An 86-year-old retired trucker will hit the road Wednesday for another look at the world from a big rig.
Armand Flamand hasn't driven truck in more than 15 years but he says he never feels far removed from his lifelong occupation.
"I've had diesel in blood for so long that I don't think it'll ever go away from me," Flamand said with a laugh on Monday. "I miss everything about driving truck."
He was a trucker for more than 40 years and the job helped him provide for his wife and four children. Flamand has recently been diagnosed with dementia and his family wanted to give him a ride in a truck as a way of preserving and rekindling memories.
"Dad rubbernecks everytime he sees a well-maintained rig on the road," Armand's daughter Leslie said.
The family posted an ad online, hoping a friendly trucker would spot it. They got a call from Premium Truck and Trailer, a West Kelowna firm that is the local Freightliner dealership.
"We're going to take one of our new trucks and we've borrowed a trailer from one of our customers, so we can take Armand for a ride," said Debbie Mortimer, the company's sales manager.
"I was a driver myself and so was my husband. There's a few of us here in the building who were drivers before we came into this other side of the business, so we can appreciate Armand wanting to get out there one more time," Mortimer.
Driver Troy Thompson will take Armand on a ride-along through the local area. The trip will be conducted in full compliance with relevant COVID-19 protocols that apply to the trucking industry, Mortimer said.
After the trip, Flamand will receive a memento of the occasion, Mortimer said: "We're going to give him a t-shirt that has a picture of a truck and trailer driving off into the sunset."