Letters From Readers

OLD-TIMERS’ MEMORIES SOUGHT

For over 10 years, I drove cross-country for Trans-American and Allied Van Lines. I always wondered what the “old-timey” drivers did to overcome hardships and danger.

I am trying to locate older drivers to get their stories and compile them into a book. What was it really like before Interstates? What about the comfort level of the cab without air-ride suspension? I am looking for stories and pictures from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.

At least 10 percent of the book’s sales will go toward the Johnson County Food Bank, run by Open Door Ministry in Joshua, Texas. If you want to share some stories, call (817) 279-9934 or write me at 8882 Mid-Haven Circle, Granbury, Texas, 76048.

Jack Keeton
Granbury, Texas


WHERE DOES IT END?

I recently pulled into a rest area, but it was full, so I moved down the road to a dirt and gravel turnout well off the asphalt. I checked my rig to make sure I was not interfering
with anything and then went to bed.

A few hours later, a young cop knocked on my door, wanting to check me out because I parked in an area unauthorized for trucks. The choice was to either submit to a DOT inspection and move to a truck stop or to receive a citation that I could not afford. So I submitted to an inspection and moved to a truck stop.

There a woman confronted me with a proposal, but I told her I was too tired and had no money. I went into the truck stop to get coffee and a sandwich, then met a panhandler on the way out wanting money I did not have.

After I laid down to rest in the truck, someone awoke me again, wanting to know if I wanted company. I was already mad, so I updated my logbook and left. In talking to another trucker, I learned that there was a police sting on prostitutes going on and that even the panhandler was a cop. They’re fighting prostitution, and I’m driving tired. Where does all this end?

Alvin Lee Catron
Roseburg,Ore.


PRESUMED GUILTY

When I was 4, my father was murdered by two road-raged drunks who forced him into a ditch, where he died. My mother, left with three children to raise, became a truck driver. I learned trucking from her – including how to anticipate what other drivers were going to do.

One day I was heading home with my two daughters and a load of produce grossing out 78,000 pounds. After going through the Tulsa, Okla., Turnpike, I stayed in the left lane, due to traffic coming out of the tollbooth. Five or six vehicles darted in front of me, but one could not stand to be last. He was right on my bumper, flashing his lights and threatening to pass me on the left in the mud.

After about a mile I was able to get into the right lane. The man behind me pulled up on my left and veered towards me. His female companion made hand gestures. He pulled right in front of my rig and braked, slowing me down again. Then he pulled to the shoulder, wanting me to pull off. I kept going, and he came back and did the same thing.

He finally got off the road and called the police. When the Oklahoma State Police stopped me, I explained my side of the story, and then the officer told me what the other driver claimed. He asked for my log book, health card and permit for my daughters to ride. He ran my license. Everything was fine.

Then he said, “I don’t know what took place back there, but you need to step lightly in this state. I know your company and kind.” I realized he hadn’t heard anything I said. Since I drive a big rig, I guess I am automatically the one at fault.

Manny Arredondo
Gowen, Mich.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
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