In February 2015, a photo of a mysterious U-Haul truck was sent to U-Haul headquarters. This particular truck baffled the people at the corporate towers. Instead of sporting the usual Supergraphic that goes on all trucks, this truck had a giant shamrock decal on it. This is fairly out of the ordinary; most U-Haul trucks now have something called Supergraphics, which is a specific set of graphics that go on these trucks and a shamrock isn’t one of them. Then came the questions: why is this truck different? Who did this? Are there more? And why a shamrock?
After some digging around, the search led to a man named Henry P. Kelly. After sitting down with Henry, all questions were answered. Henry P. Kelly, who is now the vice president of Industrial Relations of U-Haul had quite the story to tell. After all, being with the company for 57 years is bound to breed stories.
Before becoming the VP of Industrial Relations, he held a couple other positions with U-Haul. For about 37 years, Henry ran manufacturing and repair plants. The job was to get trucks and trailers built and to make sure the decal company got their decals made for the trucks.
One year, Henry had the decal company in Pennsylvania send him up a giant shamrock, then every year after that for five years, they continued to send over a shamrock. When asked why he chose to put the shamrocks on trucks and trailers, Henry responded,
“With a name like Henry Patrick Kelly, you do things like that. And I got away with it!”
Henry grew up in an Irish family; both parents were Irish. He’s proud of his heritage and everyone knew it. Those days, Henry wore green regularly, which paired well with his red hair. The shamrock was a way to honor his Irish culture. So to celebrate St. Patrick’s day he placed a giant shamrock on the side of the truck for all to see!
The process was easy enough. After receiving the decal, Henry simply just put it on whichever truck or trailer he chose.
“In those days, it was kind of like a lick and stick ’em,” Henry said.
And the decal isn’t the only thing that stuck. The memory of the shamrock truck sticks forever with Henry Patrick Kelly. The truck in the picture is dated back to 1989. 26 years later, this shamrock truck showed back up and is a U-Haul story for the ages. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Henry, this story will be remembered for years to come.