“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old, broken down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable bulge over to the West Coast and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it…” Jack Kerouac.
I have what some folks might call an unusual alarm clock.
Most of the people I know have those electric or wind-up clocks that sit beside their beds just waiting to wake them up for another day of hard work or wonderful play.
My alarm clock, on the other hand, is fat, fast Interstate 70 that’s two miles or so from my home in small town America.
Most people I know have those wind-up or electric clocks that sit beside their beds just itching to to wake them up for another day of work or play.
In the summertime, though, I ignore my age-old alarm clock that sits on a table beside my bed.
In the summertime I ignore my alarm clock and rely completely on the huge trucks and their drivers who take to the interstate highway not far from my home with their cargos of new cars and farm produce and tractors and ice cream and farm produce and a whole lot more.
America is a huge place; a place where thousands of trucks take to fat, fast Interstate 70 with their varied cargoes.
Night and day and no matter the weather the trucks take to the highways of our country.
Rain doesn’t stop them.
Neither does snow or wind or the time of day.
So there I am lying in my bed night after night listening to the sounds that have become familiar to all of us who live near busy highways.
All truckers know where they are going.
They also know where they have been and what truck stops serve the best coffee and where all of the service stations are just in case they run a little short of fuel for their behemoth vehicles.
I’ve known a few long-distance truckers in my lifetime and many of them were devil-may-care men and women who got hooked on the allures of the open road the road at an early age
and wouldn’t trade their jobs for anything on earth.
The next time you get a chance give an on-coming trucker the thumbs up sign.
He or she deserves the recognition.
Bob Batz is a long-time retired journalist and guest columnist. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.