Jimmy Speed

May 10th, 2013 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Jimmy and his wife Mary came from the sand hills of Monahans, Texas, where he was a “non-permitted” tower. But they both rose to the level of national prominence by who they were and what they did. Mary was very active as the semi-permanent treasurer of the Women of the Towing and Recovery Association of America and Jimmy took the debate over “permitted” versus “non-permitted” to towers across the state.

From time to time, Texas has had more than one towing association and during Jimmy’s time there were those few towers permitted by the State of Texas and those many who were not. And my memory’s fuzzy but as I recall, a non-permitted tower could not cross two municipalities with a vehicle under tow. Don’t quote me because I’ve slept once or twice since this all happened. Point is, the permitted group was hiding behind a very frail distinction that was supported by the state Railroad Commission. (What’s this got to do with railroads?) And they would join together to protest any non-permitted tower’s application on the basis that one of their own was presently serving the contested market segment, which wasn’t always the case. So, this had the effect of stifling T & R growth and improvement throughout the state. Finally deregulation came along to allow the free market to function again.

I often heard Jimmy rise to speak to this, though his wrecker operation was rarely limited or contested, given his remote location in far West Texas. And to precede his comments Jimmy would say, “Check your egos at the door so we can accomplish something today.”

Oh yes, Jimmy was the only tower in the state of Texas who brought the huge American flag to his hometown, paid for the crane and all related expense and proudly waved Old Glory for all to see for a 100 miles or more.

Jimmy’s gone, but his memory lives on because he was one of the good guys in towing.