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.”