November 19, 2010

Fact Is Better: It's Like a Big Old Moon Truck, Really

Maybe this is serious stereotyping, but I feel like truck drivers genuinely fall into two categories: they’re either the most kindhearted men in the world, or they are the world’s biggest creepers.

I started my new job at the brewery and we were expecting most of our brewing system to come in on two eighteen wheelers from Eugene, Oregon. When the first arrived, an older, burly, white-bearded man tumbled out of the cab with an enormous, welcoming smile like we had just come to his home.

In a quiet moment, he and I were standing next to one another watching the crane and rigging operators move the equipment from the bed of the truck, over a canal, and into our brewery.

Sometimes, the simplest, most unexpected conversations – quick as they may be – become these frozen moments in time.

Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: “My lady would just love this.”
Me: “Your wife?
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: “Mhmm. Ain’t nothing I love more’n this world than that lady. She’s mah best friend and a helluva woman. Everyone’s drawn to her positive energy. An’ I know she’d just love to see somethin’ like this.”
Me: “Sounds like you’re a very lucky man.”
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: “Don’t I know it.”
*comfortable pause as we both continue to watch the enormous equipment move slowly*
Me: “I know everyone else has said it, but thanks again for driving all the way across the country to bring us this.”
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: “Aww, ain’t nothin’. Was a joy, really.” *stops to think* “Y’know, this might just possibly be the second coolest thing I’ve ever had to haul before. Ain’t never seen a brewery come together before!”
Me: “What was the first coolest thing?”
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: *laughs deeply* “I got to do somethin’ for NASA! NASA! Can you believe that? Had to haul a lunar chariot pressurized module to Florida. Look it up! Google it! I mean that thing . . . well, that’s like a big ole’ moon truck, inn’it? Was so cool, I asked them if mah lady could come along. We ain’t never had so much fun together.”
Me: “You know what? I like you. You’re alright.”
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: *holds his round belly with two hands and laughs heartily again* “You’re alright yourself there, Steff.”
Me: “You find yourself in Maine often?”
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: “Usually just to drive on up through to Aroostook County. But, I’ll tell you what, next time I’m round these parts you and me are goin’ for a beer.”
Me: “Anytime!  You're always welcome here - we'll keep a seat warm for you.”
Nicest Southern Truck Driver Ever: *laughing warmly* “Well then, keep two seats warm! I’mma take my lady out here to meet mah new friends."

True story.

Further proof that fact is better – and cooler – than fiction.