‘Stop trashing America,’ says documenter of debris

Leicht’s message to his fellow truckers: “Stop trashing America and show you really care about America.”

At scenic spots nationwide, owner-operator Paul Leicht snaps photos of nature’s wonders, then companion shots of the trucker trash left underfoot. His pet peeve: urine-filled bottles.

One such impromptu garbage dump undoes a fortune in industry public relations, Leicht says. “No one seems to want to address this issue. All they want is to make drivers look like GQ,” the upscale men’s magazine. “Not all drivers are doing the liter dance, but every year it gets worse.”

Leicht’s message to his fellow truckers: “Stop trashing America and show you really care about America.”


SWAMP DWELLER RISES FROM THE MUCK
This 3-ton 1917 Packard Model E sat idle in a Minnesota swamp for 40 years. Since restored and renamed the Wingfoot Express, it travels the country advertising Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems, a Goodyear subsidiary.

A 5-ton Packard established the first interstate trucking route in 1917, between Goodyear plants in Ohio and Connecticut. Its two drivers shared the industry’s first sleeper cab and succinctly described their initial one-way run: “It took 28 days and 28 tires.”


NEWS YOU SHOULDN’T USE

  • A trucker pulled over by cops in Lithuania registered 18 times the legal alcohol limit during a breath test. The astonished cops tested him repeatedly, using different devices. He had 7.27 grams of alcohol per liter of blood, more than twice what science considers fatal.
  • Louisiana deputies got a 911 call from a trucker who said his mother, a passenger in his cab, was dead. Turned out the 83-year-old had died in Arkansas. The trucker had completed his Wal-Mart delivery across two states, with his dead mother in the truck.


WHAT THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING
“At this rate, my teenage daughter who wants to be a fashion model may become a truck driver.”
– Praveen Dixit, trade analyst in the U.S. Department of Commerce, on the growing demand for truckers

RESURFACING NEEDED
“We don’t advise eating the cookies. They were made some time ago.”
– Janet Kavinoky of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, on the commemorative cookies handed out at the interstate’s June 29 50th-anniversary celebration

COME AGAIN, PHARAOH
“Let us hope the interstate inspires future generations, as have the Pyramids.”
– Rodney Slater, former secretary of transportation, on the daring of America’s highway system, at the celebration in Washington, D.C.


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