The Witches Inn wows judges for a big win

October 2019

Wendy Parker

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OOIDA member Theresa DeSantis was pleasantly surprised to win the Best of Show honors at SuperRigs this year. Theresa said the announcement came as a total shock, following the conclusion of the show at Trail’s Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minn., on July 27.

“I was standing on the sidelines when they called third place, and I thought, ‘OK, it’s not me,’ so then they called second place, and I thought, ‘Well, at least I tried,’ and I picked up my Gatorade to take a drink of it because I really didn’t think they’d call my name to win – and they did.”

“The Witches Inn,” a 1985 Peterbilt 359 EXHD pulls a 2016 East flatbed trailer loaded with “whatever fits under the Conestoga,” according to Theresa. This working show truck is a daily driver and has been since she and her husband bought the tractor new in 1985.

Theresa got her CDL in 1984. She’s had experience with everything from dry vans to belly-dump.

Inspiration for the name and theme of the truck came after an exchange Theresa had one evening with an impatient driver at a railroad crossing in Nevada.

“I was stopped at the railroad tracks, like you’re supposed to in Nevada – it was a nonexempt track, so I put on my four-ways, slowed down, came to a stop. This driver behind me just blows around, passes me on the track. I piped up on the CB and said, ‘those were railroad tracks,’ he came back with, ‘Shut up you, b-word.’”

To which she responded, “Well that wasn’t very nice.”

Theresa describes driving on after watching the offending driver pull off to park.

“I kept trucking. I had a certain point I wanted to sleep at, so I drove on. I kept thinking about it. I knew I couldn’t put ‘bitch’s truck’ on my rig, so I thought, ‘I’ll be the witch, I’ll just get something made for the window that says, ‘Witches Inn,’ and I’ll be the witch and the bunk will be my inn.”

From then on it became a theme Theresa has embraced and used liberally in the scheme of her show truck. A simple window decal idea evolved into a custom bumper with cut-out witches boots and grille with tiny witch hat cut-outs. When she and her husband bought the Conestoga, she had the wrap carry witchy detail all the way to the back of the trailer. Now there is no doubt coming or going whether or not the beautiful truck is “Witches Inn.”

The first time SuperRigs entrant is no stranger to show wins. Theresa began showing the Pete in 2010. As the truck evolved it gathered plenty of trophies along the way. Her decision to finally enter SuperRigs had a lot to do with the money.

“We’ve won a lot of trophies, and that’s always nice, don’t get me wrong, but when someone told me SuperRigs had cash prizes, I figured we’d go for the cash.”

Theresa’s winnings came right on time. The Arizona native returned home from Minnesota to some bad news.

“When we got back from the show we found out our air conditioning for the house went out. So I already spent my winnings on a new central air system for the house. I was really happy to have it – the money and the air conditioning.” LL


Best of Show

Theresa S. DeSantis; Apache Junction, Ariz.; 1985 Peterbilt 359 EXHD

Best of Show, first runner up

JR Schleuger ; Britt, Iowa; 1980 Kenworth W900A

Best of Show, second runner up

Ryan Mahens; Ellenwood, Ga.; 2006 International 9900


Working Truck, Limited Mileage

  1. Ron Brubaker; Sigourney, Iowa; 1993 Peterbilt 379
  2. Dan Brubaker; Sigourney, Iowa; 2003 Peterbilt 379
  3. David Gramberg; New Richmond, Wis.; 2019 Kenworth W900
  4. Bill Rethwisch; Tomah, Wis.; 2019 Peterbilt 389
  5. Jerry Linander; Winona, Minn.; 2007 Kenworth 900L

Tractor/Trailer Division

  1. Jonathon Eilen; Hampton, Minn.; 2007 Peterbilt 379, 2017 MAC Dump
  2. Gary Jones, Jr.; Lawson, Mo.; 1999 Peterbilt 379
  3. Kyle Wagner; Waupun, Wis.; 2016 Peterbilt 389, 2016 MAC Flatbed with a QuickDraw Curtain
  4. Bradley Beuthien; Michigan City, Ind.; 2020 Peterbilt 579
  5. Joe Rondeau; Menomonie, Wis.; 2014 Peterbilt 389, 2017 Brenner

Tractor Division

  1. Kaleb Hammett; Dodd City, Texas; 2017 Peterbilt 389
  2. Cody Jaeschke; Fort Dodge, Iowa; 2017 Peterbilt 389
  3. Jake Lindamood; Irving, Texas; 2007 379 Extended Hood
  4. Everett Ford; Webb City, Mo.; 2008 Kenworth W900L
  5. Matt Brune; Caldwell, Texas; 1999 Peterbilt 379

Classic Division

  1. Tod Job; Everest, Kan.; 1996 Peterbilt 379
  2. Jay Palachuk; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; 1996 Kenworth W900
  3. Buck Crombie; Binger, Okla.; 1989 Peterbilt 379
  4. David “Beerman” Brewer; Tulsa, Okla.; 1970 Peterbilt 358A
  5. Daniel and Phyllis Snow; Harrison, Ark.; 1996 Freightliner Classic XL, 2006 Utility 4000

Specialty Categories

Most Hard-Working Trucker

David Gramberg; New Richmond, Wis.; 2019 Kenworth W900

People’s Choice

Brenny Specialized Inc/Todd Brenny; Saint Joseph, Minn.; 1977 Peterbilt 352

Show Truck

Michael Holland; Spring, Texas; 2007 Peterbilt 379

Mike Meyer; Theilman, Minn.; 1984 Kenworth 900

Brandon Farley; Neosho, Mo.; 2004 Peterbilt 379X

Best Engine

Theresa S. DeSantis; Apache Junction, Ariz.; 1985 Peterbilt 359 EXHD

Best Lights

Gary Jones Jr.; Lawson, Mo.; 1999 Peterbilt 379

Best Chrome

Clinton Schutjer; Woden, Iowa; 2006 Peterbilt 379

Best Theme

Theresa S. DeSantis; Apache Junction, Ariz.; 1985 Peterbilt 359 EXHD

Best Interior

Dustin Shipman; Sparta, Mo.; 2008 Kenworth W900L

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.