Former professor O.J. Bryson became interested in truckers when he hitchhiked to college as a young man.
O.J. Bryson’s novel The Box stars a trucker and his ties to a special trucker’s code.
The Box is a bound collection of three books focusing on two newly orphaned children separated and sent to opposite sides of the country. The novel begins 15 years later when the two begin searching for one another.
Pip, the main character, begins his career as a cowboy in Wyoming. Later, he begins a business hauling watermelons in North Carolina, but he becomes a trucker after his watermelon business goes bust.
More truckers join the story when a three-mile-long convoy of big rigs race across Texas to save the child of one of their own.
Bryson, a resident of Chattanooga, Tenn., and former music professor and conductor, says his childhood and his early adult years helped him develop a respect for truckers.
“I’m from the Smoky Mountains, from a poor background,” he says. “Our house had a dirt floor. We all about starved to death. I had to hitchhike to college, and I hitchhiked with a lot of truckers. That’s back when hitchhiking was safe.”
He says that during those rides with truckers, he became interested in the intricate details of the lives of truckers.
“I would ask the trucker how many gears his truck had, what it would haul, if he saw his family a lot, how long he had been on the road and other questions,” he says.
It took Bryson about 15 years to write the novel, but he says a lot of the time was spent on the learning curve. He talked to highway departments, the Chattanooga Small Business Development Center, trucking companies and truckers themselves to get as much information on trucking as he could.
His pursuit of information and knowledge from truckers themselves resulted in his most unique and thorough searches, he says.
“Every time I’d see a trucker somewhere at a stop, I would ask to climb into his truck and see everything,” he says.
Research in the trucking industry helped Bryson not only to pen his novel, but also to create a poster containing sayings and beliefs of truckers and cowboys he had heard throughout his life.
Bryson adapted “The Trucker’s Code” from The Box before the novel was published. It is a 16 by 20-inch color poster done in cross-stitch, proclaiming a philosophy and code of honor for truck drivers. Bryson says it took 10 years to find someone to create the cross-stitch design for the poster.
Bryson said he created “The Trucker’s Code” to honor and pay respect to the trucking industry.
“I wanted to make the truckers’ profession look good and create pride among truckers and their families,” he says.
The Box can be purchased at Amazon.com as well as in more than 25,000 bookstores worldwide. The book is available in paperback and hardback.
“The Trucker’s Code” poster can be ordered directly from O.J. Bryson by mail at:
Box 1713, Little Ridge Rd., Hixson, TN 37343
Phone: (423) 842-2423