Saturday, September 3, 2016

Remembering Our Ice Road Hero #CaturdayArt

Today's blog post is more personal than cat-related, but it's something that 's been weighing heavily on my heart all week and I needed to write about it.

Have you ever found yourself affected by a celebrity's death more than you ever would've expected? I've shed more than a few years this week over the tragic death of a man I never met yet I feel like I "knew".

My dad was a truck driver for nearly 40 years. "Driving truck" is in his blood, and having to give it up back in 2007 broke his heart. The same summer he retired Ice Road Truckers debuted on the History Channel, and even though Dad isn't much of a television watcher, IRT is appointment viewing for him. It's a show that for the last 10 years we've always watched together as a family. Driving heavily loaded vehicles across frozen lakes to remote locations up north might seem crazy but these guys (and girls!) are silent heroes delivering life-saving supplies to isolated communities.

Mudpie's Caturday Art tribute to our favorite Ice Road Trucker

Last Sunday afternoon one of our favorite drivers, Montana legend Darrell Ward was killed in a small plane crash returning home from a truck show in Dallas. Ironically, his next TV project was to be a documentary about the recovery of plane wrecks. He drove the most dangerous roads in the world in the dead of winter and died in a plane crash in August...it just seems so cruel. He was a blue collar hero, the kind of man this world needs more of, and now he's gone. Maybe I feel it so personally because he's the kind of man I was lucky enough to have been raised by.

Among the thousands of condolences left on Darrell's Facebook page are countless pictures of him posing with his fans, especially kids who looked up to him...maybe even future truck drivers because of him. Yet despite the fame that came because of the show, he came off as just a regular guy who lived to get behind the wheel of the trucks that keep our world running.

The show (and the roads) won't be the same without you, Darrell. I sure hope there are big rigs in Heaven.

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I'm attaching this video because it's such a beautiful tribute. The footage was taken at the truck show he was returning from when he died.

19 comments:

  1. That was really sad that Darrell Ward died - way too soon. My human has been sad about a lot of celebrity deaths this year.

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  2. That's a gorgeous representation of Mudpie in the ice ... and a beautiful tribute to a good man. ~Momma
    ps - Bear Cat wants Mudpie to know he likes her tail just as it is ... of course, he could spend all day staring in her eyes, but her tail is purrfect too :)

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  3. What a beautiful tribute, Mudpie and Melissa. It is always so sad to hear the news of yet another passing. But, I guess it shows just how much someone has made an impact on us when we feel so strongly about them even without knowing them personally. Darrell Ward was obviously such a wonderful, genuine person. Sending you lots of purrs, Mudpie and Melissa!

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  4. This is a beautiful tribute.

    Very sad :(

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  5. Great tribute to a very brave man.

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  6. That was a very touching tribute and I'm sorry to hear that Darrell Ward passed away tragically. it is true when someone we admire greatly passes on we feel it too, in a different way than their family do but we feel it. Last weekend I was watching the REELZ show on Robin Williams and thinking how incredibly sad he is gone. But I understood on another level why he took his own life. He was facing such a frightening disease, Parkinsons with Lewy bodies and for someone who was so quick witted to know you were being robbed of your mind makes me understand his utter hopelessness. Those of us who know Parkinsons and the brain problems truly get why he did what he did. Sorry didn't mean to go off on a tangent but we do come to 'know' them, even if it's just through their work and that alone is inspirational.

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  7. You made a beautiful tribute of a hero, Mudpie and what a picture..WOW! Soft Pawkisses for the occasion :) <3

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  8. A moving tribute to an everyday hero.

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  9. That's a lovely tribute to him.

    Thank you so much for coming to my birthday celebration! - Merlin

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  10. I love the art; it's sad and touching. It's ironic that one of TW's sports heroes died in a small crash too—Yankee catcher Thurman Munson.

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  11. That's very sad. What a great tribute to him.

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  12. so sad that he would go home this way... The Mom wishes we had met him... humble, loving guy. Thank you for sharing his tribute. -Katie Too

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  13. What a beautiful tribute. I hope that creating it has brought you some comfort.

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  14. This is a beautiful tribute, Melissa. Thank you for sharing…tears and blessings...

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  15. This is a fine tribute and, no, we don't feel it is out of place at all. What affects your and Mudpie's lives affects your blog - and it is a heartfelt post - so you bet your bottom ice covered dollar it matters. Had you written nothing it would have been much worse - as you would have a lump of regret in your heart that wanted out.

    A Good Post, A Well Done Post.

    Marjorie and the Dash Kitten Crew

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