The OOIDA tour trailer has two Michigan stops planned

April 26, 2022

Chuck Robinson


Starting Thursday, look for Marty Ellis and the OOIDA tour trailer in Saginaw, Mich.

Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled April 28-30 to be at the TA Travel Center in Saginaw. It is at Exit 144 from I-75.

The Saginaw TA Travel Center has parking for 304 tractor-trailers. The Country Pride dining room is open.

Saginaw is the first of two Michigan stops this spring for the OOIDA tour trailer. The second one is scheduled May 2-4 in Battle Creek.

Saginaw once was a bustling lumber town in the late 1800s. It was known for its Saginaw pine. The first permanent settlement was established in 1819, according to the city.

Country hit in the 1960s

If you are into vintage country-western music, “Saginaw, Michigan” was the title of a 1964 No. 1 country hit for Lefty Frizzell. It is a story song about a young man who falls in love with a rich man’s daughter. Give it a listen.

The song was written by Don Wayne, who wrote another country his “Country Bumpkin” and Bill Anderson, who wrote or co-wrote too many hits to list here.

Saginaw is mentioned in another hit song, this one by Simon and Garfunkel: “America.” They released it in 1968. It is a bittersweet song of a man leaving Saginaw to find his fortunes elsewhere. Some of the lyrics, courtesy of

“Kathy”, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh”Michigan seems like a dream to me now”
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America.


 Celebrities from Saginaw

Here’s a list of other famous Saginaw native sons and daughters.

Unscheduled stop

En route from OOIDA headquarters, where Ellis joined the OOIDA Board of Directors spring meeting, to Saginaw, Mich., Ellis stopped at the Road Angel Truckers Center at I-70 and U.S. 40 in Illinois. It is Exit 68 from I-70, the Brownstown, Ill., exit.

The OOIDA tour trailer at Road Angel Truckers Center at I-70 and U.S. 40 in Illinois

It has a lighted, paved parking lot with spaces for 50 trucks. Parking is free for trucks. So is breakfast and dinner, though donations are welcome. There are showers, laundry and Wi-Fi there, plus chess, checkers and horseshoes. It is operated by the Association of Christian Truckers. There also are church services and Bible study.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello. Ellis looks forward to visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. There are copies of Land Line Magazine to pick up there. You can join or renew your membership for $10 off the regular price at The Spirit. Face masks are available for anyone with a commercial driver’s license.

After the Michigan stops, Ellis and the OOIDA tour trailer are scheduled to be in Earlville, Iowa, to be part of the Midwest Pride in Your Ride truck show.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL