“Tech to the Stars” Celebrates 24th Anniversary with TA
You wouldn’t expect to have breakfast with BB King or get backstage passes from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, but that’s exactly what has happened to Craig Maple during his 24 years as a technician at the Petro in York, Nebraska. General Manager Dorothy Twohig describes Craig as someone who greets everybody with a lowkey “good morning” or “how are you doing?” She continues, “He’s kind of quiet, doesn’t make a fuss and is always willing to help.”
When tour buses come in during his night shift and they need repairs, Craig is not only an excellent mechanic, he’s good company. “Shooting the breeze” while he works has resulted in a backstage pass for Kiss, one of Craig’s favorite groups. He’s also worked on the tour buses of Aerosmith, Jason Aldean, Alice Cooper, Motley Crew, Ted Nugent and Poison. Craig says they’re great people who made time to visit while they waited for repairs.
Dorothy adds, “Everyone loves Craig.” Drivers come in and ask for him and he mentors other TA mechanics, stopping to help and answer questions so they too can succeed. He also has been observed interrupting his break to help travelers at the gas station.
Jon VanPatten, PCM, says Craig is a machine. He has four side businesses: tree trimming and cutting, landscaping, repairing lawn mowers and other equipment, and maintaining his father’s farm and its assorted animals. He’ll often tend to the farm before coming in for a 6 a.m. TA shift. Both Dorothy and Jon say that they’ve never heard a complaint about Craig. And in any business, that’s a rarity. Dorothy adds, “You want every employee to be a Craig.”