Friday, February 26, 2010

Hop In...

You ready? Go ahead and throw your bags in one of those outside compartments and climb on up. Slide on back there in the sleeper. There’s a seat on both ends and two bunks to sleep on. Over there is the fridge, microwave, built in stereo, and a TV-DVD player. Over in that corner is a stack of movies and some of my old CDs. Get settled in and make yourself at home.

Today we’re headed to Slidell, Louisiana (915 miles) with this load of water beds I picked up in Casper, Wyoming three days ago. We’re supposed to drop this load off and pick up an empty trailer at a drop yard in Slidell, then take it to some chemical plant somewhere outside of Taft, Louisiana, about a 70 mile drive. Not bad but it takes us right through the heart of New Orleans. It’s not that I don’t like New Orleans. Hell I love the place. It’s just that cities, especially old one’s aren’t exactly truck friendly. You’ll see what I mean when we get there.

Well hey, it’s already 6 o’clock in the morning, we gotta get going. I’d really like to make it through Kansas City before traffic gets crazy. If we don’t run into too many problems on the road, we ought to be eating lunch in Springfield, Missouri in about four or five hours. Then it’s another hard five or six hours till we shut down for the night in Memphis.

Breaker 1-9. How bout that west-bound, flatbed just coming into T-Town. You got your radio on, Bud? A few seconds later a loud, booming, semi-friendly voice crackles over the C.B., You got The Wagon Master here. Who we got on that end and what’s on your mind east-bound? Hey, thanks for the break, Wagon Master. You got Bojangles on this end. How’s it looking over your shoulder? Wagon Master comes back and says he hasn’t seen a cop all night. Then he talked about how hard it was snowing south of Kansas City where he had just come from. Great. That’s exactly where we’re headed. I thanked him for the depressing weather update, wished him well, and told him to keep it between the ditches. This is Bojangles, and we’re outta here.

Hey, I’m gonna need one of you guys to help navigate this thing. I usually do it myself but it’s always good to have a second pair of eyes. We’re going to drop south around KC then hit 71 South. We’ll stay on that one till we get to Harrisonville where we’ll have to take some other road. That’s where the navigator comes in. You’ll need to pick out a route that’ll take us south through Springfield and Branson, Missouri. From there we’ll probably take 65 South to Little Rock, Arkansas, where we’ll run into I-40 East and on into Memphis. Which, by the way, is where I plan on calling it a day anyway. It’s a little over halfway to Slidell and by then I’ll be out of hours anyway.

Alright, there it is, South 71. You guys doing okay back there? What’s that? You say you didn’t realize it would be such a rough ride. Sorry, I guess I just figured everybody knew that. Yeah, it gets pretty bad. You’ll get used to it though. Hey, check it out, the sun’s just starting to rise. I get to watch the sun come up almost every morning. And it’s something I never get tired of.

I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to pop in an old Arlo Guthrie CD I came across a while back at a truck stop. Ever hear him sing the song called “City of New Orleans?” You know the one. It goes something like this. Good morning America, how are ya? Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son. I’m the train they call the City of New Orleans, I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done. Anyway, something like that. Seems kind of fitting.

Hey guys, we lost a lot of time because of the snow back around KC. What do you say we bypass lunch in Springfield and keep pushing on to Memphis? There’s plenty of stuff for sandwiches in the fridge and should be plenty to drink. You guys okay with that? You sure? Good.

Might as well get comfortable then. Hey, why don’t you put in that movie. Yeah, the one on top. That’s the one. It’s called Fried Green Tomatoes. I just love that old movie. I’ll talk to you when we get to Memphis…

Kevin McGinty

1 comment:

  1. Kevin:

    Great to see your blog post that invokes Arlo Guthrie's version of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans." Goodman often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of "City of New Orleans," and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,050 interviewees and even contributed the foreword.

    You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography.

    If you're not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. 'Nuff said.

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