Updated: Feb 11
Every day across America, thousands of truckers travel to every corner of our great country to bring us what George Carlin hilariously referred to as our ‘stuff’. We don’t give it much thought, but they are always there. Whether it’s food, clothing, medicine, or gadgets, they bring it. In fact, there isn’t a single thing you have in your possession, including the toilet paper we were all clamoring for during this PlanneDemic, that wasn't brought to you by a trucker.
On interstates and overpasses, highways, byways and thoroughfares, truckers are traveling through every type of weather, traffic pattern and congestion, lane closure, pothole, roadwork and the like to meet their delivery schedule for you and me. They spend long hours, maybe days or even weeks, away from their loved ones so that we can have the things we want and need. We should thank them.
I never used to think about how any of the stuff I had actually got to me. Sure, I’d see trucks on the highway but I never get them much thought, except usually to drive fast past them because I didn’t want to get stuck between two of them, especially on a bridge or 3-lane highway. But I never really thought about the truckers themselves. It really wasn’t until I started driving about an hour south of where I live to go hike at Sarasota’s Celery Fields. And yes, I know it sounds funny to say ‘hike’ in Florida, but it not only has a difficult elevation, you take what you can get, and longs walks on flat surfaces bore me.
So when I would drive down, I started to notice a truck here and there, usually as I mentioned, often only with a general fear of getting too close to one or stuck between two. Then I saw them all the time. That tends to happen which often happens when you start to focus on something, Jeep and Volkswagen Bug owners will know what I mean. I started to really think about and appreciate how invaluable they are to the smooth functioning of not only the economy, but our everyday lives.
During this PlanneDemic as anyone who reads my writing knows I call the China Wuhan Coronavirus, healthcare workers have been praised, feted, given food and gifts for their work in dealing with the frontlines of the medical issues surrounding the virus, as they should. But little if any, attention has been paid to the group of individuals who’ve brought all of the medical supplies that are used in that treatment. There isn’t a single glove, syringe, or Tylenol, much less a ventilator or hospital bed that wasn’t brought by a trucker.
Of course, along the supply chain, there are millions of hard-working Americans who facilitate the operation of our economy and our lives, and at this time especially, the also unconsidered grocers, cashiers and restaurant workers who also contributed greatly to keep us from falling apart, for hungry people do desperate things. And there are the farmers and agricultural workers who make the food we eat, the dairy farmers who bring the milk, cheese and ice-cream that please our palate. All of these and more are valuable. But all of those people rely on one group of people: truckers.
Thinking about this inspired what you might call this ‘ode’ to them. Much like the military, first responders and police officers whose service enable my safety, it is truckers who enable my comfort. The computer I’m typing this on was delivered by a trucker. The bed I slept in and the clothes I’m now wearing were delivered by a trucker. The food in my (and my cat’s) stomach and the coffee on my desk all were delivered by a trucker. I live in Florida which is like being on top of the sun sometimes, and while I’m extremely grateful for the HVAC guys too, I know a trucker brought the a/c.
I think about all of the things that go into making our lives comfortable, things I often take for granted and just expect to be there. But at this time when things are so upside down, I remember to be grateful for what Truckers do, because they offer the consistency that makes the rest of it bearable. So if you’re a trucker and you’re reading this, please accept my humble gratitude for all you do for me personally. You’ve truly kept this country together. I’m working on getting a bill passed to ensure that during an emergency, not just in individual states but nationwide, that rest stops not be closed for you and also that you not be required to pay tolls.
I’ve organized an ‘America Thanks the Truckers Rally’ here in Tampa for August 29, 2020, (see the Facebook page & post your picture and a thank you message of your own if you want) and by the time you’re reading this, it will likely be over. It may end up being a small rally as I'm not really an 'organizer', but please know that the sentiment is Huge! And I hope that even though my rally is over, perhaps others will be inspired to organize their own rallies in their hometowns. Pilot Flying J truck stops are all over the country after all!
So when you look around your home at all of the things you have which make life so comfortable in so many ways, remember the Trucker’s slogans that make it possible: ‘America’s needs are moved by truck’ and ‘If you got it, a truck brought it’. And with that, to all of you Truckers (and your families) out there, THANK YOU, with love, America!