An article in the March Ladies’ Home Journal is headlined “Hazard on the Highway: Fatigued drivers, high-speed hauls and pressure to earn a profit conspire to make trucks a menace.”
Only in a sidebar does the article note that four-wheelers “contribute to” – that is, cause – 80 percent of fatal crashes between cars and trucks.
“We’ve been slimed anew in a publication that has never covered us before,” says American Trucking Associations spokesman Mike Russell, who calls the article an assortment of “every old shopworn discredited piece of information ever published about truck drivers and alleged fatigue issues.”
Another angry reader is Delena Dunn of Huntingburg, Ind., whose husband, Ray, is an owner-operator: “There’s an awful lot of cars out there that need to stop and think and not cut people off and pass on the wrong side.”
The address: Letters to the Editor, Ladies’ Home Journal, 125 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017. Or: [email protected].
A TRUCK THAT DRIVES YOU TO DRINK
Dennis Ziemienski’s colorful painting of a 1947 Dodge truck adorns each bottle of Red Truck wine from Cline Cellars of Sonoma, Calif.
“Remember that old red truck your granddad had on the farm?” the label asks. “That’s right, the one that sat idle most of the time; but when you needed a dependable running machine, it rumbled to life and made you feel good. Our red truck wine is just the same way – reliable, well crafted, full of life and great tasting.”
The label quickly adds: “There’s no diesel in this truck.”
The winery invites connoisseurs to share truck stories at www.redtruckwine.com.
HE PLAYS IN TRAFFIC
Pianist Ryan Ahern is justly proud of his PianoRig, “the only dedicated piano performance vehicle in the world.” The customized 1985 Freightliner has a 9-foot Steinway concert grand permanently mounted on the 14-foot flatbed.
Ahern’s steady gig is at the busy main entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood. He also has a new CD, No City Limits. Visit this site.
“Alice – Sorry I have to run. The open road calls.”
– Refrigerator note left by a ne’er-do-well trucker in Ed McBain’s new novel Alice in Jeopardy.
JUST BEING MODEST
“Please remind Wilmer that indecent exposure is a crime and that he is going to have to get his kicks somewhere other than Route 66.”
– “Dear Abby” columnist Jeanne Phillips, to a woman who has resisted for 12 years her husband’s requests that she “flash” truckers.
DAY OF THE KNIGHTS
“Today, I am about the same age as Fred and Ronald were when they lifted me up into the cabs of their trucks, but in my memory they are much bigger, stronger and wiser than I am. They were the knights of the highway, the kings of the road.”
– Columnist Scott Hollifield in The McDowell News of Marion, N.C., on trucker friends of his childhood.
Have something for Channel 19?
Send it to Andy Duncan, Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403 or [email protected]. You’ll get an Overdrive tag if your item is published.