Get the truck out

Get the truck out

Imagine this: you’ve just finished your seventh period and you’re more than exhilarated to get home.   You sprint out to your car, pop the keys in the ignition, shift into gear, and shred rubber out of the lot.  Before you can get out of that gate, however, you can’t help but notice the boisterous roar of a multitude of pickup trucks, paired with thick clouds of black smoke and the war cry of the country men inside of those trucks.

This is a stark reality for many of the students who park in the Schaeper Center lot, leaving them confused, afraid, and frankly irritated.  Until recently, parking in the Schaeper Center lot was an uneventful affair, typically bringing about little to no controversy or conversation.  However, with recent developments and trends among truck-drivers, the inhabitants of the lot are turning their heads and casting vitriol towards the trucks.

One reason for this is the previously stated obstreperousness that disrupts the peace and quiet of certain drivers as they depart from Elder.  It is almost required of a truck driver to rev his engine as soon as it kicks in.  The loud noise seems to give these gentlemen the energy they need to seize the day.

Jack Knolle, a senior, is the infamous owner of the red Ford F-250 that totes the classic stars and stripes, along with a yellow “don’t tread on me” flag.  He told me that the truck means a lot to him.  “I worked full time for the past three summers to get it.  It just shows that hard work can pay off,” he said.

Knolle's flags in the parking lot
Knolle’s flags flying in the parking lot. (Photograph by Collin Scheiner ’17)


I asked him about the flags that hang from the various trucks in the lot, and the meaning behind some of them.  The American Flag is a pretty simple accessory.  Knolle agrees: “I fly it because I am an American.”  By flying the American Flag, Knolle told me that he also honors his sister who is in the Navy.

His aren’t the only flags, though.  Other truck drivers fly other flags.  One of the more noticeable flags is the spinoff of the classic American stars and bars.  It has a single blue stripe, and the rest of the flag is in greyscale.  Knolle doesn’t fly one of these, but I asked him if he knew what the meaning behind it was.

“The blue stripe on the other flags stand for the cops.  Support the cops,” he started.  In the wake of the recent controversial events involving the police, he added: “even though we might not like their decisions all the time, they lay down their lives for us every day.”

The "support the cops" flag. (Photograph by Collin Scheiner '17)
The “support the cops” flag. (Photograph by Collin Scheiner ’17)

Seemingly, the truck drivers have no ill-will to the non-truckers, but their contemporaries are still upset by some of their endeavors.  I talked to a senior who wishes to remain anonymous, and he told me that he doesn’t like that the truckers “feel the need to rev their engines as loudly as they can.  It’s not cool, just annoying.”

In terms of the flags, he said that he was not happy seeing the Confederate flag at the beginning of the year, and doesn’t think that the school parking lot is the right place to push your political agenda, regardless of the meaning behind it.

Fair enough.  There are obviously two sides to every issue.  There is no resolving of this “issue,” but we can hope that both sides keep the peace in the parking lot.