12/3/18

Coming in 2019…A Podcast for Children’s Trucker Stories

Children’s Grandpa and the Truck, books 1 and 2 glorify a trucker’s interesting life, as he goes about his job of transporting households across the United States. You see, our trucker/hero went to EVERY SINGLE STATE except one (do you know which one a trucker and his big rig can’t travel to?)

He became a trucker because he hated his first job. At 18 years of age, he was a roofer in Arkansas, smearing hot tar on roofs in punishing 120 degree heat. So, when he got the chance to become a delivery person for the conveyor truck (it conveyed or carried the products of shingles, tar, nails, brushes to the site), he jumped at it. What’d he learn? He was a natural trucker.

Now, as a long-haul trucker, a person learns a lot about our country–the cities..the rural areas…the different accents people have…their customs. He became an expert in geography who recognized the mighty rivers..the mountain ranges, the oceans. He learned about climate with ice-slicked roads..impenetrable fog…floods…hurricanes…tornadoes.

Sometimes he witnessed events that become historically important (the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969) when thousands of young people converged on a dairy farm in upstate New York and stayed there 3 days!! (I’ll bet you didn’t know New York had farms?) I’ll bet you didn’t even know the town where it happened wasn’t really Woodstock but its sister town of Bethel, New York? (Don’t feel bad–nobody knows that.)

Yep, truckers see things no one else does because they are on America’s highways, traveling everywhere.

And they form clubs of sorts…groups of fellow truckers, the men and women who do this tough job everyday of bringing to us every single product that we use (Look around your house and realize that the couch…the chair…the lamp…your computer..your clothes..your medicines…your food…everything was brought in by truckers.) Truckers have a very unique lifestyle, talking to each other on their CB radios, visiting Truck Stops where they refuel, wash their trucks, do laundry, rent a bed, play games, socialize.

I’m going to tell you all about this fascinating lifestyle, so that when a big rig passes you by, you’ll understand how unique these people are. When you hear the airhorn or the jake brake, you’ll know an 18-wheeler is nearby. You’ll envision their home away from home–the cab or tractor that pulls the trailer.  Some have inground swimming pools in them (I’m kidding!!) But they are pretty fancy!

You’ll hear of the great danger these men and women sometimes face, whether from nature or an even more threatening force–human beings–the crazy drivers out there who whip in and out of lanes or slam on their brakes last minute and expect a heavy 18-wheeler, fully loaded can stop on a dime!!!

You’ll hear their special language–at least the words I CAN share with you. Trucker lingo. You’ll hear their greatest fears. And the things they love best about this crazy job.

Finally you’ll learn that even if you hate math, you need to learn some of it to do their job because truckers use math skills every single day, on their jobs. I’ll explain how.

But our journey will be fun. I’ll be sharing the great geographic differences our country has that only truckers fully appreciate (cuz they’ve seen it all.)

It’s long overdue.

P.S. Our trucker’s nickname (truckers like to give each other those, too) is “Gater” because his last name was Gates. That’s “Gater” in the cartoon illustration and the real one, here, with a big rig. He nicknamed his truck, too (I’ll be telling you that, too.)…Stay tuned. The oral stories begin after Christmas, in the New Year–2019–when we finally give truckers the credit they deserve.

To order these books for the holidays, you must do so before December 12 (so why not do it today?) I can personalize to the child and sign them as author if you leave your wishes in the “Special instructions” section. I hope you’re on board for this exciting journey. Sign on so you don’t miss any of these stories……

12/9/16

Grandpa and the Truck goes on the Road (when I Guest-Speak)

Latest Reviews of My Guest-Speaking

Dear Colleen,st-lukes

“What a wonderful day we had at Leisure Learning. Everyone was so impressed with your presentation! You have inspired many from the youngest to the oldest.  You know from the audience’s response you held their attention to the very end. I am so proud that I was able to introduce you….” (photo is of St. Luke’s Peirce St., East Greenwich, where I spoke.)

From Eleanor Keating (the woman who booked me), Leisure Learning, East Greenwich, RI

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The following is from Director of two elder-living sites in West Warwick where Colleen spoke this fall. Colleen’s now invited to the third site this director oversees in Johnston for a presentation in 2017:

Colleen Mellor and her husband were guest speakers at two of our elder living sites this fall… Plaza Esperanza in West Warwick and another visit to Wildberry Apartments.

“Our experience with Colleen Mellor was extraordinary!

“Colleen was funny and very entertaining. She was a burst of energy for our elder residents.  She inspired them to consider the history of their lives and to be their own memory keepers. Colleen engaged the residents to reminisce…

“I look forward to hosting Colleen and her husband again at our other senior housing sites. Not only is she a wonderful guest speaker, but she is also a genuinely kind person.”

Lucy Goulet, CRSC

Housing Opportunities Corporation

I not only speak. The audience bought my Grandpa and the Truck books, too. We can offer them on our website until Dec. 18 and then cannot guarantee shipment in time for Christmas or other holiday. I can personalize by child’s name if you add in Paypal instructions and I sign as author (how cool is that?) Your intended child gets actual author-signed book, one backed for authenticity by biggest trucking group, OOIDA, and Women in Trucking (WIT) and recommended by teachers, parents, and kids!books-for-yard-sale And contact me if you wish guest-speaker. I’m loving my new role…and apparently audiences do, too.

For children’s books, go to http://www.grandpaandthetruck.com

 

 

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10/26/16

Trucker Books (and the Trucker) a Big Hit with All Ages

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Trucker/husband Paul Wesley Gates and I went before two audiences last week where we had a ball. While at one, a woman came up , tapped my husband on his arm, and said: “You look just like Roy Rogers.”

I laughed, inwardly, as I thought:  “That must make me Dale Evans.”

I get why she said it. He’s tall, lanky, with a Southern drawl (he’s a long-ago transplant from Arkansas who got here as a Navy Seabee.) As such, he’s a great favorite of the ladies. It helps that he wears a western hat, cowboy boots, and a leather vest with insignia sewn on.

I freely admit:  I use him for my presentations.

You see, I write about his adventures in our children’s books, Grandpa and the Truck (Books 1 and 2), for he was a long-haul, big rig driver who went all over the United States, moving households. Our books are the perfect vehicle (pun intended) to teach geography, regional differences, dialect, trucker lingo (the words we can safely use). Each story comes with guide questions, maps showing where the truck is, a moral (remember—I’m a teacher) and table of contents.

To date, we’ve published two colorfully-illustrated books, and we give lively presentations to children, too.  Our biggest audience was a 200-child school gathering in Tiverton, RI.

How we doing? Our colorful books fly out the door, at these presentations, with women who recognize their value….author-signed books recommended by teachers and truckers.

If you order your own now, we get them to you before the holidays….

#truckers #bigrigdrivers #kidstruckbooks

07/13/16

Note to Truckers and Teachers!

trucker and cabIf you like what we do–then please support our efforts.

We are the ONLY stories written for little kids by a 30-year trucker who won awards for his expertise and his author partner (her work appears in Wall St. Journal, Providence Journal, and a host of others.) In addition, she’s a 30-year teacher.

And we’re endorsed by the two biggest trucker groups–OOIDA and WIT.

So, if you support American truckers and they hard job they perform, support our books by buying them.

We sign as author and personalize to a specific child if you put that in the instructions.

We cannot produce the rest of our series (6 more books, each set in different geographic regions) without your support.

Why should teachers support us, too? Grandpa and the Truck books are written by a teacher, and teach geography (and a whole lot more.) We’ve included table of contents, questions, maps, trucker terms.

This fall the author will begin a series of auditory books–the stories she and her husband have created.

Help us bring to the public the very real and exciting life of the American trucker. You can do this by ordering books from this website. They make great children’s gifts and help the image of the American Trucker.

01/30/16

We Were Ahead in This Trucking Trend

girl_truckers with dollyI’ve read the reports and I was thrilled to find: Mattel is making more realistic dolls, dolls that look like real women. We were ahead of this curve–in the trucking industry–by writing about real women truckers.

How so? In“Grandpa and the Truck,” “Girl Truckers” is story 2 in Book 2. Each book (we’ve published 2) has beautifully-illustrated stories, maps, trucker lingo, guide questions.

As author, I based our series on the 30-year career of my big rig driving partner, a man who traveled through every state in the United States. Those two “girl truckers” were legendary female drivers from Rhode Island who could wield their own big rig and do the job as well (if not better) than any trucker he’d ever met.

Millie and Mollie were raised by their trucker Dad, “Leatherneck” O’Day . Truckers often have nicknames, and they give their trucks nicknames, too. My partner (and hero of the series) is “Gater” and he called his big rig “Proud Mary,” after that CCR song, about the riverboat whose wheels were ‘rollin…rollin…rollin. ‘

The girls named their truck “Pink Lady.”

It was easy for fellow truckers to see “Pink Lady” approaching on the superslabs (trucker lingo for highways.)

So, that’s it in a nutshell. Our books speak to equality in opportunity that is even more important today than it was in my generation (I’m a grandmother) for trucker ranks will be seriously depleted in years to come. This article speaks to that.

We have 6 more books in this series, awaiting publication. Each story is set in a different region. The next will be about the famous Woodstock Music Festival seen as only a trucker could (ironically, it didn’t happen in Woodstock!) and then this trucker’s West Virginia mining story.

As we say in our tagline: “We teach geography…and a whole lot more.”

It is our hope that America’s children will learn about our vast country through the journeys of our big rig, along with its unflappable, quirky driver (who won awards for his driving expertise)… and not solely via GPS devices.

But we also see dolls modeled on Millie and Mollie, two of this country’s first female big rig drivers.