07/14/21

Trucker “Gater:” Arkansas Meat Packer

So, you’re afraid of what’s in the vaccine?…

Like many of us, Paul had a lot of life experiences, while working different jobs, before he became a long-haul, big rig owner- operator. One of those was his infamous sausage factory job. He was 16 and you know how that works: 16 year old’s always think they know everything. They seldom pause to digest cautionary advice of experienced workers more senior to them.

So, his supervisor told him how the machinery worked. But just like the scene of Lucille Ball in the candy factory where the candy kept going too fast on the assembly line and she got all mixed up, Paul had a similar thing happen to him in the sausage factory.

His job was to run the filling machine. The sausage casings came through, one at a time, in rapid succession and his job was to press a button to fill up each sleeve with the contents—a mixture of what you probably don’t want to know. Then the filled casings would be tied shut at another station.

But something went wrong and the casings were flying through faster than Paul could operate—or stop—the machinery. What happened? A big pileup on the floor—of contents anywhere but in their prescribed casings. What did he do when he finally got the machinery stopped? Just what any 16 year old would do. Shoveled up the contents and filled those tubes, telling no one in any supervisory role of the mishap for fear of being fired.

There have been many stories in this COVID age of people in meat factories in the Midwest, COVID-infected, but they worked, handling the products that would be shipped to the rest of the country. Factory owners declined to institute safety precautions that would insure the health of everyone.

So, next time you hear a person saying they don’t trust the vaccine, consider the above and multiply this scenario by hundreds of thousands because similar events happen in big food plants across America.

And now, across America, the Delta variant of COVID, an especially virulent strain, is claiming many victims because people fear the vaccine—fear what’s in it….fear the cure will be worse than the disease, despite statistics that show folks are far better off if vaccinated.

Get the vaccinations…. for the sake of all. After all, I used to pack your sausages…I know what you should really fear.

03/21/21

 How We Got to Write the Grandpa and the Truck Stories

Well, you can blame our becoming storytellers about big rig drivers on our youngest (at the time) grandchild—Finn, who was 4 or 5. We’d given him a toy big rig and he was on the floor, pushing the truck, making it appear as if someone was driving it. Suddenly, he held up his hand, holding an imaginary CB and began talking to other truckers who might be up ahead on the imaginary highway, saying: “Breaker…breaker..19…Any smokies up ahead, on the superslab?”

He was asking if any “smokies” (police) were on the “superslab” (highway) which suggests his trucker might have been going a tad faster than he was supposed to.

Hearing him told me that my youngest grandchild had listened to the stories I’d told him of Grandpa’s truck-driving years and he’d even memorized some of the special language truckers use when talking to each other.

In that moment, I decided to write my husband’s more remarkable adventures: being caught on an ice-slicked Maine steep incline with another big rig hurtling down at him, one whose trailer had swung sideways, threatening to take out Grandpa’s big rig…and Grandpa. Or the time Grandpa felt Jesus was his co-pilot, when he miraculously awoke to find his big rig had taken an exit, crossed through a busy intersection and climbed an entrance ramp, all, safely, and before he knew what happened. Then there was the time he was caught up in the Woodstock craziness, when approximately 400,000 converged on a dairy farm in upstate New York, to hear their favorite singers. He was stuck there for 3 days, unable to move, due to traffic congestion. What’d he do to pass the time? Helped another trucker buddy give away his cargo of watermelons, in a Biblical loaves and fishes kind of way.

Or the West Virginia story, when he climbed a mountain road in coal mining territory, a road that got increasingly more narrow. He had to think fast that time, to enable a unique delivery.

In our stories, I’ve written about truckers’ passion for their trucks…how they pretty them up, give them names, etc.

I allow Grandpa’s readers to see the vast country of America through the eyes of a long-haul trucker who traveled every single state, but one (do you know which one state you can’t drive a big rig to?), in his big rig. Geography figures big in our stories.

Each story has a moral or lesson that’s important for little ones, one borne out by our trucker’s experience. We weave together nature (ice storms, hurricanes), historical events, geography (no GPS here!).

Finally, Grandpa is a patriot; he loves America; he even served many years in the Navy and Army National Guard, protecting our land, while still trucking. He used his considerable trucking skills in other lands, too, building airports, schools, hospitals, because a trucker is never “just a trucker.”

So, we invite you and your little ones to begin the journey with 2 of our first Grandpa and the Truck stories (Book 1 and 2). They’re on the Amazon website, along with reviews.

“Breaker…breaker…1-9. Come along on our journey through America.”

Buy Book 1

Buy Book 2

 

10/13/20

How We Began Writing Trucker Stories for Kids

Nobody had one it (before us)!  But didn’t start out, telling these trucker stories. They grew out of my grandsons’ fascination with their Grandpa’s trucker lifestyle. When I (their grandmother) noted their reaction, I began to write his stories. They’re about his trucker adventures as he rode the highways of America for 30 years, in every state but Hawaii. So, get the word out for friends–all of you who’ve signed on for updates and any new who wish to hear the exciting tales. We had a little bump in the road (my health), but like good truckers everywhere, we’ve fixed the engine and we’re up and running again. B

So, buckle up–It’s about to get exciting.

(Picture above is of our youngest of 5 grandsons, little Seamus O’Connell.)

 

10/12/20

Purchase now!

Days will be coming up when you need a child’s gift….birthday…special holidays. Why not give them books that teach so many things as well as entertain?  See reviews on Amazon site and purchase books below.

bk 1 cover--last one

 

 

 

 

Grandpa and the Truck Book 1

CLICK TO PURCHASE BOOK

bk 2 g and t--last one

 

 

 

 

Grandpa and the Truck Book 2

CLICK TO PURCHASE BOOK

****For more information and to hear story excerpts, go to grandpaandthetruck.com

10/3/20

Grandpa and the Truck Rap…..

 boysThree little kids (2 boys…one girl), with crazy hats?, colorful sunglasses (on one?), leaning against trees in their backyard, or on a playground, rap to following: They ham it up, putting on “surprise” face (“was surprised”) or make steering motions for line “That he manned the big rigs.” Imagine their other effects, too, as they rap to the following…..

 

Asked Grampy what he did

For his money-earning  gig

Was surprised when he told us

That he manned the big rigs.

 

In his truck, “Proud Mary”

Sitting high on his seat,

Went to every state but one…

Oh, that job was sweet….

 

****(Cut away to one boy saying)………”Except for when it wasn’t”

 

Saw a 6-car pileup

Off a California highway

Following  a “smokie”

On a super-foggy day

 

Partner Ralph found out

Just how dangerous it can get

In the foothills of Virginia

When bloodhounds aren’t pets.

 

In Biloxi, Mississippi

Grandpa stopped for shrimp ‘n grits

But his motel lost its roof

When the hurr-i-cane hit.

 

Rhody’s “Girl Truckers” proves

Men and women are the same

They should do the jobs they want to

Never ones based on their names.

 

Soon… Grandpa will tell

Of the time he got stuck

On a New York State highway

Two whole days in his truck

 

(One child says:  “They called it ‘Woodstock.’ “)

 

Then, there’s West Virginia

When he climbed that mountain road

In coal-mining region

With a full household load.

 

(Little girl says:  “To bring a little girl her toys.”)

 

His stories teach geography

In a way that’s really cool

They tell us other things, too…

Not always taught in school…

 

Grammy says they’re ‘wholesome’ (Other little boy shrugs “What’s that?”)

Their lessons are a must…

They’re all “Made in America”…(Pause)

In a way… they’re just like us.

____________________

To buy these exciting stories (2 to a book), go to links above…and Thank you!