Truckin: NDN reporter gets taste of driving a big rig
When I was young, my grandfather worked on heavy equipment at the main garage for the City of Des Moines and before his retirement, at the Des Moines International Airport. Bob Mendenhall Sr. was always outside in his shop turning wrenches on “some deal,” as all in the family lovingly put it. From restoring antique Ford tractors to hauling brush and junk for friends, my grandfather was pulling a heavy load.
Breaking his back for others, his work was his passion. But this was not the beginning of a love affair with trucks for me. I was the kind of kid whose imagination was too supernatural for big rigs — more entranced by Power Rangers, action figures and VH1 than the sturdy Tonka trucks parked in the play room in my grandparents’ basement.
But watching my grandfather gave me a deep respect for the drivers. And at no time has that respect grown more than during my participation in the Media Driving Challenge during the Iowa Truck Driving Championships at the Iowa Speedway Saturday where — to my surprise — I took home the first place plaque in the media division.
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