Influence: A Skater’s Story

 Andy McIntosh - changing lives at the Truck Stop Skate Park in Bend, Oregon.

Sometimes, you do a job because you love it.

The pay is lousy.

The hours are long.

The perks are few.

The challenges are intense.

The advancement opportunities are limited, or even non-existent.

But you love it, and the value of loving it swallows up pesky things like small paychecks and no benefits package.

My brother has been working in a job like this for years.

Andy’s faithfully managed the Truck Stop Skate Park in Bend, Oregon since its existence, spending his time in a cold warehouse to the tune of wheels on concrete and the backdrop of 6, 9, and 14-year-olds shouting DUDE, that was sick! because he adores kids and wants to see them have a safe and accessible place to thrive and grow and have a little fun.

Last week the Truck Stop closed its doors. The space is set to change hands to a new owner later this month who will transform it into something more cost effective and perhaps a little more “successful”.

They haven’t found a new facility for the Truck Stop yet (or the slew of Central Oregon young people that have called it their second home), but they’re looking.

Andy McIntosh - mentoring youth at the Truck Stop Skate Park. Bend, Oregon.

And this guy?

He has faith. He’s not discouraged. He’s not depressed about the loss of his domain or his job security.

Because he was never in it for the money or prestige or even the accolades of others. He was never in it to become somebody’s hero… and yet that’s exactly what he became to countless young people.

Andy was in it for the love of the sport and—more importantly—the love of the kids.

Some people lose influence when they lose a position… but if their influence was derived from relationship, rather than from a title, their influence remains even when their position falters.

That’s why I know that whether they find a new facility to relocate the Truck Stop or not, Andy will continue to mentor young kids and find a way to input into their lives. He will continue to have influence.

He’ll always be the kind of guy that young kids look up to and trust and want to call their friend.

He’ll always be the guy known around Oregon for being the “nicest person you’ve ever met”. (Seriously, everybody knows him, and everybody says the exact same thing… because he is.)

Yup, that’s my baby brother: a cheerleader, a champion, a giver of space for kids to become who they’re meant to become.

He’s an influencer, though he’d probably never label himself one, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons he’s so good at what he does.

In Australia, we’d call him a legend.

Andy McIntosh – a legend, indeed.

Hey friends, does your influence depend on a job title or position? Is it limited by the confines of your “station” in life? Or do you let your influence ooze from who you are and through the relationships you build? Does it take shape within the scope of your generosity and hospitality and genuine investment in the lives of others?

The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like Andy.

Love you mate. So proud to be your sis.

A xo

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Angela
    18 April 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Is That True?

    • Adriel
      19 April 2014 at 7:56 am

      What do you mean Angela? Is it true that the Truck Stop is closing? Yes. Their last day was Saturday a week ago.

  • Jo
    19 April 2014 at 10:17 am

    I can say that still of all my travels around the world, Andy maintains the title as one of the nicest people I have ever met. It’s sad, but cool to read this story. I am also confident that he will find a new location to do his thing. Thanks for sharing this!
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  • Michele Higgins
    19 April 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Thank You so much for honoring your brother with this beautiful article. My son has so loved and respected Andy for several years now. It’s a sad day that to see the truck stop gone and there is NO doubt in my mind that your brother Andy will find another spot to ooze out his love and caring nature of kids. He truly is a gem and you are correct to say, that the word would be a better place if we all had a little more Andy in us….
    Thank You for a sweet piece.

    • Adriel
      22 April 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Michele – how cool to hear a mom tell about how Andy has impacted the life of her son. Appreciate you taking the time to share. x
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  • Mindy
    19 April 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I love hearing stories like this – people making a difference without a big splash but staying the course and being there for kids. I spent a lot of time volunteering and subbing in the offices of our local high school and middle school and kids need people like your brother desperately. He is a hero. Your parents must be so proud of the both of you!
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  • Cindy
    22 April 2014 at 11:46 am

    I’m so touched by this article and how honoring you are of your brother; what an example of true love in so many respects! There’s no doubt in my mind that God is closing one door only to open a far better and bigger opportunity for Andy to minister the love of Jesus to young children who so desperately need a positive and Godly role model to follow after.

  • Sharon McCarthy
    22 April 2014 at 12:29 pm

    How can we help? Can we send donations to help fund a place for the kids? Sending up lots of prayers but let us know if there are other ways we might be able to help. we may not all be able to work with kids but we can offer what we have to help Andy help our kids find their way through life.
    Please let us know how we can help.

  • Kim
    7 May 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Andy is amazing we truly cherish his spirit and ability to always maintain an upbeat environment. We miss seeing him daily and know that bigger and better things come to him and Truck Stop!!! Until we see you again wishing you the best!!! The Hernandez Family


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