Fishing with the Rookie

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George and the “Rookie” Bill .. in front of “The Precious”George and the “Rookie” Bill .. in front of “The Precious”

Sometimes this job is way more fun than it should be. Sometimes it’s a bucket of suck, but the good times we’ve had far outweigh the bad, so we’re either real lucky or too stupid to know the difference. Either way, we’re making memories, and some of the stories we’ll have to tell in the nursing home will probably be attributed to dementia. But we know they’re true.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the freedom we have with Landstar to book and go where we want to is completely awesome. We’re working our way around the Wildwood show the end of this week, and have not only been able to stay steady on the loads, we’ve been able to take time to have some fun while doing it.

We met “L.A. Rookie” Bill at MATS a couple years ago — he was working in the booth. We love Truck It Smart’s Nick and Brandy Shaughnessy. They kind of became instant friends when we met them, and we always make sure to stop and see them at the booth. The Rookie is a character. You may have seen him on The World’s Toughest Trucker – he’s a good ol’ boy from Lower Alabama (hence the “L.A. Rookie” handle). I kind of thought he was a nut but really enjoyed talking to him, because he’s got some stories that make ours pale in comparison.

Bill and Miss KayBill and Miss Kay

I posted on our Facebook page that we were near Foley, Alabama about a week ago, and got a message from him that he lives really close to where we were. He told us if we ever came through again to give him a call and he and Miss Kay, his girlfriend, would come get us at the truck stop and take us to fish in their family pond.

I don’t know about you, but when I get an invitation to fish a family pond I do everything I can to make it happen, so when we came back through Foley yesterday, we made sure we had time to stop and spend a few hours with Bill and Kay.

From left: Bill, George Parker and KayFrom left: Bill, George Parker and Kay

I’m not going to lie — I was a little nervous. Rookie is something else when he gets going, and I was imagining some possibly crazy scenarios. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

We spent the whole afternoon, absolutely enjoying ourselves by the family pond. Bill and Kay have a beautiful home, surrounded by their family – his brother has the house next door and his Mom and Dad have the place across the street and down one. They treated us like family, and we caught bream and bass and catfish and learned a little about some really decent, kind people.

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There are a lot of stories to tell from our day with him, but one struck me and I feel like I should share it. Rookie told us his momma and daddy had foster kids when he was young, he said he has a whole bunch of foster brothers and sisters out there who spent time with their family, but one in particular is always on his mind.

Wendy and a breamWendy and a bream

Her name was Robin, and she was abused horribly before she found the sanctuary of Bill’s family. She was tortured, burned and almost completely blind and when he told us about her condition, he got choked up, and so did I. It has been many years since he first laid eyes on that baby, but it’s evident that to this day, not much else has impacted him as much as that little girl did. Bill went on to tell us that Robin was eventually adopted, and her adoptive family wouldn’t let them have anything to do with her after they took her from his family home. He told me that one thing he’d like very much in his lifetime, which has been full of adventure and incredible things, is to see Robin again. To talk to her and make sure she’s OK. He’s looked for her and hasn’t had any luck.

So Robin, if you’re out there, know you were cherished by someone and still are. And drop ol’ Bill a line if you can, he’s got some fantastic stories to tell you.