Back in the day

Apologies for the movie trailer, but the music is the same

A local newscaster noted today last week’s passing of C.W. McCall, born Bill Fries, the man who recorded the song “Convoy” back in 1975. McCall died last week at age 93. During the report, “Convoy” played in the background. And I had to look it up and play it again.

Ah, the memories. Driving endless miles across the plains from Oklahoma City to Allenspark, Colo., and back again under a scorching summer sun. Back then the truckers were our best friends. My dad had even told me if I ever had trouble on the road to trust a trucker to help.

With nothing but endless miles of asphalt ahead of and behind us, we whiled away the miles honking, waving, and smiling at the good guys in the big rigs. We never had a CB radio in our car, but we knew the lingo and some of the culture. I made the drive by myself once — I don’t remember why — and a couple of truckers had me in “the rockin’ chair” for quite a while.

It’s not like that anymore. Maybe it never was. I’d like to think truckers are still the best folks on the road, trustworthy and helpful, ready to help us all outwit Smokey. But no more. I’ve gotten old and more cautious about trusting strangers. Truckers seem to be a less-than-happy lot these days and society in general seems much more fractured, partisan, and potentially dangerous.

Still, there was a time …

12 thoughts on “Back in the day

        1. Good to know. Gotta wonder sometimes. Ya watch enough tv, play enough video games, live enough years — not always sure where some memories come from. Unlike computers, no way to defrag the hard drive.

  1. Truckers and trucking are so different now, but you are so right about truckers being the good guys way back. “Convoy” and the “Eastbound and Down” from Smokey and The Bandit were perfect road songs. Now gotta look up some youtubes and listen– he did “Wolf Creek Pass” and “Roses for Mama” but nothing as popular as Convoy! 10-4 good buddy, this here’s the Rubber Duck….

    1. Ah, road songs! Known to us in the Great Plains but not so much to those stuck on the east and west coasts. Out here we measure distance in hours, not miles, something they’ll never understand and probably never experience. Their loss. They thought 55 mph was a good thing. Tsk, Tsk.

  2. Yep CB’s were the bee’s knees back in the day when the trucker was pretty much his own boss. No more -monitored minute by corporate second, the trucker comes in fourth behind freight, the truck, and that just on time schedule. What does the world got against romance?

  3. johnthecook…we can’t forget “Teddybear” and Phantom 309 Six Days On the Road “Roll On 18Wheeler and 18Wheeles and a dozen Roses. I never get tired of “Old Country”

    1. I’m usually quick to say I’m not a fan of “country” and those don’t ring a bell for me, but I might recognize them if I heard them. I guess I’ve never really thought of “Convoy” as country music — more as road music, if there’s a difference.

      I just checked YouTube and remembered “Six Days on the Road.” I don’t recall hearing the others.

  4. Back in the early 90’s, I’d drive from Indiana to Utah to guide backpack trips. I installed a CB in my car and it made the drive so much better! Long before cell phones. I’d drive by myself and it was great having the truckers to talk to. This was also in 55 mph days and we’d all group together (yes, a mini-convoy) and fly! Back before all the restrictions they have on truckers now. It was so much fun. We’d stop to eat and just have a hoot! Those were some good times. There are some things from the “old” days that I definitely miss.

    1. We didn’t have a CB but we did have a radar detector. That alone made for lots of gamesmanship running across Kansas and eastern Colorado. Bears in the air were common because there were so few hiding spots along the highway.

... and that's my two cents