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 …