Keep on truckin’
Tuesday April 15th 2008, 10:56 am
Filed under: Life

Once upon a time, back before there were cell phones, children, back before there was IM or email, if you wanted to talk while on the road to someone outside your car, you pulled off the freeway looking for a phone booth, you stopped and propped your hood way up in the air, preferably with a white flag pleading for help attached to your car’s antenna–wait, don’t go away, let me tell you what those were–or, generally…you were a truck driver with a CB radio.

CBs had their own culture, so much so that I greatly hesitate to write about them, not being in on it, and when my husband bought one for our car when we were newlyweds, I wasn’t quite convinced I wanted that thing near us. It was kind of like getting a tattoo for your car. He talked about safety issues, and he really really wanted one. And so he bought one. I suspected, and time proved me right, that a good part of it was, the man does love his electronics–and his grandfather happened to have been a member of the Federal Radio Commission and was later chairman of the FCC, so, radio issues were near and dear to his heart to begin with.

So. We got married, he finished his master’s, we were moving across the country to the next grad school for him to start work on his PhD, and we were driving across the mountains in Nebraska with a decrepit old station wagon missing a few cylinders trying its level best to pull a small U-Haul.

Level best is fine where it’s flat and it’s sea level, but it didn’t work in the mountains. It did not help one bit that the highway was down to one lane for road construction at the longest, steepest uphill stretch of the road, so nobody could go around us, and the long-haul truckers were steaming. Richard flicked the CB on…and heard the guy right behind us tell his fellows exactly what he was going to do to that bleeping little matchbox in his way.

I wonder if the guy had noticed our extra antenna. Richard picked up the mike and said into it, “I’m peddling as fast as I can,” turned the thing off, and floored it as best as he could. Not that one could tell.

We are finally over the mountain. I have never ever finished the taxes so late. 1040, good buddy, over and out.

8 Comments so far
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Hahahahaha! I needed that laugh today 🙂

Comment by Michelle 04.15.08 @ 11:55 am

Too funny!

Comment by karen w 04.15.08 @ 3:13 pm

Nearly five hours after posting that, I just read “Rhymes With Orange” in the paper, and Hilary Price had the same punchline, delivered visually. I’m betting my eyes bugging out could have been one too. I guess I’m not the only one that remembers that phrase!

Comment by AlisonH 04.15.08 @ 3:42 pm

CBs were a big part of our road trips too. My father’s handle was the “White Knight.” Fond memories. Thank you.

Comment by Channon 04.16.08 @ 6:16 am

Very cool story re: the good ol’ days!
Oh, the memories..listenin’ in on truckers & hearing everyone’s handle. My favorite one was from Goodman’s best friend, a preacher; called himself The One-Eyed Dog. Oh, and my younger sister…Swamp Witch, hahahaha. I can’t think of Goodman’s at the moment. Anyways, thanks again, for the memories.

I once asked for a “Smokey report”, which I’m sure you remember, was asking if anyone had seen radar along the way & was answered by the local Smokey..yikes!

Comment by Toni 04.16.08 @ 7:06 am

My Dad and husband have bonded over their Ham radio addiction….
We have no room in this house for Oscar’s radio, but as soon as we move, Dad will be filling a room just for Oscar :-}
They both want me to get my license…

Comment by Diana Troldahl 04.16.08 @ 7:31 am

Boy oh Boy do I remember the days of sitting in my Uncles car with him and my cousins listening to his CB and all the chatter! When we’d go camping when it got dark Uncle Jess would get the CB out of the car and we’d listen to what the antenna could pick up, that was alot of fun!

Comment by Danielle from SW MO 04.16.08 @ 3:30 pm

Oh, what a great story! ha ha…

Comment by Amanda 04.17.08 @ 5:42 pm

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