When I was a kid, I was completely fascinated with “big rigs”. I loved 18 wheelers, and my dream was to be a truck driver. Heck, who am I kidding, there’s still a part of me that longs for the open road behind the wheel of a Kenworth.
I remember as a kid when we’d take vacations, I would sit in the middle seat right between my mom and dad in our pick up truck. And for hours at a time, I’d sit there and pretend to be driving a simi…including sounds and all. I really have no idea how my parents put up with me and my antics, but they graciously did (that’s another blog post for another day).
A few years ago, one of my aunts passed away. I drove my mom back to Oklahoma for the funeral (actually I even did the funeral). One of my uncles has his own big rig, he drives cars all over the place. I asked him while we were there if he’d take me out for a ride in his truck. (See, I still have a lot of interest in those big trucks.) Well, one night he says, “Let’s go get that ride in, John.”
When we got to his shop, the truck was loaded down with a trailer full of cars. We fired up the willing engine, responding with a roar (oh sorry, got carried away there with some Rush lyrics) and pulled out on the road. As we entered a divided highway, my uncle pulls the truck over to the side of the road, engages the parking brake and opens his door and says, “hop out John, you’re driving now.”
Without hesitation, I literally jumped out of the truck and ran around to the drivers seat. Threw the truck in gear and just like that, I was driving my first big rig. My uncle made me shift through all the gears without using the clutch and before I knew it I was cruising down the highway at 65mph, trailer full of cars in tow. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
As we approached a smaller town, my uncle had me pull over (seems he was a bit uneasy about me driving the truck thru a town…what’s up with that?), but before doing so he made it clear, with all the rain we’d had that I was NOT to let the right side tires get off the pavement, or we would end up in the ditch next to the road…
Not gonna lie, the thought of that made me just a bit nervous…okay, a lot nervous and when I brought the truck to a stop, I was still half way out in the lane. Thankfully there was not much traffic.
Here’s a picture of my uncles truck that I drove.
So what was your childhood dream job? Have any of you had that dream come true?