Thursday, January 15, 2009

Truck Stops...

Let’s see, where were we? Oh yeah, last week I’d just made it to the bottom of that stupid hill outside of Ashville, North Carolina. Note to self, learn to follow simple instructions. It’s not my fault though. Even as a child my teachers usually made some comment like, “Kevin doesn’t pay attention in class” on the back of my report cards. Here’s the deal, my parents were warned, so it’s their fault, not mine. And yes, I’m okay with that.
Well, not really. I did learn a thing or two that day. To tell you the truth, I learned something new almost every day I lived on the road. By getting to know mostly working class people from one end of the country to the other, I learned we‘re all pretty much the same. For the most part people are just doing the best they can to take care of their families. I learned first hand just how beautiful this country or ours really is. But I also learned that you have to be careful out there because not every body on the road has your best interests at heart. Think Truck-Stops.
They’re called “Travel-Plazas” today but they’re still pretty much the same. We’ve all been to them. Good places to pull off the interstate, gas up, go to the bathroom, and get something to eat at the over-priced restaurant. It’s not unusual to see parents send their kids off to the game room while they’re taking care of business. To be honest, that’s really not a good idea.
Ninety nine times out of a hundred you’re going to be okay. Everything you and your family see as you’re fueling up, eating, and playing video games is all good, clean fun, right? But like most things in life, there is a dark side to some of these places. I’m going to tell you a story today about a truck-stop in Nashville Tennessee. It was one of my favorites. But you had to be careful, it could be pretty dangerous too.
It usually went something like this. Breaker 1-9, Hey, you got Bojangles here and I’m looking for all the trashy (party) people. It wouldn’t be long before someone would radio back. You got Wagon Master here Bojangles, come on back to the back row, there’s plenty of room and the night’s still young. Hey thanks Wagon Master, let me fuel up and I’ll be back there in a few minutes.
I’ve told you before about parts of my checkered past. I’ve talked about how I liked to drink and raise hell as a young man. Well, this was all part of it. No, I never really dove into the dark side but I did enjoy skirting it every once in a while. There was a bar right across the street from the truck-stop that was always full of truckers. We’d get drunk, get loud, play a little pool, and raise a little hell. Eventually most of us would stagger back to our trucks, break out the lawn chairs, and drink a few more beers before the evening show started. I’m talking about the “lot lizards” (prostitutes.) Yeah, Nashville’s truck-stop was full of them. To tell you the truth, they were kind of fun having around. But no, I never paid for any of the services they were offering up but a lot of truckers I knew did. You had to be careful though. Besides possibly spreading every sexually transmitted disease known to man a lot of them were thieves. Even if you turned them down for the date they were selling, a lot of times they’d still try to get inside your truck, you know, just to look around. And when you have lot lizards, you also have their pimps. You’d see them cruising around the parking lot keeping an eye on their property. You knew for sure they were armed to the teeth and you knew for sure they were the one’s selling the drugs.
It was also pretty common to hear a trucker on his radio trying to get a ride for some young girl he’d picked up somewhere along the way. It’s always the same story too. They’re just trying to get home. Maybe some of them were. Truth is though, most were teenage girls who’ve run away from home and were simply drifting from one place to another with anyone who would have them.
It’s the same with rest areas too. And no, I’m not saying all truck stops and rest areas are bad places. What I’m saying is that any of them they can be. Sooner or later everyone who lives their lives on the road stop at these places and they’re not all good people. Just be careful out there.
Got a story to tell or maybe you just want to tell me off? You’re always welcome to visit my blog at: I’ve posted several more trucking videos you might enjoy. Anyway, I think they’re good. Or like always, you can e-mail me at:

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