Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
October 20, 2014, 07:24:47 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: It will not turn yellow, get musty, dusty, and mildewed or fade.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: EASTBOUND AND HAMMERED DOWN  (Read 3279 times)
boxcarOkie
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1452





Ignore
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:31:29 AM »

East Bound & Down ...  I got the hammer down.   

The quiet time of the morning, late into the night, and everyone is asleep in their beds.  Tucked away, safe, insulated from the cold night.  A time for reflection, deep inner thoughts, of the things that could have been.

 
Here I sit.  Thinking about my bus and getting away to the great American Highway.  People who think that buses as a form of transportation probably figure that sex is just about reproduction.  I live in a town divided by Interstates.  I-40, I-240, 244-I-35, the lifeblood of the nation, and I have never been confused about the open road or busing.

I first put my hands on the wheel at the young and tender age of twenty-one, hauling dead cluckers out of Arkansas to the coast and garbage for the nations’ supermarkets back.  Just barely a man, and I have since then, always been looking back.  Now at 63 years of age, I find myself, every now and then, thinking back on those days, now long past.


Living my life in quiet desperation in the wee hours of the night.  Silently yearning for the smell of fresh diesel in the morning, vividly recalling screaming down some two-lane with the window down, the whine of the rubber meeting the asphalt in the corridors of my mind.

Before gainful employment corrupted my life, I used to delight in long solo drives back to the Midwest to check up on the Rust Belt of America.  I would leave Tucson at three in the morning, fresh shave, clean shirt, and 43,000 lbs. of Oranges, locked down in the donkey behind me. 

For miles, the scent of the greasewood desert would pour through my open window.  The sounds of savage Rock N Roll from a station in Juarez would mingle in the cab, with the steady drone of the Cummings and the whine of the ten-hundred-twenty-two’s my steady companion.


“East bound and Down, I would have the hammer down.”  King of the Super-Slab, speeding along life’s highway, between the ditches.  Now and then the chatter of other truckers breaking the bacon-frying static of the CB and the night would wear on.

Tucumcari, New Mexico, and the crowded truckstop, black coffee and no place to park.  Up the big hill, and on to Amarillo, Texas, always offering the best steak & eggs in the nation.  Then the long stretch, to the hill country of Oklahoma, and the Turner Turnpike.  100 miles of nothing but miles, and the Grapes Of Wrath, would echo in my mind.  Then to sleep, tucked away in the quiet dreams of better days.

The following night would find me racing through the Oak Hills of Missouri, listening to tortured Ozark music and letting truck stops stuff me with “radiated chicken fried steaks and potatoes ”  Tired now, I would pull over more often to mainline more black coffee. 

The road stretches out before me like a ribbon of chance, the miles silently break and fall away as I listen to the chatter of truckers.  The Flying Dutchman of our culture.  Finally, St. Louis and the first White Castle Hamburger Stand.  The Big River, the Arch, and the green roar of corn, as I turn due north and cut up Southern Illinois. 

Chicago glows on the horizon like an outpost of the lost, I swing off the freeway off ramp just north of the loop, three blocks from the farmers market.  It’s crowded, barely room to breathe.  So many trucks that your mirrors would chink just trying to navigate to the warehouse in the maze of stacks and chrome. 

Often I would carefully park, lock up, and stride into the local beanery for something lite to eat before going to sleep.  Plenty of time to run the gauntlet of garbage haulers in the morning.   

End of the road, bump the dock and unload. 

Just enough time for a good hot cup of coffee and a smoke.  Whack ‘em down and then hit the road.  Westbound and Down, 16 on the floor, and the other foot out the door, what a way to make a livin’. 

The insane cycle repeats itself.

Here lately I hear a lot of cheap talk about our buses being objects of man’s affection.  Chrome & Stainless plated Stallions of the Nations Highways.  Status items in today’s society, fantasy devices for the men who drive them.  Having driven over 20,000 miles plus miles for decades, I can testify, that owning and driving a bus is something that gets into one’s blood. 

It is as some will quickly testify, a lot of hard work and not much fun.  A lifestyle of choice, and not necessity. 

And even tho’ now, I am a crazed environmentalist, a boring advocate of Mass Transit, an ex-wage slave of never ending five day weeks, a silent advocate for the movers of America’s products, I remain a Trucker at heart deep down. 

I guess you might say I am a fiend for the open road  ...  Born in the USA.


Tonight as many nights, I find myself sitting here, wondering out loud, thinking of my old hoopie parked out in the shop, shiny wagons and the men who drive them.  Thinking about trucking and getting back to the Great American Highway. 

Four-forty-five am  ... “Friday Night in the Big City --- Weekend jump-off day for a five day a week wage slave living in Oklahoma.”  The quiet time of the morning, late into the proverbial night, and the family tucked away into the safety, and warmth of their respective beds.  Insulated from the cold, dark night. 

A time for reflection, deep inner thoughts, of the things that could have been.


$45.00 and 11.6 gallons ... Man-Man, What a way to make a livin’.  It is getting harder and harder to drink from the fountain of life, most of the time, all I can do now is just gargle.

Watch those right-handers ....

BCO
 

 


    

   
Logged

Lee Bradley
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 711




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011, 08:58:14 AM »

We have a poet of the open road. Great writing and thoughts.

Thanks,
Leland
Logged
Chopper Scott
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1301


MCI 7




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011, 09:16:40 AM »

Always love the posts Don!!! I know where to go if they aren't here!
Logged

Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
Mex-Busnut
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1135





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2011, 02:11:34 PM »

Great post! Reminded me of driving truck out of Dallas/Fort Worth area back in the late 70's.

You are a poet
and didn't know it,
but your feet show it.
The are Longfellows
and smell like the Dickens...

 Grin
Logged

Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
robertglines1
steam nut
Hero Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 4024





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 05:15:11 PM »

Know the feeling. freedom   adventure   stimulation    life is good
Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Joe Camper
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 666



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 05:56:50 PM »

The map  with the road traveled is all interstate.

You should work on that some. Lots of great 2 lane..........lots to see.

Great post but aren't you still a bit young for this type of reflection? Get back to work
Logged

Signing off from Cook County Ill. where the dead vote, frequently.
boxcarOkie
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1452





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 07:01:59 PM »

LEE BRADLEY:  We have a poet of the open road. Great writing and thoughts.
Thanks, Leland


One of the great things about an over active imagination is its ability to take you far, far away on any given day.  That is a plus, the minus is it is always there to remind you of what you “used to have” and no longer can enjoy.  I am glad you liked the post, last time I looked it had over 200 reads, that is a good count.

Thanks.

BCO


CHOPPER SCOTT:  Always love the posts Don!!! I know where to go if they aren't here!


Most of the bus stuff stays over here, I seldom put anything bus related on my site (Creative Endeavors ... www.boxcarokie.com) and save it for what I call “the slice of life stuff.”  Hope you enjoy your visits, feel free to leave a comment or two.

BCO


MEX-BUS NUT:  Great post! Reminded me of driving truck out of Dallas/Fort Worth area back in the late 70's.

The best part of trucking, is I no longer have to do it in order to survive.  That is good, I do however miss it at times, just like I miss my youth, my first bicycle and of course, my hair.  A nice Pete or Keh-whopper still has the ability to turn my head, just like an old Harley barking down the road, I share my world with them both.

BCO


You are a poet
and didn't know it,
but your feet show it.
The are Longfellows
and smell like the Dickens...


Do-dah, do dah ....

BCO


ROBERTGLINES1:  Know the feeling. freedom   adventure   stimulation    life is good

It sure is, life is great, it is as they say “a good day to be above ground.”  I still occassionally feel these emotions that you have mentioned, just not as frequently as I used to and they have been relegated to that portion of my life reserved as “The Good Ol Days.”  Which by the way, as i now remember as a lot more kinder and more enjoyable, than they were at the time.

BCO


JOE CAMPER  The map  with the road traveled is all interstate.

You should work on that some. Lots of great 2 lane..........lots to see.

Great post but aren't you still a bit young for this type of reflection? Get back to work


Hey Joe, not to be argumentative, but you are in error. 

The trip on the left, is mostly interstate, I-40 to Las Vegas, Interstate north to Salt Lake, and into Seattle a good stretch.  Out of Seattle it is Interstate to Bozeman and Billings, then it is all two-lane from there down thru Cody, Wyoming, into Nebraska, Kansa and home to Oklahoma.  I know I have driven it many times, to see “her sister in Seattle.”  Always looking for a new route and a new way.

The second trip is I-35 north to Minnie-no-place (Mall Of Ameria) and to the iron mines in Hibbing, Greyhound Musuem and then it is ALL two lane from there across ND, SD, Neh, Kansas and back into Oklahoma.  We do plenty of two lanes, this is just representative of only two trips.

I will be 64 on my next birthday and Happy Camper Brat will send me some flowers, I retired when I was only 44 years of age, in August I celebrate my 20th year of retirement.  We have in that time period traveled some 36 states and I can assure you a lot of it was two-lane.

I don’t do work.  I just do reflections.

Thank all of you for your comments

BCO
Logged

happycamperbrat
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1813





Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 09:10:28 PM »

As always, really nice read BCO!!

I noticed you totally missed Cally on there lol..... dont like it much?
Logged

The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post
Van
Billy Van Hagen
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2372


89' Silver Eagle 15/40 6V92MUI Boulder City,NV




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 09:36:33 PM »

I enjoyed it Don, I miss the days on occasion Smiley Oh! Forgot to tell you, the mini me version Shocked  of Daddy's Hobby  Roll Eyes is back from the paint shop Grin




 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 09:39:20 PM by van » Logged

If you are not living on the edge, then you're takin' up too much space!!!
Joe Camper
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 666



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2011, 04:06:46 AM »

Retired at 44 hu............very good Mr Bus driver vey good. I am 51 an in need of some winning lottery #'s to get there now Cry

Glad to learn of another ex-trucker who appreciates all that good 2 lane, my bad.

On a side note we almost live close enough to the farmers market in Chi to smell it. If you ever need I have a spot for you, anyone thru Chi for that matter.
Logged

Signing off from Cook County Ill. where the dead vote, frequently.
boxcarOkie
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1452





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2011, 04:45:40 AM »

As always, really nice read BCO!!

I noticed you totally missed Cally on there lol..... dont like it much?

We don't do Cal anymore, about as close as I get is milepost #1 and I turn and head north up into Nevada.  We got into a run in with some people at a POE there in Needles a few years back and that was it for us.  It is a wonderous and beautiful place, a lot to see and do there, with a LOT OF PEOPLE to share it all with.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

Thanks for your reply,

BCO
Logged

boxcarOkie
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1452





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2011, 04:47:29 AM »

I enjoyed it Don, I miss the days on occasion Smiley Oh! Forgot to tell you, the mini me version Shocked  of Daddy's Hobby  Roll Eyes is back from the paint shop Grin

Hey, nice mix on the paint Van, it is looking good.  You even have the bingo novelty plate on the front end, you continue to amaze me, the level of your detail is outstanding.

Take One atta-boy outta petty cash for a job well done.

BCO
Logged

boxcarOkie
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1452





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2011, 04:51:10 AM »

Retired at 44 hu............very good Mr Bus driver vey good. I am 51 an in need of some winning lottery #'s to get there now Cry

Glad to learn of another ex-trucker who appreciates all that good 2 lane, my bad.

On a side note we almost live close enough to the farmers market in Chi to smell it. If you ever need I have a spot for you, anyone thru Chi for that matter.

Yeppers, it is a tough job, but someone has to do it.  Two lanes are cool, the farmers bring the latest thing they are selling out to the front fence, you run thru small town America (what is left of it) and you see the interesting and the unique area's of our great country.  The interstates are basically all about the same ... seen one ... you seen them all.

I don't know if we will do Chicago again or not, we are kind of kicking around this Chattanooga idea right now, that kind of sounds interesting.  Saving up our coins for fuel and shopping around for a Smartcar so we will fit in!  Hahahahaha ... Oh, I think I just hurt myself.

BCO
Logged

DMoedave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 322





Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2011, 05:17:35 AM »

Very nice post, again. The bus gives me my trucker fix as well.
Logged

we love our buses!!! NE Pa or LI NY, or somewhere in between!
boxcarOkie
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1452





Ignore
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2011, 09:33:35 AM »

Very nice post, again. The bus gives me my trucker fix as well.

It did rather well, over 400 reads in 24 hrs, that is good ...  Your picture makes me nervous.  I just don't care for ice and snow, back in the seventies, I was fiddling with the radio in Holbrook, Az. on a trip, trying to tune in some good music, and the !!##@!@#** trailer came around to meet me. 

Not a good day.

Thank you for your response.

BCO
Logged

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!