Can’t take the trucking out of the girl

Cindy Cadiente, now 41, set up signs in the early 1980s for trucking conventions that her father, owner-operator Charles Brown, helped organize as president of the once thriving Independent Truckers Association New Jersey chapter. Overdrive founder Mike Parkhurst started the national ITA a few years after the magazine launched in 1961 to advocate for independent truckers and oppose activities of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

The Browns Mills, N.J., resident recalls the trucking culture (conventions, road trips, truck rodeos) she inherited for Readers Remember on OverdriveRetro. As an equestrian in her teens, she had her own handle, Mustang, and she listened for her dad to call in as “Gear Jammer” over the CB radio that stayed tuned in day and night at her family’s house. 

When her father was at home, he devoted a lot of time lobbying for laws that would help independent truckers.

“My dad had friends in high places,” Cadiente says of the parent she stopped communicating with as an adult. She remembers hearing her him talk on the phone to Parkhurst and said that the family traveled extensively to ITA meetings in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin during her teen years. She recalls flying by plane with her dad to Los Angeles for a visit to Overdrive‘s headquarters once in the mid ’80s. Parkhurst, she says, “was such a nice guy.”

Cadiente is a wife and mother of three children, no longer rides horses and moved several years ago from a rural to an urban community. But solace for her is hearing Patsy Cline’s rendition of “Crazy” waft in over a big rig’s radio or seeing an 18-wheeler coming down the road.

Read about her memories and other readers’ contributions at OverdriveRetro.