Good Morning Gentle Readers,
The New York Times praised the recent Bush Administration knuckle rapping that came courtesy of the DC federal appeals court. Claiming trucking is far more dangerous than it once was, the NYT throws shame and blame at the president for the misguided policy that loosened regs to allow truckers to drive 11 hours per day instead of 10. Why that issue is even a concern of the federal government at all is a different question for a different day.
It ain't hours driven, it's who's driving. The golden days of trucking were the best and truck drivers were once the safest and most courteous drivers on the road.
Back in the days of my wasted yoot that guy at the wheel (steel gray brush cut and half lit Camel dangling from his lower lip) was probably amped out on little white pills, bad coffee, and a pre-dawn buttermilk short stack in Bakersfield. Maybe three hours later, following a double clutching, gear grinding struggle up the Grapevine, his
'48 GMC Diesel (loaded with chickens) was careening down the Ridge Route toward LA with the brakes on fire. But dammit, he was a nice guy. He knew about turnouts, flashed his lights to let you know it was clear to come back over, and, Spielberg's Duel notwithstanding, he was more likely to wave as you passed than to run you into oncoming traffic.
Seems like these days, it's three flashes from the blinkers, nudge the trailer tires to the lane line Bott's Dots (tickety tickety tickety) and he's coming over. Best not screw with him neither.
Maybe TWC should have a Six Days On The Road contest. That could be fun. From Sawyer Brown to Taj Mahal to Dave Dudley to The Burritos with Emily Lou, there's a lot of versions of that great road tune. What's your fave? Email to Sixdays [you know what goes here] Winecommonsewer [you know what goes here too] com.
tip of the glass to Katherine Mangu-Ward