Thursday, March 31, 2016

#FacesOfMATS Day 1 (Part 2)

So we made it out to the Papa John's parking lot for the annual health walk sponsored by Trucking Solutions Group (more on that in a later post). We saw a bunch of familiar faces on the walk, and even more chowing down on the good food being served up by the various charities. But probably the coolest meet-n-greet we did all day involved running into not one but TWO members whose member numbers were under 60. Check it out:

Life Member Wayne Alberts said his OOIDA member number was going to blow us away and he wasn't lying! A four-digit number is a rare occurrence, but how cool is it to be one of the original 60? Hats off, Wayne! 

Life Member Al Albert, OOIDA No. 53 (!?!), who's still trucking after 63 years in the business. He hauls exotic plants from his home base in Sanford, Fla., to the Upper Midwest. We met Al about half an hour after running into No. 59. Great to meet some longtime, stalwart members of the Association, and to find they're still trucking!

Members Shannon Pyles and her father, Eric Pyles. Eric taught Shannon to drive truck and now she's an owner-operator at the tender age of 22, carrying on a family tradition of trucking for a fourth generation.

Lily, a bull terrier who is Shannon Pyles' constant traveling companion. 

Member Arthur Culbertson is the proud papa of this 1974 Ford WT9000, which was "junkyard bound" before he salvaged it and totally restored it 12 years ago. It's on display as part of the American Truck Historical Society exhibit.

Members Jason Perry, aka "Hillbilly," and his pal Brandon Roberson, aka "Lugnut," on their way to check out the West Wing.

Member Edward Strack, aka "Red Eagle," of Rochester, Ind., is running for POTUS. He is not currently on any ballots. 

Life Member Donald Acor, aka "White Lightning," has been running for Landstar for more than 30 years. 

Life member Phil Miller, aka "Kid Blue," recalls being a greenhorn trucker back in  Ohio in 1973 and attending one of the first-ever OOIDA truck stop meetings at the Shenandoah Truck Stop.

Life Member Robert Webb, aka "The Original Rocky Top," serenaded OOIDA employees with a stirring a cappella rendition of his namesake song at the North Lobby booth. Webb says he's second cousins with fellow Tennessean chanteuses Loretta Lynn and her sister Crystal Gale, who were both Webbs before fame and marriage came calling. 

Life Member Dale Compher, aka "Blue Fox," may be retired, but he's been going to MATS since 1986.

Life Member Marty Gorr, Macungie, Pa., who used to run freight under the handle "Dough Boy."

Life Member Dave DePhillipeaux, aka "Dreamer," shows off his custom grill, dedicated to the gals who he says saved his life.