Sunday, July 5, 2009

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina. This day after the 4 th of July finds me in Charlotte, North Carolina. Things since I last wrote have been good. I am looking forward in just a few days to being with my family in Georgia. Following that visit, my Mama comes out in the truck with me for about 10 days. We are both looking forward to that.

Ernest and Nikita. One of the things I love about being on the road is getting to meet some very interesting people all over the country.

So it was about a week ago, I was at one of the Schneider OC's, and I decided to do laundry. I took my clothes in and the washers were all full, so I sat down in a chair to wait until one opened up. Only one other person was in the laundry room – another Schneider driver in his mid-50's or early 60's. He looked like Ernest Borgnine's brother, he was shy some teeth, and he was wearing overalls with the legs cut off above the knees.

If he'd had a corncob pipe and his washboard he would perhaps have gladly played me a tune.

I would mention the smell in the laundry room, but since I hadn't had a shower yet, I'm not sure if I brought it with me or if it belonged to Ernest.

So anyway, there we are, two souls trying to wash our clothes. We start talking about driving, the economy, trucking things. He's been an independent contractor with Schneider for about 10 years.

We were having a nice conversation. Then I asked him about the economy.


Did I know that the communists had been trying to take over the country since 1776?

I didn't even know there were communists in 1776 – didn't they come along with Karl Marx or some other German?

Oh, that's what they want you to think, he told me. “Khrushchev,” he told me, “was a johnny-come-lately. They've been around forever.”

He then opened the secrets of the ages to me – how Catholics, communists, and others in the secret cabal had been secretly plotting to take over the world since the time of Constantine – and even before that.

The bad economy is a media creation. As were the high fuel prices a couple of years ago.

He left no group of people out of his survey of world history.

As he was winding down (the washing machines had never seemed so slow), he finally started talking about how the Mexicans (meaning illegal aliens) had no rights to anything, never had any. He told me that the only people who had ever had any rights were the property holders – and originally they were all Spanish Europeans. So anyone else's claim had no basis.

Silent until then, wondering if I could possibly make it a few more days on recycled clothes, I finally asked him a question: “Well, when the Spanish invaders first came and staked their claims to the land, didn't they take it from others who were already there?”

He stared at me for a moment, and then was silent. I had thought he looked like Ernest Borgnine. And I could tell he thought I looked like Nikita Khrushchev.

Hmm . . . could be.

Goldy's Truck Stop, Rustburg, Virginia. Today, as I was driving down US 29 from just west of Washington, D.C., down to Greensboro, North Carolina, on my way to Charlotte, I had driven about 300 miles and was looking for a place to stop to get some coffee, maybe something to eat and take a little break.

Coming over a rise about 20 or 30 miles south of Lynchburg, I saw a small place up ahead on the left. Goldy's Truck Stop. I wasn't expecting much when I went in, but it was a place a truck could park, and that's all I needed.

There was a small restaurant there, so I decided to check things out. Looking at the menu was like looking at a menu from my Nanny's kitchen. Could it be?

I ordered the cube steak, fried potatoes, and pinto beans. Sweet tea to drink.

And for a few moments, I was back in my Nanny's kitchen growing up in Rome, Georgia.

How I miss that place . . . and my Nanny.

Until next time . . . keep the wheels rollin' . . . making choices and taking responsibility . . .

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