WINDSOR, Ont. — Cincinnati-based Dancing Trucker John Drury’s first foray into Canada was fortuitous.
Amidst wind and rain, Drury and his wife Lori crossed into Canada from Detroit and drove to the Petro-Pass truck stop on Walker Road, only to be greeted by a woman driving the exact same car model that Drury’s mother had been driving when she was killed by a drunk driver in late April.
Dancing Trucker John Drury leads Brenda Guarnaschelli in a Zumba class in Windsor. Photo by Ron Stang
“What are the chances the only person that shows up today in a wind storm and a rain storm here in Windsor, Ontario, Canada shows up in a Ford Fusion, same colour?” Drury said after conducting an open air dance class in the parking lot with that woman, Brenda Guarnaschelli of suburban LaSalle.
“There’s something going on here today,” Drury said amidst an otherwise vacant parking lot. “There’s something special going on. I appreciate that, Brenda.”
Drury made a point of crossing into Canada after getting requests on social media asking if he could take his Big John’s Truckin’ Fitness tour beyond the American border.
“They like what I do, they like the message I’m trying to send as far as getting truckers out moving,” he said. “They basically said, ‘When are you coming to Canada?’”
He chose Windsor because it was closest to a nine-stop American tour he was doing in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
After the event he and Lori turned around and headed back to the US. But he said he could come back to Canada anytime if he hears from other Canadians.
“I’m a determined individual, I’m here to spread a message,” he said. “I’m here to help people, to empower people.”
But Sunday, only Brenda showed, and she wasn’t a trucker. “I thought it would be fun,” said the woman, who takes Zumba and LaBlast classes.
Drury says women truckers tend to be more responsive to his exercise through dance message than men and one told him she was going to drive six hours to be there. “But of course the weather played a big role,” he said.
Regardless of how many people show up, Drury puts on his show, Lori recording each event.
With Brenda in tow Drury starts the dance to the tune of Flo Rida’s Good Feeling.
He introduces the song and says “My mother’s up top and looking down smiling. She was killed by a drunk driver four weeks ago but I’m on a mission and she’s smiling down on us right now.”
Drury has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and will be holding a benefit this October – a danceathon, naturally – in Cincinnati. His mom, Sandy, would have turned 68 on Oct. 17.
You can read more about The Dancing Trucker and his mission here.