Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Convoy

Lest you think that all of the highway hijinks in the Silverman Family involved Lisa, I do believe that I owe some cyber-time to Adele. Yes Adele. I'm thinking about that little ol' trip to Yosemite.

I was 19 years old; Adele was turning 17. Our friend Kathy F. was also on the trip, age 18. Adele's best friend Tammy couldn't make it. That's a whole other story. (Adele, stop laughing - lol!)

Anyway, it was the mid 70s. And it was the middle of the craze for all things Citizen Band Radio, all things Trucker, and of course, the Convoy.

We were young and cute and somewhere in my disaster of a photo drawer, I'm sure that I have a picture of the three of us, posing by the rear of my Gremlin with the giant banner advertising our CB Handles to any trucker that might happen to drive by us. And want to talk to us. Not. (I'll look for the picture and when I find it, I'll scan & post it. I promise!)

Anyway, we were heading up the highway towards Yosemite. We'd talk on the CB that Adele had temporarily installed in my car, trying to get truckers to talk back. But it was all radio silence. Until...

We spotted a live one. "Come On, Good Buddy!" we chided into the microphone. "Talk to us!" Nothing. So we started telling jokes. I suppose that to our innocent ears, they were probably pretty dirty jokes too although I cannot imagine what they were and also would imagine that they were nothing to the sophistocated ears of a roadsman. But we could tell that they were listening to us. We could see them out the rear of my car and they were laughing at all the punchlines.

"Come On!" we exclaimed. "We know you're listening to us. We can see you laughing at our jokes!" And, to our amazement, they picked up.

Well, at that point, we were not far south of Bakersfield, so they suggested that we all stop and have breakfast together. We did exactly that. And had the time of our lives. They were "Bud" and "Perry" and hailed from, I think, Oklahoma. They ran cross-country trucking jobs and traveled through California quite frequently. We managed to turn a short breakfast at a roadside diner into a 4 hour event.

Finally, we all realized we needed to get back on the road. But Adele had an idea. She had never ridden in an 18-wheeler truck. Could she go on up with them for a stretch down the highway? "Sure!" they replied with glee. And so she climbed into their cab and we set on down the road. Never thought, even for a moment, what could have happened if their intentions were not good. We were just too naieve for that.

Before long, we were engaged in CB chatter. And suddenly, other trucks were joining in. And others and others. It was a CONVOY!

Now we were in for it. Bud & Perry joined right on in. After all, why drive down the freeway alone at 55 mph if you can go along with all of your good buddies and burn rubber at 100? So there we were, 20 18-wheelers and smack-dab in the middle of them, a Gremlin with two scared girls.

We couldn't drop out, even though the speeds were terrifying to me. After all, Adele was committed in that cab. And so we charged up the highway, making speed towards Fresno and arriving in less than one hour. Anyone who is familiar with that stretch of road knows that it is an impossible task to do for any law abiding citizen in a 1970s era economy car. But we did.

Finally, it was time for us to pull out. Bud and Perry pulled over and Adele popped out of their cab. We all exchanged phone numbers "for the next time they were in Los Angeles" and parted ways. You would have thought that we'd never hear from them again, but we did!

They frequently traveled through L.A. They would call us out of the blue and we'd meet them for dinner or a movie and for one memorable late night encounter when we convinced them that it would be a dandy idea if they were to pull their gigantic truck in front of Mom & Dad's home. You have no idea how big those trucks really are until you put them into perspective in a residential neighborhood.

I still remember waking Mom & Dad up from a sound sleep in order to come out and meet the boys. And of Dad climbing all over their truck in an old Terrycloth Bathrobe and his bedroom slippers. He was fascinated and never thought he'd get the opportunity to look at this way of life. And when it was finally over, we convinced them that they should blow their horn as a good bye salute.

Now Richardoften has truckers that call into his radio show "Lighten Up with Richard Simmons" blow their horns over the air waves. And it's amusing and everyone really likes it. But you just can't have a real appreciation for how loud they really are until they wake up all of your neighbors at 1 am in the morning. The entire neighborhood shook like there was an earthquake. Helen Mooney - the neighborhood bitch - looked all ready to call the police! And we were very happy.

Bud & Perry stopped calling us after a while. Even though our relationship was completely innocent, I understood it to be because their respective wives back home did not approve of us. At the time, I was very angry at those women. As I've matured and become more worldly, I understand their upset.

But I often think of those guys as I travel down the freeway. Are they still in trucking? Are they still partners? Do they ever come though Los Angeles? And do they ever think about the girls they met in the Gremlin?


Le Tour De Fleece Update:

I have spun 3 1/2 ounces of the first 1/4 pound that I committed to, and think I will finish up the last 1/2 ounce tonight. Since I am feeling a bit better, I'm gonna "Put the pedal to the metal" and see if I can get the 2nd 4 ounces done before the weekend is out.

1 comment:

Ang said...

OMG...My dad had and listened to all the CW McCall records. I can remember singing convoy lol...Sitting in the living room when Cassette had become popular and dad recording his records to "cassette" so he could listen to them in the truck..
I remember using our CB to call for Smokey's..And I remember watching Smokey & the Bandit..(that's a whole other story) but I love your stories better

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