Guest blogger: Fran … Part IV


I made several routine runs to the south, sometimes loading at Ocala, or Ft. Pierce, Sebring or even Orlando. (Orlando in those days was a really small town and very quaint and attractive. Not anymore. It used to be surrounded by orange groves…not anymore.)

Every trip was different in one respect… you never really knew what was gonna happen. For instance on one run, I was returning with a load for New Haven, and I had gotten only as far as northern Georgia, and cruising along 301 at about 60-65, and you really become part of the machinery after a while. That’s when danger sets in. You get too complacent. This one time woke me up fast.

Now realize that 301 was a two-way highway, with a driving lane each way. And not overly wide. There was no traffic to speak of and as I sped north bound I noticed an old car moving slowly in the road ahead of me, and I assumed that he was traveling my speed. There appeared a small whistle stop gas station (2 pump), and a convenience store with a rickety looking wood veranda and steps, and large ESSO metal sign swinging out front. I took it all in as part of the scenery, and then noticed that I was gaining rapidly on the old car, so I backed off a bit, and I suddenly realized that he was stopped. … waiting to make a left turn into a small side road that I’d not noticed, but  he  could not move due to opposite traffic coming in the other lane and blocking him from making the turn.

For some reason I didn’t really focus too well and suddenly realized when I saw two little kids in the rear seat looking at me barreling down on them that I was going to run  them over. There I had it … decide what move to make… I couldn’t stop in time, and there was nowhere for me to go. The store on my right and the family in front of me, and he was stalled there. I chose the store and ripped hard right, drove thru the front porch of the store and whipped around back to the highway just past the stalled car, but in the process there was a huge banging noise… I had hit the swinging Esso Sign with front face of my trailer and left it spinning around on its axis like a piece of cardboard. I floored it then and swung back out onto 301.

I looked back expecting to see carnage, but luckily I had missed the  porch by inches, cut a huge rut in the ground in front, and walloped the sign… otherwise… no problem. I never looked back again. Just kept going. Now how could one predict that?  I think that I began to get a bit jaded because I wasn’t particularly upset at a near disaster.

And on another occasion, again in the deep south,  it was growing dusk  and the lighting was diminishing, so I turned on the lights, and there were several areas where small rivers cut under the highway, and had small concrete faced bridges across them. In every instance however, the roadway was flat but the area around the bridges was embanked right up to the traveling section of the highway.  In this instance I noted the bridge, but it was routine and I just kept driving…nothing looked out of the ordinary. And just as I approached the far

end of the bridge a large pig that apparently been eating something there, stuck his head out past the concrete abutment and I was right on top of him before I realized and reacted… but there was no time for a reaction. I felt and heard a solid thump, and I was past the bridge, I looked back in the mirror, but saw no sign of the pig. I can only conclude that the impact of the truck hitting his head knocked him back down the embankment and killed him instantly. I made mention of this later in my talks with other drivers and they said that the farmers let their animals wander loose and they get worse things than that happen to them. Still it was unsettling for me, but I never could imagine what I should have done differently. Yeah it was hit and run, but there wasn’t a soul around that area.

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  1. Fran, love your style very descriptive and entertaining. Hope more people are reading than commenting, Ive enjoyed it! ilb go pack your bags your up early enough.

  2. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Fran – you should have gone back and made some ham sandwiches with what left of that pig…did you ever run into any good ole boy lawmen during your travels? They weren’t too fond of Yankees from the north from what I have heard…. Great stories….

  3. Fran,
    Thanks, I feel like I’m hearing my great uncle tell me stories about WWII in Europe. Really cool stories about his life…ignore the post above mine…some people are just self-centered morons.

  4. Lol, leetch….Do you have any specific topics in mind? We can always give al ines discussion a go….Geez. It August 14th, remember?

    Oh, I’m already upstate…My room won’t be ready til 4, so I’m hanging out in my house. So, have we discussed our first line winger lately? :-)

  5. fran driving through Georgia was like Sherman’s march to the sea, made Georgia howl! Great reading!

  6. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Morning ILB and all!!

    enjoy the vaca, you deserve it!!

    Thanks for continuing to share!! It’s great!!

  7. Good afternoon all! Yeesh fran! Your writing is great. I could feel that porch explode!

    Good for you Shea Weber :)

  8. LMAO! ddeb, the flick was considered very “groundbreaking” for it’s time. and btw, I love how you’re “cubing” E and C :)

  9. C3, a Jock Strapper with a shine box and a newspaper is reserved for the most egregious of trolls :)

  10. I remember the movie, but never saw it

    lol @ the comments

    Next they bring in the? Indian, followed by the construction worker.
    it’s fun to stay at? the YMCA


  11. D2!!! Dang I wish I’d thought of that!!!!! It’s now official. You are no longer ddeb, but D squared :)

    Gotta run….later all!

  12. Fran, another great installment – you sure can tell a story! Thanks for writing for us and keeping us all entertained.

    Leetch – when is your more interesting guest blog to appear?

  13. Hey Fran – I bet the kids in that car, every year at some family gathering, ask each other if they remember that day when they were little, when they nearly got creamed by a truck, but the driver swerved and took out a sign and nearly a filling station instead!

  14. hey, I found hockey news! look to waseka! LOL :) Congrats Staal!

    p.s. digging the tweet fest between our Marty and their Marty :)

  15. Fran,
    “A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl”.

    “All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened”.
    Ernest Hemingway

  16. 4ever, I think I love you…and that’s a wicky…

    ilb, how’d first day at camp go? Fore(hand) right!

  17. I love you too Laurel…You know what funny – *wicky* in biology is a dwarf *laurel*(Kalmia angustifolia). LOL. You can use it as a signature.

  18. …are you, like a really close? I never have a father(being myself a father of 3) and just wonder.

  19. 4Ever – Love the Hemingway quotes in reference to Fran’s stories – brilliant!

    Hey Mama!

    Fifty-six – Summer stinks…need hockey NOW

  20. Wow Carp, still over 2000 page views today, but not even sixty comments – we’re even running out of gibberish!

  21. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    wow, the bag lady with a lot of laurels!!!

  22. Great stories, Fran. I haven’t been commenting, but I’ve been reading.

    Mid-August and I think just about everyone is in lurker mode. Got nothing to say, nothing to add to the gibberish/jibberish so I’m staying quet.

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