Updated April 26, 2021, as part of Overdrive's 60th-anniversary series of lookbacks at the history of trucking, and Overdrive's place in it.
In this week’s special edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, part of Overdrive's 60th-aniversary series of lookbacks on trucking history, a clear window emerges onto the first Make-A-Wish convoy to set off from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with former trucker George Ruelens. He was hauling for Ned Bard & Son at the time in this conventional Peterbilt:
As he spells out in the podcast, Ruelens and the 41 other truckers who participated that day had no idea what they were doing would become a veritable institution in the region around Lancaster County — the annual Mother’s Day convoy benefiting the Make-a-Wish foundation.
In 2019, the convoy's 30th anniversary, it featured 650 trucks. With the 2020 event sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's convoy, set for May 9, stands to be no less eventful than the 30-year anniversary event.
In the podcast, Ruelens narrates his experience of that first convoy in 1989. He also looks back with fondness on subsequent editions of the event, which have created so many memories for children involved — truckers, too, no doubt, and members of the community in that area. Make-A-Wish helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses.
And he’s got one heck of a story about the Dodge cabover he started hauling in during the 1970s, running live poultry. You won’t regret hearing it:
More images from George Ruelens’ history trucking follow:
Thank you, George, for the memories.