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Thanks for Latino heritage story

9/18/2013

Thank you for your recent article focusing on Latino heritage. Should you have any follow-up articles, I wanted to make you are aware of videos available at Historic Valley Junction which were produced by Vince Valdez. Vince’s interviews featuring Valley Junction heritage, including many Hispanic families, are open for viewing at Historic City Hall, 137 Fifth St., in Valley Junction.

Also, round two of the videos will soon be in production, so if there is a family that has long settled in Valley Junction, we’d love to include them.

Nicole Engler-Selser
–West Des Moines

 

Truck driving ain’t nothing to sneeze at

In the July 25 edition of Cityview’s “Records and Rankings,” the Education Section stated that: “a high school diploma may lead to a stellar career in trucking driving and forklift operating.” As a retired truck driver, it is obvious to me that you don’t know as much as you should to be qualified to make such a derogatory comment. Truck drivers are held to half the legal amount of alcohol in their blood stream as commercial airline pilots, the most senior of whom fly 747s, earn about $200,000 per year and have hundreds of lives in their hands. They are limited to fewer hours of work than these same pilots per day.

There is very little or nothing in your home or business that didn’t arrive at the point of purchase that wasn’t on a truck at sometime, excluding electricity, water, gas and air. Can you add something to that list? I began driving in 1985 as an employee of a local delivery service and was soon making regional and nationwide trips. I didn’t get rich, but I did make a comfortable living, was provided meal and motel money and got to see many places I never would have seen otherwise. After some time, I drove a dump truck locally and again, although I didn’t earn a fortune, I did appreciate the $300 to $400 a week paycheck.

I also drove for a manufacturer of flower coolers, earning a better check, with meals and room provided, as well as being allowed to use the truck and fuel for my own personal vehicle while I was “on hold” at a delivery point or had run out of allowable driving hours. At 22 cents per mile, loaded and unloaded, my “personal mileage” and sleeping in the truck at times (plus the unused money for motel and food I was allowed to retain), I did fairly well. Three consecutive runs to Seattle totaled nearly 11,000 miles over a period of 21 days, taking three days out and three days back. That is not an inconsiderable sum.

After that I drove a water tank truck spraying for dust control on the East and South By-pass in Des Moines. I wouldn’t mind having some more of those $500 to $800 net paychecks again. When that job finished, I then went to work for Apollo out of Tucson, Ariz., delivering straight trucks and semi tractors all over the country. This paid reasonably well, in the $700 average net check range, and again I got to see much of the country:

You ought to find somebody who will let you ride along for the day in dump truck on a dirt-moving job. Then you’ll begin to understand. Until then, don’t let your mouth overload your backside. Bad form.

Donald H. Conner
–Windsor Heights

 

CORRETION: Roosevelt High School’s Sharks Club jewelry purchase — $1,400 to 2AU — was not paid for by Des Moines taxpayers (Money, Aug. 29). Club members each turn in a personal check to the club to pay for their jewelry orders. The money is transferred to the school, and the check is written by Roosevelt, but money is privately funded.

 

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Barmuda