Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Bringing home on the road
The inside of a truck cab is all business: gauges and switches, knobs and dials. Utilitarian in design and functional in appearance.
But it’s also home away from home for the men and women who spend long days behind the wheel and that means carrying more than what’s in the trailer. Many truckers pack a variety of personal items to remind themselves of who and what they’ve left behind.
We asked members of the RoadPro Pro Driver Council about the items they bring on the road to remind them of home. Here’s what they told us:
For Allen Wilcher and partner Sierra Sugar, home is Destin in the Florida Panhandle and they bring a little bit of the beach with them on the road. He wears Costa Del Mar sunglasses and she wears flip-flops (when weather allows).
“Lastly, and kind of importantly,” Sierra said, “I have a necklace with a silver wire-wrapped amethyst that my mother made for me before she died. I wear that all the time and no other necklace. That is something that reminds me of childhood and home.”
Veteran Ryan Sexton has a photo of his daughter on the dash and in his sleeper and another picture of his Army unit, taken in Iraq just before he headed for home from his second deployment.
“It reminds me of what I fought for and what’s waiting for me to come home,” he said.
Maggie Riessen opts for the practical and the sentimental: a “lucky” screwdriver that belonged to her father and grandfather, both of whom were truckers, and a fuzzy blanket: “Guaranteed to never leave me stranded or cold,” she said.
The more years he has behind the wheel, the less Tom Kyrk carries.
“They may not be things that I look at often, but they are things that have special memories,” he said. “For example, I have several of my father's neckties with me that he used to wear on Sunday while preaching in church. For a number of years, I carried one of his old fedoras. Like I said, for me it is items that just have special meaning and as much as possible a practical use as well.”
Joanne Fatta mounted pictures of her daughter on the dash and for years carried a note written by her. She still wears a necklace her daughter gave her. “Whenever I left the yard on a snowy, bad weather day I would kiss my necklace and say a little prayer before going out the gate.
“The little mementos of family can help ease the burden of our long days on the road. Make us smile, when we may not want to be smiling, and take away some of the stress we drivers deal with on an everyday basis,” Fatta said.
Everyone seems to pack pictures. Thomas Miller’s sleeper has refrigerator magnets with pictures of his wife, daughters and grandson while Henry Albert keeps his photos on his phone.
For Libby Clayton, it’s not as much bringing items from home on the road as it is bringing the color scheme from home: purple. Her sleeper has purple rugs, sheets and a quilt. She also has a stuffed toy bunny clipped to her visor.
“Oh, and I'm sure the mechanics think it's funny, but I have a glow-in-the-dark mobile with stars that hang from it,” she said.
Fred Weatherspoon bring pictures of his wife and grandchildren and a pillowcase “that has my wife’s sweet fragrance on it. I know, a little mushy, but that’s my babe.” But when he really wants to remind himself of home, he brings his 73-year-old mother on the trip.“She loves to ride,” he said. “If you could see how she lights up when I come to get her, you’d be amazed. She is great company and a lot of help.”