Person Behind The Page
Adopted from the Philippines at the early age of 18 months, Mandy Hayes started her new life in the United States at the age of three. Her aunt taught her English and writing. She began her writing career at "National Truckin' Magazine", a family owned business after she married her husband, Jimmy.
Her previous experience of selling insurance through Nationwide vested a self-imposed fear she did not know enough about trucking to write articles. However, in February of 2013 Mandy wrote her first article, proving her fear was unfounded. Her outside perspective shines a fresh new light on drivers and how they impact everyone's lives.
Scott Wagner, a featured driver in the April 2016 issue of the magazine, described Mandy in this way,
"At the start of the day, the sun rises and we see what's coming, a beautiful sunrise. At noon the sun is at it's highest point showing us the light on the path we are following today. As the sun sets, the beautiful colors show us where we have been and where we are going, but the day is not over. When you look up at night you see the star's guiding a path to the next sunrise and the start of a new beginning. The moral of this is Mandy is the sun. She shines light on the things we take for granted but in her light she sees us as pillars holding up the trucking industry."
Mandy uses words like "icons" and "legends" to describe accomplishments drivers take for granted as every day occurrences in their lives. Most drivers consider these to be part of their careers and not worth mentioning. Truck drivers are a special breed cut from a different cloth.
Her ability to get drivers to open up about themselves and tell their stories is her unique gift she shares with the world through her writing. "As I said before, I've always wanted to write and with my lack of experience in "the trucker's seat" per say, after I conduct each interview and go to write their piece I pray one, simple bible versus. I have it memorized by heart and it's what allows me to translate each driver's words into life."
It's John 13-14 'Whatever you ask for in my name, this I will do that the Son will be glorified in my name. If you ask me for anything I will do it.' I ask that when He leads my thoughts, guides my fingers and tell the drivers' story the way he wants them told. And when they say that they love it, I give Him all the glory."
Living in an orphanage run by nuns, in what was coined as the bad part of the Philippines, her adopted family feels as if they were lead to her. Her Father was stationed at Clark Air Force Base. He went to the orphanage to drop off canned goods and clothing. That's when he saw Mandy barely standing up in a playpen. She dropped a toy as he went by. When he reached down to return the toy he knew instantly what he needed to do. He was only there to donate to those in need, or so he thought. "The process took some time, but here I am!" Mandy exclaimed.
Mandy's proudest accomplishment besides her daughter, Jasmyne, who is beginning her sophomore year in college, is that she is a cancer survivor. In 2014 she was diagnosed with stage 2 thyroid cancer. Her dedication to writing allowed her to only miss writing one article after her surgery and radiation treatments. She worked her interviews and writing in on days she knew she would feel the best. This July Mandy will be celebrating her second year cancer free.
We at Life From The Passenger's Seat wish to thank you, Mandy, for allowing a positive glimpse into the trucking industry. Your care and concern for us, as well as each driver you feature are apparent in your writing and your follow up. Your positive upbeat behind the scene articles help inspire others to be better in all walks of life.
You can find "National Truckin' Magazine" in a white cardboard box clearly imprinted with their iconic red logo at all independent truck stops. Grab a copy. You may be the next featured driver!
Written by: Melanie Walker (Guest Blogger)