Children’s Grandpa and the Truck, books 1 and 2 glorify a trucker’s interesting life, as he goes about his job of transporting goods across the United States. You see, our trucker/hero went to EVERY SINGLE STATE except one (do you know which one a trucker and his big rig can’t travel to?)
He became a trucker because he hated his first job. At 18 years of age, he was a roofer in Arkansas, smearing hot tar on roofs in punishing 120 degree heat. So, when he got the chance to drive the conveyor truck (it carried the products of shingles, tar, nails, brushes to the site), he jumped at it. What’d he learn? He was a natural trucker.
Now, as a long-haul trucker, a person learns a lot about our country–its geography…the cities..the rural areas…the different accents people have…their customs. He recognized America’s mighty rivers..the mountain ranges, the oceans. He learned about climate with ice-slicked roads..impenetrable fog…floods…hurricanes…tornadoes.
Sometimes he witnessed events that become historically important (the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969) when thousands of young people arrived at a dairy farm in upstate New York and stayed 3 days!! (I’ll bet you didn’t know New York had farms?) I’ll bet you didn’t even know the town where it happened wasn’t really Woodstock but its neighboring town of Bethel, New York? (Don’t feel bad–nobody knows that.)
Yep, truckers see things no one else does because they are on America’s highways, traveling everywhere.
And they form clubs of sorts…groups of fellow truckers, the men and women who do this tough job everyday of bringing to us every single product that we use (Look around your house and realize that the couch…the chair…the lamp…your computer..your clothes..your medicines…your food…everything was brought in by truckers.) Truckers have a very unique lifestyle, talking to each other on their CB radios, visiting Truck Stops where they refuel, wash their trucks, do laundry, rent a bed, play games, socialize.
I’m going to tell you all about this fascinating lifestyle, so that when a big rig passes you by, you’ll understand how unique truckers are. When you hear the airhorn or the jake brake, you’ll know an 18-wheeler is nearby. You’ll learn about their on-the-road home–the cab or tractor that pulls the trailer. Some cabs have inground swimming pools in them (I’m kidding!!) But they are pretty fancy!
You’ll hear of the great danger these men and women sometimes face, whether from nature or an even more threatening force–human beings–the crazy drivers out there who whip in and out of lanes or slam on their brakes last minute and expect a heavy 18-wheeler, fully loaded can stop on a dime!!!
You’ll hear their special language–at least the words I CAN share with you. Trucker lingo. You’ll hear their greatest fears. And the things they love best about this crazy job.
Finally you’ll learn that even if you hate math, you need to learn some of it to do their job because truckers use math skills every single day, on their jobs. I’ll explain how.
But our journey will be fun.
P.S. Our trucker’s nickname (truckers like to give each other those, too) is “Gater” because his last name was Gates. That’s “Gater” in the cartoon illustration and the real “Gater,” here, with a big rig. He nicknamed his truck, too (I’ll be telling you that, too.)…Stay tuned. The oral stories begin soon, when we finally give truckers the credit they deserve.
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