Multi-tasking for Earnhardt Jr.

When you’re hauling a trailer that displays a picture of Dale Earnhardt Jr., you learn how to field a variety of CB inquiries. Driver Rick Hodges told Pennsylvania’s Times-Leader two of the most common questions are:

“Is he in the truck?”

“You got the cars in there?”

The answers: No. Yes.

Hodges also does grocery shopping and cooks for the Earnhardt team. When necessary, he serves as bouncer, as when a fan once snuck into the trailer and tried to steal a helmet.

“All he could say is, ‘I want to praise him,'” Hodges told the newspaper. “So I said, ‘I’ll praise you.’ So I clunked him upside the head and took the helmet back.”

Seems there was a little fuss in Manor Township, Pa., over who should cover the $2,300 cost of police and other city workers’ overtime when President Bush’s motorcade passed through. Some City Council members wanted to bill the Bush re-election campaign.

When trucker Ron Larson, 44, read about it in the Intelligencer Journal, he decided he’d had enough of small-town politics. He wrote the city a check for $2,300.

“I would take a bullet for this commander in chief,” Larson said, “but since I am not in the position to do that, I think this is the least I can do.”

Occasional trucker Mark Weatherby contributes the artwork to a new children’s book written by his wife, Brenda Weatherby. It’s about a toy truck that transforms into a full-sized rig and a boy who ignores his mother’s call for breakfast because he has more important things to do. Young Wesley gets to blast his horn, pull a tow truck out of a ditch and handle getting lost in a storm. A New York Times review says the “illustrations are also noteworthy for their artful use of light, which brings a gleam to the color-saturated paintings as bright as the chrome on a bumper.” The Trucker, recommended for ages 3 to 8, has a suggested retail price of $15.95.

“I just thought it was a good way to get home. I didn’t know I was on the interstate.”
– Thomas Williams Jr., 73, explaining in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel how he ended up cruising the shoulder of I-43 in his motorized wheelchair until stopped by a sheriff’s deputy.

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“Sikhs mean well for America. God bless America!”
– Bumper sticker on the truck of Jagtar Singh of Maryland, intended to head off persecution because of the similar appearance of Sikhs and Arabs, as reported by The Times of India.

“You can see people doing some weird stuff in those cars.”
– Flatbedder Joe Engle, who took a reporter from The Hour of Norwalk, Conn., for a ride in his 1998 Kenworth.

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