i A Time and a Place...: Another Adventure From the Past...

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another Adventure From the Past...

I was poring over my Journal and came across these two episodes, the first in 1958 when I drove for EL Farmer and the next from 1957 when I drove truck for JH Marks Trucking Company out of Pueblo, Colorado. I hope you enjoy them.

*Just about everyone has an idiosyncrasy of some kind. One guy was a kleptomaniac. I found this out after we had stopped at a market for something. I don’t remember what I needed but, after I bought it and we had gone back outside, he asked me if I’d like a piece of gum. (Juicy fruit) I took a piece and it occurred to me he hadn’t had gum earlier. I asked him about it and he told me he’d stolen it from the market. I asked him why he’d steal it instead of paying the nickel it would have cost him to buy it. He said he didn’t know why he’d stolen it; he always stole something whenever he went into a store. He said he couldn’t help it.*

**On one trip south to Houston, Don Ferguson and I went together. We took two loads of pipe to a manufacturing company of some kind. When we got to Houston it was pretty late and we hadn’t eaten for quite a while. We parked our trucks on the large parking lot at the place we would unload the next morning. Across the street and down about half a block was a Denny’s restaurant. I told Don we should go there and get a bite to eat. When we got to the café, Don didn’t want to go in. He hadn’t seen a Denny’s before and he thought it was too fancy for us. I assured him I had eaten in Denny’s before and we were dressed just fine in our work clothes. He finally agreed and we went in and had dinner. He was very impressed with the café.

After we ate, we went back to our trucks and each made a pallet under the load of pipe. It was a warm night and the main reason to lie under the pipe was so the early morning dew couldn’t get on us.

The next morning we pulled into the pipe yard and unloaded our loads.

After we unloaded, we winched our trailers up onto the tractors, chained them down and headed back to Pueblo. On the way back we stopped at Vega where Don’s family lived. I had met his mother and brother before and they were happy to see us. They wanted us to spend the night but we needed to get back so we visited for a while and left.

A ways north of Vega, we passed through the Canadian River bottom area. It drops down for a ways a half mile or so coming onto the river then rises again north of the river. Before it gets back up to the regular level, there is a stretch of highway that is very dark. While we were driving along that stretch, we saw what looked like an explosion in the northern direction. Don was in the front and he pulled over onto the shoulder of the road and stopped. I pulled in behind him and walked toward his truck. I met him walking back toward mine. He asked if I saw the flash and I said I did. We wondered if it could be an atomic explosion. The cold war with Russia was an everyday news occurrence in those days.

As we talked, we again looked to the north and realized the flash of light was still there. We looked at it and watched as it dimmed and brightened slightly. Then I realized what it was. I asked Don if he knew what the Aurora Borealis was and he said he did. Then he, too, realized we were watching the Northern Lights. What a sight it was. We were amazed we could see the lights all the way into Texas! The rest of the trip was uneventful.

Later…

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