I was at Grumpys during the last delivery and he said to me, â€œ Dave, I will quit driving when they peel my cold hard fingers off the wheel.â€?, that is something I have listened to with many a silver back. Driving has been our life, down the highway with a different experience each day and pulling into our favorite truck stop to see all the friendships we have built there over the years. Our family in transport with grow with and share good and bad experiences. One such great friend is our good friend Bev Hedley at the Brandon MB Husky. Last year I announced her retirement after over 25 years putting up with us. She was so overcome with all the best wishes and we will miss you she decided to stay with us four days a week. Bev is a legend at this stop with stories about never missing a day to going through a blizzard to get to work to look after us. Bev has been our server, confession booth, councilor and good friend. Always there with the hot coffee and great service and the
Dave brings to CTM 36 years of valuable experience in transportation, management, business and compliance. Dave has driven in every condition across North America and overseas as military, police, company driver to owner operator. Now Publisher & Editor of Canadian Trucking Magazine the one you pick up, read and keep.
starch in her corset to keep us in line. Bev is an example to all of the best of the best of our family at our favorite truck stops. Canadian Trucking Magazine is proud, honoured and humbled to present to Bev our CTM award of appreciation.
But all Great things come to an end and Bev will be leaving us. Stop by this month and say thank-you for all her great service and how she will be missed and al-
though gone from the stop, her memory and stories will carry on forever. I stole a big hug from Bev being honoured enough to present the award. I also was honoured to deliver a letter from the Manitoba Trucking Association from Mr. Bob Dolyniuk who wrote. Dear Bev, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the more than twenty-eight years of service that you have provided to those who keep the freight moving. As we rush about conducting our daily business, we sometimes forget to stop and take note of those who make our jobs and journeys that much more pleasant. You are one of those people. I have no doubt your warm smile and greeting have there affects on your many customers. The Brandon Husky is a well know truck stop and I suspect you and your personality have a lot to do with that Thank-you for your commitment and dedication. Thank you for caring. With Best Wishes. Bob Dolyniuk Executive Director MTA I read this letter to her aloud with the Brandon Husky Staff standing around and it was hard to find a dry eye in the house. If you are in transport or
working at a transport stop and know someone CTM should reconize, please email CTM with a nomination for this award. There are a lot of our hard working family out there that deserve the recognition.This can be anyone at the stop from the owner to the bottle washer. It will be my pleasure to on behalf of all present an award of appreciation. I have often said and repeated that us silverbacks have to pass onto the younger folks the best stops to eat, sleep and get cleaned up.There are some great stops so we donâ€™t have to get our nutrition by screaming into the mouth of a clown. Rule of thumb, where you find CTM or the empty CTM box is where you find good people. I will not place my magazine where I would not stop myself. No wonder I am gaining weight, when in Brandon itself is three favorites, the Husky, Esso and A & W with that new uncle burger that when loaded is like a teen burger on steroids. Nothing like a tall ice cold root beer, uncle burger with bacon and cheese and onion rings,,,, did I say healthy, well have to treat myself! I treated the CTM Truck to a tune up of the sqwak box. My fa-
vorite CB shop in Canada is right at the Sherwood Park Roadking in Edmonton.You ever walk down the hall to the showers and notice thier door? At C.B City Communications it is
worth this winterpeger to bring in my electronics and let Shaun, Rob and Diane look after me. I check into one of the new rooms in the Roadking and let them do thier stuff. I am going to invest into one of those new VHF units and understand drivers on that can reach up and past 30 miles. That beats the old CB, but I will still have it in there to on 19 for the CTM Girls to use. Shauna pictured with the mike in her hand is going out to deliver and
sign copies at your favorite truck stops, so watch for her. Keep your copies handy as there is a good change the next stop there won’t be any as they fly off the self. If you are on the internet, you can see the complete portfolio of Shauna and past month CTM girls as well as our extended Web Version of CTM. I was asked why there are repeat articles on the web version, and the answer is simple. One someone might not have read it and two some articles are well worth keeping up there to read again and again. Especially if it is one of mine. Our facebook page is becoming very popular and best of all if you are a fan on our facebook, you get information first and only on that page. If you are on facebook, please ensure to become a fan. Please watch our web site for important upcoming events. This month I am headed to MATS, that is the Mid American Truck Show in Louisville, KY. This is a big one and gives this writer the chance to catch up with what is coming our way and report it to you. Also on the web page is two of my favorites, Stirling and Fergus, well worth taking them both in. In September for all those Winnipeg Based drivers is the Convey coming around the corner. With such a large population of drivers in the peg, I don’t understand why we can’t beat North American records. I personally will watch for the dates and keep you informed and hope we get a hugh turnout this year. It’s funny, a lot of you asked me this past delivery, what
do you have about the Wells Gray Inn this magazine. I must admit the milkshakes there have me hooked not
to mention the great food and people. Yes I bet I mention them every time. Now is your turn, when you go in there please tell them Dave sent you, just to let them know you do read my articles. Tell your recruiters if they are advertising, use the magazine most picked up, read and kept. You guessed it, it is in your hands. Best bang for thier buck! Canâ€™t miss me this month sporting my new Herd Protection on the CTM Cruiser. Always had grill protection on my rigs, takes away that white knuckle feeling at dusk when the animals start moveing. I must admit that even on the two way highways like 11, 17 and 1 though the mountains, I always felt better knowing there was a big chunk of metal between me and someone crossing the center line. So happy trials my friends and look forward to seeing you or yakking off the CB.,,,, Dave Email Dave @ Dave@canadiantruckingmagazine.ca
Loads from Hell by Sandy Long If you have driven any amount of time at all, you will have had a load that just seemed like it was the load from hell. It is the one that nothing you did could satisfy the broker, the dispatcher, the shipper/receiver or everything fell apart. Perhaps it was one where you were injured, or had to load or unload it in hot weather or freezing cold. Many things can happen that make a load a bad one; one thing for sure, those types of loads stick in one’s memory forever. I ran into a driver several years ago that had stitches across a long wound surrounded by swelling and bruises on his face. Asking him what had happened, he related his load from hell story. “I picked up a loaded trailer at a shipper. I found a flat tire and wiring problems doing my pre-trip,” he said. “I spent 4 hours in the shop right at the start. Then before I left the truck stop, I scaled the load. I was over on the trailer tandems. When I tried to slide my tandems, the pins would not pull. Come to find out, one of the springs on the pin assembly was broken, so back to the shop for another hour or two. I finally got to the receiver and went to open the doors. As I opened the handle, it stuck and when I tugged on it, the whole thing flew off and hit me in the face!” A past employer used to like to take off on a run to the North West once or twice a year. He and his wife went out taking a new truck and flatbed with all new equipment, took the scenic routes and re-
loaded a load of orchard stakes for the return run. Now he had been pulling flatbeds for over 30 years, but he forgot the important thing about hauling stakes; you have to put a little extra dunnage under the front of the front bundle and the rear of the rear bundle or else they will ‘walk’. (Walking is where the stakes or lumber/pipe move to the front or rear of the bundle they are in.) He pulled into the tire shop and was cussing that load. I went around looking to see what had happened. To try to stop the walking of the orchard stakes, he had put on brand new lumber tarps. It did not work. Every stake on the front and rear bundles had holed the tarps and were sticking through a foot or two. So adding injury to insult, he had to replace the tarps…of course; I did not give him a hard time about it all…much. Some loads from hell gain humor with the passage of time. About 20 or so years ago, my co-driver and I picked up a load of oranges in California going to up-state New York. On the way, we broke a transmission line and had to go to the shop. As this was before cell phones and qual-coms, I called the broker and then the receiver telling them both of the problem from a pay phone. I knew there was going to be a little bit of problem with the receiver when he called me a lying b-word about being broken down. My co-driver and I hustled after getting the line fixed and got to the receiver only an hour late. The
eceiver was a little short balding man who ran from his office as we got onto the dock to check in. He was waving a pistol around as he yelled at us! To say I was scared is an understatement. My co-driver got him calmed down and we proceeded to fingerprint the load off the trailer and left. When we called the broker to report in empty, he told us that no one would go to that receiver’s twice and laughed. About 5 hours later, we were dispatched to go to a neighboring town to pick up a load of salvage oranges to take to the Huntspoint Market auction for delivery the next morning for the same broker that we had just hauled the load that we had just delivered. We went to the shipper’s and backed into the dock. I stayed in the truck doing paperwork as my co-driver went into the shipping office to take care of the bills of lading as we were loaded. As we had been backing in, we had noticed a truck from the earlier receiver pull in and back into the dock next to us; we did not give it much thought. We got loaded and hit the Market on time and the auctioneers were selling the oranges as they were pulled off our trailer. When we got empty and all the oranges were sold, we left and found a phone to call the broker that we were empty. He asked us what had happened the day before at the shippers. When we said nothing, and asked why, he replied, “The guy you brought the load to in that morning said you stole a load of oranges his
truck had delivered to where you were loading.” The upshot of the story was that as the shipper’s forklift driver was unloading the receiver’s truck, the person loading us had grabbed the wrong oranges and loaded them on us. We had taken good oranges to the salvage auction and cost the jerk with the gun a sale! It was not our fault though we sweated it for a while, but the broker and the shipper got it straightened out. I can laugh about the whole thing now, but it was a definite load from hell that remains fresh in my memory. Loads from hell are a part of our lives as truckers and one never knows when a load like that will show up. It just goes to show that trucking is not a job it is an adventure. Sandy Long is a long time truck driver who is also very active within the trucking industry. She was a freelance writer for layover.com, a life member of OOIDA, member of the WIT and owner of two websites: Trailer Truckin’ Tech, a yahoo group dedicated to the education of new and prospective truck drivers and www.satinandsteelsisterhood.com for women truck drivers.
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Ask the Fuel Expert By Jack Lee Trucks taking 50% longer to fuel – 45 minutes is new industry average according to study 50% increase in hourly labour costs. There’s no return on paying for unproductive time. It’s as simple as that. Time spent fuelling increases labour costs; decreases productive time worked I remember starting my working career as a kid, my employers told me what I was worth. And I think it was a buck and a half an hour. As time went on, my working-worth increased until I became an entrepreneur and then my value was directly proportional to how well I managed my growth and controlled costs. I had to work smarter given the limited hours I had each day. Today that challenge continues for me, for suppliers and our clients. There are some costs you can’t control but they can all be managed better. For example, high labour costs can be contained particularly when it comes to refuelling, In a recent study of major transport companies across Canada, the average time to fuel at commercial stations had increased by 50% over two years. What used to take truckers 30 minutes now takes 45. I know this number is low for bigger cities where you sit in traffic longer and it’s always hard to account for the drivers who spend additional time making a call, using the restroom or stopping for a coffee. But for the purposes of this discussion, let’s stick with 45 minutes per refuelling session; 15 minutes longer than it used to take. That’s a 50% increase in time, and a
The 45 minute measure considers the total time spent getting fuel per truck per day. The clock starts when the truck leaves its route to find a fuelling station, waits in line, adds fuel to tanks, completes the transaction and returns to its route. During this time, you are paying for the labour, maintenance, insurance and administration but making no deliveries, moving no goods and earning no return on a considerable investment. The study was conducted through personal and telephone interviews with senior executives, owners and fleet managers of businesses in transportation, logistics and freight operating in major urban centres in Canada. It was conducted by 4Refuel, the only company in the world to develop systems for automatically tracking fuel transactions and reporting them online. Let’s do some math to show what the real cost of refuelling is when you do your own fleet filling at cardlocks. For a fleet of 20 trucks you can expect to spend approximately 50 hours each week devoted to refuelling. And many of those hours are overtime hours costing time and a half or double time rates. What do your drivers earn per hour? Now do the math. It adds up to tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Now, think about what you get for all those hours spent filling up,
other than fuel. Nothing. Today many companies have come to the conclusion that time spent refuelling can be re-gained and put back onto their bottom line when they use Total Fuel Management. This solution has been pioneered, developed and fine-tuned by 4Refuel Inc. the only company in the world to look at logistics, refuelling and fuel management from your perspective. Total Fuel Management includes everything from fuel procurement, delivery, to the measurement and management of fuel consumption data. Clients no longer have to search for fuel during shortages. No more driving time. Waiting is eliminated and you get the information you need to manage your fleets better. Fuel Management Online or FMO delivers, via email, the data captured from each truck. This information allows you to figure out where consumption is wasted and productivity can be improved giving you better profitability for each dollar spent on fuel. Your drivers appreciate the change to this system because they are no longer responsible for maintaining fuel levels because all refuelling is done at your location while trucks are parked, usually outside of business hours. But don’t take my word for it… “It's about the money", says Hugh Sanders Vice President at Roff Logistics, the company responsible for transport needs for Supply Chain Management and Walmart Canada. They have 135 trucks on the road and another 15 in-yard. "We've been using 4Refuel for the past 10 years. Based on our current fuel useage it would take us 93 man-hours each day...that's right, each day...to refuel at card-locks. With
4Refuel we save over $2,200 every working day. Each year? That works out to over $500,000 in saved labour costs. Over the years we have seen traffic increases and more demand for fuel. We don't have to worry about fuel supply or running low. Our trucks are always kept full, and 4Refuel drivers are available 24/7. Everybody has to wait at card-locks. And when you combine the driving time, waiting, and the time it takes to fill up, it's a lot of wasted time, money and effort. Years ago we realized the importance of having 4Refuel look after us. That was when we were paying $12 per hour. Today our costs are well over $20 an hour. Wait times, drive times have all increased, in addition to wages." Mr. Sanders concludes, "So, who doesn't want to save money?" Total Fuel Management eliminates the growing labour costs associated with refuelling plus delivers valuable information to make your operations run more smoothly while increasing profits. I’d say that’s pretty good advice from a guy who used to be worth only a buck or two an hour… Jack Lee, President/CEO
4Refuel Inc. Jack Lee is CEO of 4Refuel – the largest onsite fuel management company in Canada and a global leader in technology designed to help businesses reduce their fuel expenses. Got a question about fuel? Ask the fuel expert by emailing Jack at AskTheFuelExpert@4Refuel.com
Kelly Anderson About a month ago I sent out an e-mail to all members asking if anyone had a flow chart for the application process. No one came forward with a flow chart but I received numerous request that if we got one that they’d like a copy of it. So this article is in response to that request. The first thing I’ve got to say is that I have resisted creating an application flow chart and/or list of questions that should be asked on every phone call because I don’t want to create a process that people believe they should follow in chronological order on every call with every application. I believe each call and application is its own unique event, and the questions we ask and the order of processing should reflect that uniqueness. I was recently taking calls with a recruiter and it was a lot of fun because we were getting one call after another. I was taking phone applications, giving contingent offers of employment, arranging for signed releases to be faxed and giving the application to the processor to order reports and verify employment. On some applications I attached a sticky note “MVR Only” or “Employment Record” requesting the processor only order a specific report because I felt there may be a problem in that area of the application. The processor came in and complained that I was asking for only one report out of all the reports she could order and she didn’t feel like she had time to order reports one at a time she needed to order all of them at one time and be done with it. I explained to her that in-
stead of spending money on all the reports lets just spend a little money to see if it was worth spending more. I also confirmed with her that she could go back and pull up that driver profile and select the additional reports she wanted to order. In the end she agreed and we saved the company a lot of money. Dale Reagan former Vice President of Transportation for DAC Services and current Vice President of Tenstreet (the best recruiting application management program I’ve ever seen) describes it like this: You’ve got a balance scale with a driver on one side and a pile of money you can put on the other to even the scale. The object is to put as little as possible on the other side to determine if it’s worth spending more”. I see recruiters and processors ordering all the reports for every driver they decide to take to the next step when they could have ordered one report to check out a questionable area on the application to see if it’s worth spending more money. For our Canadian members I believe this process will work for you as well with the exception of running the consumer reports. Several Canadian based companies have adopted my “Conversational Recruiting” techniques and found they enabled them to hire more qualified drivers. On the next page I’ve put together a flow chart from the initial phone call to Confirmation for Orientation. This article was written by Kelly Anderson, President of the International Society of Recruiting and Retention Professionals.
Date Last Seen: August 31, 2000 Place Last Seen: Edmonton, Alberta File# 00-093632
27 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 178 cm; 5’10” Weight: 66 kg; 146 lbs Eye Colour: Blue Hair Colour: Brown
Jutta Anna BENTZ
Date Last Seen: September 17, 1995 Place Last Seen: Airdrie, Alberta File# 1995-4331 Agency: RCMP Airdrie Detachment (403-945-7267)
23 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 175 cm; 5’9” Weight: 61 kg; 135 lbs Eye Colour: Blue Hair Colour: Brown
Jason Arthur MISURKO
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY OF THESE PEOPLE?
If you have any information in regards to any missing person you are asked to please call the investigating agency at the numbers provided or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). www.albertamissingpersons.ca
Date Last Seen: January 18, 2008 Place Last Seen: King Henry Pub, Calgary, Alberta File# 2008029409 Agency: Calgary Police Service (403-266-1234)
27 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 183 cm; 6’0” Weight: 82 kg; 180 lbs Eye Colour: Brown Hair Colour: Brown
Bradley Michael WOROBECK
Date Last Seen: April 1, 2001 Place Last Seen: Blood Indian Reserve, Alberta File# 1999-7145 Agency: Blood Tribe Police Service (403-737-3800)
34 Years old at time of disappearance Weight: 77 kg; 169 lbs Height: 183 cm; 6’0” Eye Colour: Brown Hair Colour: Black
John Derek OLD SHOES
Agency: Edmonton Police Service (780-423-4567)
CROSS BORDER SERVICES
Dawn Truell, President Cross Border Services Has anybody seen the sun? Come on Canada Time to Take the Compliancy Programs Seriously We all knew there would be changes with the new U.S. Government Administration. Have we paid attention to what this means to our Canadian Businesses? U.S. President Barack Obama has a mission to bring business back to the U.S.A. This affects us with our U.S./Canada Trade market. The borders security has been beefed up tremendously with not only enforcing Compliancy programs but making these compliancy programs much more complex, demanding and difficult to gain approval and certification. The big But here is that if we want to continue to do business with the U.S. we have to comply with their programs. Here are the programs that I am referring to: C-TPAT, FAST U.S., FAST Cards, ACE, SFI, CSI, WHTI, SCAC, IOR, DOT, Passports, travel documents, import/export regulations. We have on our Canadian side of the border the PIP, FAST Canada, FAST Cards and/or CDRP Cards, CSA, Canadian Bonded Carrier as well as Passports and travel documents. There was a time when becoming
certified under these programs was fairly easy, not any longer! I cannot stress to you how important compliancy with these programs is to your companies and to our border trade business. There are companies out there whom are taking a gouge out of our Canadian Transportation business; those to whom this has happened know what I am referring to. My answer for you, is know your compliancy programs, get enrolled and certified and advertise this fact. The restrictions on these programs, especially C-TPAT, leave only the trustworthy Transportation and Trucking companies out there to do honest business. Having said that though, unfortunately there are very trustworthy Canadian freight forwarders and freight brokers that no longer qualify for the C-TPAT program due to the requirements having been drastically changed. However, these companies can still be certified under our Canadian PIP, FAST and CSA programs. It is not the goal of U.S. C.B.P. to close Canadian companies down, their goal is to heighten security; as well our own Canadian CBSA is also doing same. I urge you to contact me for further information as this is a serious matter and really needs to be addressed; see how this affects your company. email@example.com www.crossborderservices.org I cannot stress enough that you need to get correct confident advice when it comes to Customs and Border issues. Fyi did you know that U.S. Customs & Border Protection has come out with the SBI net Northern Border Project (NBP), they are deploying 16 Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS) in the Buffalo and Detroit Sectors to provide coverage along the Niagara and St. Clair Rivers, each equipped with four remotely operated cameras two day and two night cameras that provide 24-hour, year-round capabilities, construction is expected to be completed in early 2010. The U.S.A. takes security way more seriously than Canada does, although Canada is making great strides towards securing our country as well. I urge you again to take these matters
seriously, protect yourself, your company and our country. I wish you much success for 2010.
United States after visiting friends in Montreal, Quebec. Upon further inspection of the sport utility vehicle revealed several pieces of luggage and a large hockey bag. Upon closer inspection of the hockey bag, CBP officers discovered a man hiding inside the bag. The man was removed from the hockey bag and all three individuals were escorted to the CBP secure facility for further processing. Who does that? A hockey
Here are some stories of interest for you: CBP officers at the World Trade Bridge inspected a tractor-trailer carrying glazed tiles. Upon further investigation officers discovered more than 770 bundles, holding 2,600 pounds of marijuana said to have a street value of more than 2.6 million dollars. Sensors went off along the river by LCC South Campus this morning. When agents arrived, nobody was there, but moments later they heard a growling sound; that sound came from a beautiful Bengal tiger. The four-month-old cub was kept in a small, cramped cage. Border Patrol says somebody paid a big amount of money for the tiger as a pet, and agents say smugglers don't care about the animals well being. The tiger cub is being kept safe before he is sent to Taylor, Texas. At the Alexandria Bay, N.Y. port of entry, a 37-year-old woman and her sister, both U.S. citizens, applied for admission into the United States. The subjects advised CBP officers that they were returning to
bag taboot! On March 6, 2010, in Vancouver, B.C. a Canadian resident driving a tractortrailer carrying rice flour from California was flagged for secondary examination. During an in-depth examination, CBSA officers found a backpack in the trailer containing nine bricks of cocaine street value of $1,221,750.00. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Canadian Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Winning Teams! I have a personal friend on the womanâ€™s team Congratulations Becky Kellar # 4! firstname.lastname@example.org www.crossborderservices.org 905973-9136
Date Last Seen: May 21st, 1983 Place Last Seen: Highway 13 near Lougheed, Alberta
27 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 183 cm; 6’0” Weight: 66 kg; 146 lbs Hair Colour: Brown Eye Colour: Blue
Date Last Seen: February 22, 2009 Place Last Seen: Grande Prairie, Alberta File# 2009209242 Agency: RCMP Grande Prairie Detachment (780-830-5700)
33 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 165 cm; 5’5” Weight: 64 kg; 140 lbs Hair Colour: Blonde Eye Colour: Blue
Jody Rae HOCKETT
If you have any information in regards to any missing person you are asked to please call the investigating agency at the numbers provided or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222TIPS (8477).
Date Last Seen: August 25th 2008 Place Last Seen: Edmonton, Alberta File# CA09048334 Agency: Edmonton Police Service (780-423-4567)
40 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 170 cm; 5’7” Weight: 66 kg; 146 lbs Hair Colour: Black Eye Colour: Brown
Date Last Seen: March 7th, 2004 Place Last Seen: Eden Valley Reserve, Alberta File# 2004-0429 Agency: RCMP Turner Valley Detachment (403-933-4262)
36 Years old at time of disappearance Height: 178 cm; 5’10” Weight: 85 kg; 185 lbs Hair Colour: Black Eye Colour: Brown
David Robert GULLEY
File# 84-0073 Agency: RCMP Killam-Forestburg Detachment (780-385-3502)
Our daily conversations revolve around the “at the moment” type of topics. “What are you up to today? What time will you be home for supper? Did you hang up the towels in the bathroom?” The heavy topics get put off to the side until we can no longer avoid them, until we are forced to deal with them. It’s a reality that we’ve all faced, either first hand or through a friend or family member. That unexpected passing of someone described as “He was only two years older than me.” There’s no age restriction, no background check and no qualifications to meet. It’s not gender specific nor is it based upon income levels or community affiliations. It is something that many of us will not have the opportunity to choose how nor will we be able to opt out of being involved. The one thing that we do have the power to control is how much and when we take care of it so that those who mean the most to us are left with a lot less to worry about. I could start off by telling you about the many families who have decided to complete final arrangements for themselves at
Glen Eden. I could say that Glen Eden is a park style cemetery creating a much more inviting atmosphere than some older cemeteries. I could also tell you that we have a funeral home unrivalled in appearance, atmosphere and caring staff. The harder part to relay to you, as a family member is that your loved one, who has just died, had no arrangements put in place, nothing paid for and no discussion with you as to what their preferences were for their final disposition. It’s now on your shoulders. “It” being the decision between traditional burial or cremation, a type of service to be decided upon, if there is to be a service. And then there’s the cost. What people need to do is stop, think about and understand, at some point, someone other than us is going to be responsible for decisions regarding these final arrangements. Do you know who that person is for you? Have you spoken to them about your wishes? Do you have a will? Have you done anything in regards to gaining any information? Costs of final arrangements are on the rise, every year. Between labour and merchandise, it’s an unavoidable consequence of business and cemeteries and funeral homes are not immune to its effects. If I could sit you in on a meeting where a family is being outlined today’s costs vs. what it would have cost them ten years ago, when they first looked at preplanning but decided they were healthy and really not ready to think about this, you would understand where I’m coming from.
With emotions high and adrenaline flowing, getting a consensus among distraught family members and friends can be almost impossible. And people spend with their grief. 1. People will spend whatever they feel will show the most respect to the person they’ve lost. Even though it may not be what that person would have chosen for themselves. 2. There’s a very short timeline made available to families to have decisions finalized when someone has died. Cemetery and funeral arrangements are generally planned in 48 hours of someone’s passing. 3. People will take what is available at the time of a sudden passing rather than having the time to find a preference. 4. When we lose someone, we will typically take what is offered and pay what is asked. For 13 days in August of 2009, Glen Eden tracked the listings of obituaries in the Winnipeg Free Press. This is a summary of the age groups: <25 years old 26-35 years old 36-45 years old 46-55 years old 56-65 years old 66-75 years old 76-85 years old 86-99 years old 100+ years old
5 deaths 4 deaths 13 deaths 32 deaths 23 deaths 44 deaths 97 deaths 96 deaths 5 deaths
There is no age appropriate category. Whether accidental or natural causes, families will respond that with arrangements put in place to reduce the decision making on a difficult day, their lives are made easier. It’s one of the greatest signs of respect to take care of this and not just leave it to someone else; someone who really may not be comfortable with the responsibility. What it comes down to is are we going to leave this to the people we love and care for most? Or will we stop, have the discussion, make the decision and take responsibility ourselves.
Leanne Good Glen Eden Funeral Home email@example.com
You’ve heard about the south side of Chicago and a guy named Leroy Brown. Well, on the north side of St. Louis, Leroy had a counterpart named Joe Willyard. Born in the inner city, Joe was raised by a step-father who didn’t work out any better than the father who’d left soon after his birth. No one taught him to play baseball or took him hunting. There was no father image in his young life and no guidance – just a hole called loneliness. At the tender age of 13 Joe had a full time interest in alcohol, was an alcoholic by age 14 and was mainlining drugs by 17. After a short hitch in the army, he celebrated a lonely nineteenth birthday in prison. Joe came out harder and wilder. He was mean to the core and carried an attitude. Appropriately, he found employment as a nightclub bouncer. During this period in his life, his girl-
friend’s brother was killed in a drug deal. Always the protector, Joe agreed to set up the killer for the murdered boy’s father to avenge. When he went to a bar to finger the triggerman, the word of his mission had already gotten around. When he walked out the door, he was the one who got shot. But that was child’s play compared to an episode a few months later. In the bar where he worked, a guy gave a waitress a hard time and Joe called the loudmouth outside to fight. Joe had just taken his fighting stance when he noticed the man pull a gun. The shot exploded into his chest, penetrating his right lung. But before Joe hit the ground, he pulled out his own gun and shot his assailant three times, completely blowing away his stomach. Only plea-bargaining kept him out of prison again. Just like in the old westerns, everyone wanted to take on the bad bouncer. So Joe decided to move. In the following years, he experienced one continual bout of drinking and drugs, until he found himself panhandling on the streets of Boston to get enough money for another cheap bottle of white port wine to drink alone.
Joe had been driving a truck on and off since he got out of prison and had been married three times. Ultimately he found himself in a detox center trying to get off booze. He wanted to be free from the bottle but was continually set off by things that drove him back to it. That’s why on December 26, 1976 he awoke one morning in a mental ward in Milan, Illinois. He was closely guarded because they were afraid that Joe had become as suicidal as he was homicidal. Joe Willard decided at that moment that he’d taken his last drink, and he’s been dry ever since. But he was still a lost man. Sober but lost. His mother had sent him to Sunday school and church when he was young. He had a head full of facts about God, but his heart was empty. Although he quit drinking, he was still doing pills and snorting coke. Right up until May 19, 1984. On that day, a driving rainstorm caused Joe to shut down one night in Bartons, Oklahoma, where he got an overwhelming urge to go to church. “I walked into that little Pentecostal church alone. And when the pastor gave the call to surrender my life to Jesus Christ, I did. There was no hokey stuff about it. I meant business. I prayed, ‘Lord, show me where to go, what to do and I will obey.” The saving, cleansing presence of Jesus Christ took up residence in the empty heart of the tough guy from the north side of St. Louis. When he walked back to his truck, he noticed that he was conveniently parked right next to a dumpster. There he dumped the last of his drugs. He might be alone from time to time, but he’d never be lonely again. Since that time, Joe Willyard’s iden-
tity has been caught up in the person of Jesus Christ. His passion has become introducing others to his Lord. You may have seen Joe Willyard’s Peterbilt somewhere on the road. It’s the one with the gorgeous mural of the sunset over the ocean painted on the side. On the hood’s painted, “Jesus is my Pilot.” Ont he back’s the decal, “Get right with God or get left.” Looking back on his own troubled, lonely childhood, Joe urges truckers to commit their lives to the Lord and “train up a child in the way he should go.” He knows that youth cannot get involved in the things of God too early. The Bible verse that drives him most is found in Luke 14:23: “Go out to the roads…and make them come in” (pg. 87). Truckers have given their hearts to the Lord under the illumination of the big spotlight on Joe’s truck. “A constant problem facing truckers is loneliness,” says Joe. “The temptation of prostitution lies mainly in just wanting to be with someone, even if it’s just for a few minutes. A woman’s voice on the CB sounds like heaven. It can be a lonely life.” “Becoming a follower of Jesus means that Satan is taken out and Christ comes in. The lonely spot in all of us is filled with the Son of God. Christ can give all the peace and companionship a man seeks.”