Friday, August 28, 2015

Limited edition

Our OOIDA Board of Directors meets twice a year here in Grain Valley. I serve on that board as the employee director. When I walked into our OOIDA Board Room in April and took my seat at the large oval table, I really wasn’t surprised to see one of our board members with a .22 rifle lying on the table in front of him.

It’s the OOIDA Board, after all. Nothing really surprises me.

Photo by Nikohle Ellis
It was a Henry “Golden Boy” model, special American Trucker Limited Edition, a carbine rifle presented by Historical Armory as a tribute to truckers. Through the generous donation by an OOIDA Board Member, the Association’s Foundation is currently making this rifle available to win in a sweepstakes drawing.

At the spring board meeting, we had the chance to look at one and handle it. Lewie Pugh passed it over to Terry Button. And on to Gary Carr. And on it went. The Henry is a lever-action, breech-loading, tubular magazine rifle with a long service history in this country, especially in the settling of the Wild West.

It was handed on to Mark Elrod and others. And eventually to me. There have only been about a thousand of these custom weapons made, says Lewie.

On to Johanne Couture. Then Woody Chambers and Todd Spencer.. The OOIDA rifle has the production number 73, says Jim Johnston, the year the Association was founded.

On it went to Bob Esler, then Leo Wilkins, who handed it to Angel Burnell of our Executive Department.

Remember the kid named Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” who wanted an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle so bad? When it was Angel’s turn to hold the rifle, she later admitted she felt just like Ralphie.

After it was pried from her hands, it was passed from Board Member to Board Member and as it went around the table, we checked out the detailed engraving on both sides of the walnut forearm offering a tribute to “The American Trucker.”

On it went to Dick Pingle, then Gary Green. Keith Jibben noted these rifles were used at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Jibben is a Dakota guy.

Kenneth Becker clarified that the rifle we were looking at was not THE rifle used at Custer’s Last Stand.

The rifle OOIDA is offering in the sweepstakes has elaborate artwork customized with a highway theme, specifically Interstate 70 and U.S. 40 Highway. Our OOIDA logo is on the walnut buttstock.

If I could whistle through my teeth, I would have.

The sweepstakes will begin on Sept. 1, 2015, and more info will be available next week, so watch our daily news for details on how to enter. The sweepstakes will close on Dec. 31, 2015. The drawing will take place on Jan. 15. The winner will be notified on or before Feb. 15, 2016.

The rifle sweepstakes is a project of the OOIDA Foundation Inc., an affiliate of OOIDA. The Foundation is our research and education arm, organized to fund and sponsor research concerning economic and safety issues that affect the motor carrier industry. The unique thing about the Foundation is that those issues are viewed from the perspective of the professional driver.

One of the Foundation’s rules for the sweepstakes is that employees and their families are not eligible to win the rifle. Dang.