Magazine what he planned to buy with the money.

“An 18-wheeler with chrome rims,” he replied. “I’ll paint ‘Matt Anderson Trucking’ on the side and drive that sucker cross-country.” What would he haul? “Nothing.”

The article says that Anderson, who saved 22 straight games as a closer in 2001, “plowed through last season like a chromed-out Peterbilt.” At press time, he was on the disabled list with no saves for 2002.


TRUCKERS AT WAR

The American Trucking Associations placed one of its World War II-era ads (left) in national publications such as USA Today Feb. 21, 2002 – 60 years to the day after it first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and elsewhere. It was accompanied by new copy that said: “The men and women of America’s trucking industry pledge to do their part to keep America safe and secure for all.”


QUOTABLES

He has priorities
“I defied death, and some angry truck drivers.”
– Four-wheeler Dwayne Wilder of The Denison Daily Post in Texas, on his reckless determination to make a basketball game despite a sleet storm

The bright side
“They’re not all going to deteriorate in one day.”
– Bob Russell, president of the Oregon Trucking Association, on the state’s 309 bridges with cracks in them

Tax those truckers
“If you drive a car, a pickup, an SUV or other gasoline-fueled vehicle, you pay a fuel tax of 19 cents per gallon; if you drive a big truck rig, your diesel fuel tax is only 15 cents a gallon. And what makes the biggest impact on highways in Michigan? That’s right – despite the damage trucks do to roads, they do not even pay an equivalent share in taxes.”
– Editorial in The Jackson Citizen Patriot, supporting a proposed 4-cent increase in Michigan’s diesel tax

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