Voices of the night
After three years at Kelly’s, Trimble was offered a job at WRVA in Richmond, Va. He told management that he would work only if he could set up shop in another truck stop. They found him a space at Jarrell’s Truck Plaza in Doswell, VA. This became Trimble’s command center for 18 years.
At Jarrell’s, Trimble brought in experts to discuss the industry’s hottest topics: deregulation, strikes, escalating taxes and fuel price spikes. “During the shutdowns,” he says, “I’d sometimes go five or six nights without ever playing a record. I would just turn it into a talk show.”
Overdrive founder Mike Parkhurst was a frequent guest. Many others weren’t quite as well known – or controversial. In 1978, Trimble brought in a postal worker from Pennsylvania who’d written a book about truckers and their humor. The author, Gwyneth “Dandalion” Seese, had become interested in the trucking industry during her hour-long commutes to and from a third-shift mail-sorting job. Hers was not the kind of background that would normally make trucking history, but Seese apparently wasn’t an average walk-on. The two struck up a friendship, and later Trimble invited her to host his show while he went on vacation.
Seese, 41 at the time, had to quit her job to sit in for Trimble. Her friends and family disapproved, but, to everyone’s surprise, she parlayed that brief experience into a successful 21-year career as a trucking DJ, working first at WIOZ in Ephrata, Pa., and later at WRKZ in Harrisburg, Pa. For a while, she even had her own network show, “which was a first for a woman,” she says.
Describing her show as “very up-tempo,” she says, “I played a lot of trucking music and a lot of the older stuff. I played every type of country music: bluegrass, Western swing, Western, Cajun, top-20. I think that’s why [the show] lasted so long.”
Seese has won many awards for her work. “That usually doesn’t happen to night jocks,” she says. “They’re usually the dregs of radio. A lot of them think that no one is listening, so they just throw on anything. They don’t care.”
Seese retired from broadcasting last year and now works in radio station management.
“It was a great career, but I’d probably never go back on the air,” she says. “Hell, I’d worked nights for 30 years. You never get used to it. I always tell people, ‘Once you reach your 60s, getting up at 11 p.m. to go to work really isn’t any fun.’”