The Gadsden Times in Alabama published a rich story this past Sunday by correspondent Harry D. Butler about a great American original in Doyle Blackerby, 38-year commercial hauler, born in lower-state Leeds, Ala. His career followed the development of the interstate highway system, beginning just out of the Army in 1950 (where he’d served as a driver) with a small company based in Leeds and then for Howard Hall of Birmingham and other Magic City outfits. (Handle: Dandy Rabbit.)
Blackerby’s been retired since 1988, but his memories of trucking have clearly remained with him, as if that first diesel tractor he drove, a Mack B61, after nearly 10 years of driving gas-powered trucks had just been parked back at the yard yesterday. Evidence thereof is in the book he’s penned about his career, simply titled “38 Years of Trucking.” There are several copies available, and to get one give him a call at (256) 538-8556, Butler wrote. If nothing else, give Butler’s story a read here. It’s an enjoyably wild ride through trucking’s past.
UPDATE: April 17 is the anniversary of the death of Sheila Grothe, the woman who was the inspiration for Jazzy Jordan’s cross-country run to benefit the St. Christopher Truckers fund that I blogged about yesterday, and here. She’d hoped to to finish the run by April 17, but still has many miles left before New York City (she’s in Knoxville, Tenn., today). Her father, Lee, wants to make the anniversary, Saturday, as special as he can for her, and requests anyone who has been thinking about donating to St. Christopher do so now. Find out more www.truckersfund.com and www.runwithjazzy.com.