Willow Parish, a driver from South Texas, has had a passion for truck driving since childhood. She has similarly strong feelings about art and photography, both of which she enjoys while on the road.
Parish said finds art in the things she sees through her windshield. She’s always had a passion for art, and she draws a lot in her truck and keeps several cameras with her, plus her smartphone and tablet for photography as well. Which medium she uses depends on what she’s trying to convey. She said she especially enjoys taking photos of her truck.
“It depends on what I want to see and what I want for other people to see,” Parish said.
Parish grew up watching her father drive a truck, and she always knew she wanted to follow in his footsteps.
“I had a father that did it when I was a young girl, and it was something I always wanted to do,” Parish said. “So when I had a chance I decided to go do it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
She got her start at a trucking school. What scared her the most was winter time and mountains, so she went to a trucking school in Colorado so she’d have to learn to drive in both. Now she drives a KW T660 as an owner-operator and hauls mostly trade shows and concerts. For her, the best part about driving is getting to see the United States.
“I get to see the country. It may be through a windshield, but sometimes you stop and look around and I really enjoy that, seeing all parts of the country,” Parish said.
Parish said truck drivers need unity to address concerns like a lack of parking.
“Truckers are going to have to stand up and stand together, for parking and other issues like that. If we don’t, then people don’t understand. They want their goods but they won’t let us park anywhere,” Parish said. “We’ve got to rest, and people out there don’t understand it’s not an easy job. They want to micromanage with these e-logs and stuff, I don’t see the sense in it. I’m old school, basically, and I don’t drive illegal and I don’t need somebody over my shoulder. That’s what aggravates me.”
Parish first started driving in 1999 and she’s been at home behind the wheel ever since. She encourages other women interested in trucking to have confidence in their ability to do the job.
“Go out there and give it your best and know that you can do it. Women can do anything,” Parish said.