Those who know Dennis can be sure of a few things. One being that Dennis is very likely the biggest Caledonia Haulers fan in all of Fillmore County. I don’t think I am stretching the truth when I renounce my last statement; Dennis is in fact thee biggest Caledonia Haulers fan there is!
When I got confirmation that an old friend of mine (who happens to drive semi for Caledonia Haulers) was back in the area, I just knew I had to get him and Dennis to connect.
On March 10th, I went and grabbed Dennis from his house informing him that I had a surprise for him. The first thought on Dennis’ mind was food; “we go out to eat,” he asked. “Sure we can do that, but you’re in for an even bigger treat,” I noted. I told Dennis he was about to meet someone that has a lot in common with him. Dennis was eager learn the surprise, but literally had no idea what it would entail. Like any other day, it was no surprise that one of the various topics Denny brought up on the ride was Caledonia Haulers (pretty typical day in the life of Mister Whalen.)
We stopped just outside of Mabel to pick up Aaron. Dennis instantly lit up like a Christmas tree. He knew exactly who this guy was (or at the very least where he worked.) Why you ask? Well, Aaron had on a royal blue Caledonia Haulers jacket that matched Dennis’.
Staff then informed Dennis of our plans for the day. We took him to Caledonia Minnesota to check out Caledonia Haulers. Not only did Aaron let Dennis check out his semi, he also allowed him to sit in the drivers seat. Dennis was definitely in his element. The smile across Dennis’ face said it all.
Aaron also gave Dennis some Caledonia Haulers memorabilia such as a 60th anniversary calendar, a new hat, and a t-shirt. Dennis was overjoyed by this kind gesture and informed us of every single soul he was going to share this information with.
As you can imagine, Dennis had a lot of questions for Aaron. We learned a lot that day. I have always been under the impression that Caledonia Haulers solely transport milk. That is not the case; Aaron informed us that they carry other products such as oil and orange juice. Dennis also learned that the different numbers on the tanks signify how big and/or thick the tanks are. Staff was surprised to learn just how much information Denny knew about Caledonia Hauler’s too. Dennis knew exactly where the milk is hauled and also where they purchase their new semis.
After our tour of the semis, Dennis got his initial wish (lunch)! However, at that point I feel as though lunch wasn’t the only thing on his mind. Dennis continues to talk about his outing daily. I will never forget the way Dennis smiled that day. If Denny shows you his 60th Anniversary Caledonia Haulers calendar (which he very likely will), just know that there is a story of a lifetime behind it.