Canadian trucking Magazine Stirling Truck Show Edition

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Dave MacKENZIE Publisher Editior Canadian Trucking Magazine Once again this year Canadian Trucking Magazine and Herd Integrated Vehicle Protection presented the Stirling Truck Show winner a grill guard Front-end Collision Protection worth over $3000.00. Congratulations to Murray Kloosterman from Cambleford Ontario.

Wow, what a way to start the Stirling Parade, with proud members of the Royal Canadian Legion leading the rig dedicated to those fallen in Afghanistan. Drivers if you missed Stirling this year, be sure to put it on your calender for next year. They are getting bigger and better every year, and most important, I feel Stirling is the Truck Show in the east that is truely dedicated to the transport driver. The awards ceremony speaks volumes as to trucks are the reason we are all there. No getting lost in venders, of course we are there, but the grounds are covered with rigs to fit every prize category.

Gary Cox last years winner from Fergus was on hand with an interesting story to tell after his new HERD was installed.

In this magazine I will cover the attendees of the event or as many as I had time to photograph and you can visit the Stirling web site for show results and pictures of the trucks. There were a lot of important products at this show its dedicated people at those booths that without thier support it would be hard to put on a show. The Lions Club really put thier hearts into this event to make it worth attending. I myself have made a note that next year I am going to get more pictures of those working in and behind the scenes to make this happen. I did see the dedication and hard work but didn’t document it here for you.

Seems Gary had a chance first hand twice to see the protection you get with having a HERD on board. A large buck took on the front of his truck with such an impact he had to turn on the wipers.Besides having a mess to clean up, you see the front of his truck is perfect! Happy Trails,,,,,,,,Dave

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.”

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