When I look back on Overdrive's recent history, perhaps nothing stands in my mind as more significant from a historical perspective than "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer's contributions to the magazine's multi-author "Overdrive Extra" blog with his "Faces of the Road" series of portraits. Largely close-ups on various members of the driver community, the series itself was inspired at least in part by Marhoefer's admiration for the great Studs Terkel's written oral-history approach to documenting moments. Terkel's approach is predicated on capturing the voice of the subject, the person of interest, on topics that matter ... not just to Terkel, but more importantly, to them.
It's an approach that Marhoefer -- as most of you likely know a working long-hauler even today who spent many years in trucking as an owner-operator, too -- has put to great effect in empathetic, sometimes quite funny, sometimes moving portraits that, considered together, make for a history of trucking all their own.
A read through all of the current 26 of the installments illuminates not only of the contemporaneous picture they paint of trucking in the early 21st century, but also of how we got to this point. Featured haulers invariably share their own histories, stretching back in some cases to the very beginning of OTR work almost a century ago. You can find all of them listed in reverse chronological order at this link, and below I've highlighted a few of my favorites for you as part of our ongoing 60th-anniversary series of weekly lookbacks on the inextricably intertwined aspects of Overdrive and trucking history.