Old Bill Parker

Bill Parker drove for Ross Ewen, in the late sixty’s out of Prince George. Now there was nothing outstanding about Bill except for one unique feature, he had lost his left leg, below the knee some time in his early life and had been fitted with a prosthesis, an artificial leg.

When you asked Old R.A., about it he would say, as he took a puff on his ever present pipe and let the smoke rise up around his head, “Oh, Bill does alright. He is a little hard on clutches at times, but he gets the job done.”

Old R.A. was really laid back and never had a bad word to say about any one. If he had been born 50 years later, you would have thought he was smoking some thing other than Old Plow Jockey in his pipe.

This leg of Bills was almost as old as him and every once in a while, it would break. It wasn’t uncommon to see old Bill come hopping into the shop with his left pant leg, flopping in the wind and the bottom part of his leg in his hand. “Damn thing broke again,” he would say, as he threw it in the vice and went looking for just the right nut and bolt to fix it.

When he found the right material, he would undo his belt drop his pants and undo the top part of his leg and pull up his pants. The bolt might have come from of the bolt bin or off the shop floor. He would then put his leg back together, put it on and try it out, “Damn it, just like new,” he would say as he walked out of the shop to continue what he had been doing.

On one slow day, there were a few of us sitting around the office, drinking coffee and doing some verbal trucking. There just happened to be a salesman in the office trying to sell Old R.A. something or other, when one of the drivers walked in from the shop, walked over to the coffee pot and poured himself a coffee. Then in an offhanded way he mentioned that Parker had broke his leg, out in the shop.

The Salesman seemed to be a little shocked that no one had sprung into action, to go help this poor guy by the name of Parker, who had just broken his leg in the shop. Then the door to the shop swung open and in hopped Parker with his pant leg flapping and his leg in his hand.

“Haven’t we got any #!#$@ 1/4 inch bolts in that ^%$#@ shop, so a guy can fix his #$@!#$ leg,” he said , a little irritated.

The salesman stood there with a look of disbelief on his face for a few minutes and then started to laugh with every one else. I can imagine his little experience with Old Peg Leg Bill Parker and the impassionate drivers at R.A. Ewen’s got him a lot of mileage on the rest of his sales calls, that day.