This is an exciting time for us! NAIT is celebrating its 40th year, and we’re gearing up for the Walcott Truckers Jamboree at Iowa 80 July 8th -10th! After the pandemic pains of 2020, we are eager to see friends and meet more people at this year’s celebration.
During our Memorial Day travels last month, our younger daughter – now mere days away from taking her driver’s test – peppered me with questions while judging every lane change and 10-and-2 nuances.
“Dad, why do you move closer to the white line when a truck passes?”
“Dad, why did you flash your lights before that truck moved over?”
“Dad, why …” felt like an interrogation of my driving skills.
It got me to thinking: Where did I pick up these unwritten rules of the road? Seems some things have gone the way of the light switch on the driver’s side floorboard. … Are there unwritten rules of the road that you stick to regardless of the changing times?
Personally, I consciously move closer to the white line when any vehicle passes, especially big rigs. For fellow driver’s sake, I want to give them as much room as they need. (I don’t know what’s going on behind their wheel; they may need an extra foot or two.)
And yes, when a big rig passes, I do flash my lights to let him know it’s clear to move into the lane. I learned this from my dad (and have no clue what the science is behind it – but I’ve never had a trucker clip my front end).
The more we talked about the ins and outs of driving and being aware of your surroundings while holding the wheel, memories of road trips of yesteryear flooded my mind.
We took one vacation that was not baseball-related while growing up. After Hurricane Camille decimated the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969, word trickled out that the storm surge had lifted a boat from the bay and dumped it on the other side of U.S. 90. For my dad, that was a must-see.
It was anticlimactic. Instead of a week in the sun and sand, the family spent less than two days and headed home.
Now, those baseball trips were to exotic locales – Atlanta, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston … and we hit at least two truck stops along the way, coming and going. I realize now that it wasn’t so much the ballgames that left a lasting impression. It was the time in the car, gathering at a table at some mom-and-pop diner, and especially unfolding the Rand McNally road map across the back seat.
We have managed to come out on the other side of the pandemic with a renewed sense of what truly matters. To be blunt: You matter – to your family, your friends, and to NAIT.
We are looking forward to being back on the highways, byways, and back roads of America. We’re ready to see the unique water towers that dot the landscape. And we cannot be the only ones who missed waving at the various Muffler Men across the country.
So here’s to more time on the road – at work and play – and to a summer filled with memories – including the Walcott Truckers Jamboree. We hope to see y’all there!
In the meantime, share your pics of Muller Men and other roadside oddities. You can post them on our Facebook page to spark memories for others. We love seeing what our NAIT family is up to while the wheels go ‘round and ‘round!