Saturday, August 30, 2014

08/30/14 – Riding Shotgun

I’d mentioned earlier, either here or on Facebook, that my blog might be taking a slightly different direction, since I’m working regularly now. My schedule makes it harder to post, harder to read your posts, harder to comment on your posts and harder to link your posts, all due to time constraints. I hope none of you take it personally if you hear less of me for a while. Some of you may even find it a blessing! Eventually, I hope to save my pennies and get one of those gizmo’s that you speak into and it converts your speech into a word document. I’m thinking that might allow me to post more often and be a little more spontaneous. I can’t do it yet, though, since nearly a year-and-a-half of no work and lousy work has left me with a lot of financial catching up to do.

The passenger seat in the dump truck that I drive at work sits perpetually empty, and we aren’t allowed to have riders, so you might as well come along, even if it is vicariously. I’ll share a few of my observations and thoughts with you from my driving, so feel free to speak your own mind; that’s what the comment box is for.
You’ve probably noticed those old folks who sit on their front porch and wave at the traffic going by. I’m one of those, so I give a little wave of brotherhood at all the other drivers whose vehicle has dual rear wheels, from delivery vans to the largest four axle straight-frame. Some of them wave back, some don’t, and some that I see regularly are BECOMING wavers from my efforts. Most semi drivers think a bit well of themselves, so I don’t usually bother with them, unless they’re hauling lumber, logs or livestock. I guess that’s sort of a nod of the head to my former life and their current one.

CB radio use is different than it was 30 years ago when I was driving regularly. There’s probably more trucks on the road than then, at least where I’m driving now, but less chatter on the CB. I think the cell phone has caused a lot of that. The folks are less polite, too. No-one asks for a break anymore; they just talk over you. Of course, you still have a few folks who monopolize the airwaves with their ratchet-jawing. Nearly always, it’s some poor sucker with a whiny voice that sounds like he’s had WAY too much coffee (or something else).

I drove through the little community of Mountain, WV a couple times this week. It USED to be called “Mole Hill,” but they changed it to Mountain a few decades ago, just to prove that it could be done. They got their 15 minutes of fame on national TV, but were quickly forgotten. Some years ago, a few of the wiser folks who still lived there tried to get the name changed back, to reclaim their history, but the Post Office (or whoever) wouldn’t let them.

Speaking of names, I like to watch the names of places, roads and businesses. A former business in Erie, WV was named “Secret Furniture Company.” A discount sale was still advertised in the window. Maybe no-one knew! (I believe the name of the owner was Mr. Secret, no joke.) A few blocks away was Dan Street. I didn’t have the time to look for any other names there, like bill or Dave Streets, but I did see a Jane Street somewhere in the last month.

This week, I revisited Indian Creek Road in Tyler County, WV. It was 36 years ago that I delivered products to a little mom and pop store there for Red Rose Feed. The little building is still there by the edge of the road, though in disrepair. But the once well-kept white house next door, where the owners lived, now seems to be occupied by a youngish family of slobs.

Some folks may be unaware that in this neck of the woods, we tend to call the feeder streams of larger creeks by the designation “run.” It would be a fork or branch in other country settings. On my trip from the limestone mine to Indian Creek and other deliveries in that part of the country, I passed Flinderation Road, Gnat Run Road (starts on a hilltop), Alkire Run Road (starts in a valley), Camp Mistake Run Road, Klondike Run Road (must have been named during the Canadian gold rush), Tarkiln Road, Purgatory Run Road and others of lesser interest. It would be interesting to know the stories to some of those names!

Driving Rt. 18, out of West Union, toward Middlebourne, the road was bad. I saw one straight-sided pothole that looked to be a foot deep. Luckily, I didn’t hit it. I knew I was getting close the oil patch, though, when I suddenly hit brand new asphalt. Also, there in the middle of nowhere, I looked across Middle Island Creek to see a new mansion of downright palatial size. SOMEBODY is certainly making some money from the oil and gas business there! © 2014


Mamahen said...

Don't do much traveling myself these days so riding shootgun would be nice..The names often amused me and made me wonder of their origins :))

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm sure there's a lot of interesting stories out there, Mh.

Kev Alviti said...

Glad to hear about your job. Really pleased that things are starting to work out for you again after things have been so tough.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

A house went up on a hill top here a few years ago. I don't think it's as big as it looks from a distance but it was unusually large for the area. It's strange to see something so huge out of place.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

It is hard to have time to get everything done when working. Your computer might already have voice to print capability as I think it has been around for a long time.

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Kev.

Out of place it is, Kathy. It's so huge that it would be out of place anywhere in the state.

What I want, SF, is to take it in the truckmwith me and talk as I drive. I'm not sure the computer would allow me to do that, but it might.

Lady Locust said...

At least the names are pronounceable. We have Iskuulpa Creek Rd, Kanine Ridge Rd. (pronounced ka-nine-ee,) Nixya'awii Charter School, etc. Native American names:)

Gorges Smythe said...

Better you than me, LL! Of course, I suppose the natives don't have any trouble with them at all!

Pumice said...

I hear you on the time issue. Keep on truckin'.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

I intend to, Pumice.