Friday, September 18, 2015

After truck stop hit and run, show truck competitors rally

Some days you’re the fire hydrant. Other days you’re the dog. But that swing of the pendulum can sure give you whiplash. Just ask OOIDA Senior Member Shane Boullion or his wife, Crystal.

Photo courtesy of  Shane and Crystal Boullion.
They were on their way to GATS. Their truck, a 2001 rose gray Peterbilt 379 was looking fantastic. It always looks good, but the Boullions, along with some friends, had spent the better part of the previous three weeks cleaning, polishing fluffing and buffing the truck to get it ready for the Pride and Polish competition.

They were less than 30 minutes away from the convention center when they decided to stop for breakfast. Woulda, coulda, shoulda kept going. They came out to find their bumper yanked at a 90 degree angle, the fender bashed and the hood tweaked. And the SOB who did the damage was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, there were witnesses who had seen the driver, got his information and provided it. Crystal called the police and the driver’s company, and took pictures. Shane was sick and disgusted. Bad enough to wreck a man’s truck. But to run off like a rotten coward was insulting.

Shane and Crystal don’t quit. They persevere. They finished their drive to GATS, got a little help straightening their bumper so it no longer looked like a giant L, got parked, and kept cleaning. They knew their truck did not look its best. But that wasn’t their fault. If they could touch it, they cleaned it. They waxed and worked as if nothing had happened. They polished the cracked fender and wonky hood. The judges were instructed to evaluate them on their merits and not to punish them for something so far outside of their control.
Photo courtesy of 10-4 Magazine.
At the Awards Ceremony they sat and waited, ready to cheer for their friends and go home to try again next year. Third place went to their good friend Jeremy Hebert. He had helped them clean their truck, and they had convinced him to enter his. Second place went to a beautiful truck from Texas. When Shane’s name was called as the first-place winner, his smile packed enough wattage to light up the entire city of Dallas.

And it only got better. Another first-place award for his Interior (thanks, Crystal) and then a drawing for prizes donated by show sponsors. Lincoln Chrome provided a bumper – chrome-plated stainless steel – just what he needed. The winner was Todd Roccapriore. As Roccapriore’s name was announced he called out: “Give that bumper to Shane. He needs it more than I do.” The packed crowd erupted in cheers.

The friendships made will last, long after the wheels turn back to work. Champions one and all doing their jobs every day.

Update: The Boullions got their truck out the shop Friday, Sept. 18. Shane says the damage done amounted to over $17,000 in needed repair work, not counting what it will cost to have the pinstriping on the hood redone.

Associate Editor Greg Grisolano contributed to this story.