|A surprise gift for OOIDA President Jim Johnston. OOIDA|
officers Todd Spencer and Bob Esler on the left.
(Photo by Nikohle Ellis)
“There are years in the past where we never thought anything like this would have happened and we are thrilled you are all here to share our 40th anniversary,” Spencer told attendees.
“I’ve been around for a long time, but this guy standing beside me – Jim Johnston – started this thing. … I can say tenacity and things like that, and those words are appropriate. But the truth is, he just a lot like other truck drivers. He’s so damned hardheaded.
“He decided to start something to represent truckers. He stuck with it. … When virtually everyone else was gone, he was there alone and could not admit defeat. He built an organization. People say all the time truckers can’t get together. Hell yes, truckers can get together and they can represent themselves in a business-like manner.
“We may be kind of a strange family at times, but when we stick together, it works better for all of us.”
At that point, Jim was still thinking it was a welcome speech to guests. Truckers cheered as Board Members Gary Green and Robert Esler edged up on the left with the portrait, a token of recognition, appreciation, for the many years Jim has dedicated to truckers.
Jim’s smile said it all, but he did get in the last words.
“Todd had it partway right,” he said. “Actually, I was too dumb to know I couldn’t do it and too stubborn to quit.”