One Step Forward and Two Steps Back
(the truckers Waltz)

Chapter 2

BILL IVORS

Bill Ivors was sitting at the kitchen table drinking his second cup of coffee; it was 5:45 am. ‘Well you silly old fool, what are you going to do to-day, after you talk to Steve,’ he was thinking, ‘you should have kept your truck and you wouldn’t be sitting around mopping like a neglected dog.’ He had promised Jeanne, his wife that he would retire when he was 71 and here he sat with no truck; no job, wondering what he was going to be doing all day.

This is tough, when you work all your life and then one morning you don’t have any place to be, or any place to go, it’s tough. When he was working he always had his wood working hobby to keep him self busy, or the garden, or working around the house, but then there was a certain amount of urgency to get these jobs done, because he knew he would have a trip to pull and would be going some place.

The job he had, just before he sold his truck wasn’t really work, it was straight pin-to-pin. He would pin up a trailer and go for a drive and when he got there he would unpin it, grab another trailer and drive home. He loved to drive and when he had told some people he wanted to sell his truck it was only half heartedly, he never expected some one to come along and buy it.

He couldn’t very well say no, what would he tell Jeanne, she wanted him at home, her health wasn’t that good and she thought that after 50 years of marriage, with him leaving at all hours of the night and day he should be home. “You know that she was absolutely right, like it or not.” He said out loud.

“What’s that Bill? “Jeanne’s voice came from the bedroom.

“Nothing dear, I was just talking to myself.”

“Talking to your self, don’t tell me you’re getting senile already, you crazy old fool?”

When Steve James had phoned him the night before and told him he was thinking of buying his own tractor and that he wanted to talk to him, Bill got excited about it. He had asked Steve if he really knew what he was in for, but Steve seemed to have his heart set on it, so Bill thought, what the hell if I can help him out, why not. I’ve made a decent living at it -most of the time and it will get me out of the house now and then.

Bill looked at his watch again, after a lifetime of meeting dead lines here he is waiting on time. He was supposed to meet the kid for coffee at 8 am.

When Steve walked into the truck stop, old Bill was already sitting at a booth, waiting for him. “Hi Bill, what time did I say I was going to meet you?” He said as he looked at his watch.

“Eight o’clock, but I was up at 5:00, rattling around the house, so the old lady threw me out,” he said with a big, good-natured grin on his face.

“So you finally retired, hey? I thought I would never see the day.”

“Well Steve, I guess 71 is a good age to retire. I think I’ve put in my time, although I think I still have a lot of good years and a lot of miles left in me.”

“Holy cow, are your 71? I know a lot of people who are 59 and don’t look as good as you do,” said Steve looking at this fit 5-foot, 10 inch tall, good looking man, with a full head of hair that was graying at the temple.

“Enough of the BS, you said last night that you were thinking about buying your own truck, I imagine you have talked with your wife about it?”

“Yeah, we talked about it a lot. She knows that I’m a truck driver and I love it. She knows that I’m probably going to be doing it the rest of my life. It seems to have been good to you.”

“It has been good to me, but not all the time, some times it has been a pretty rough row to hoe, especially for the wife. You miss a lot of your kid’s birthday parties and graduations. Steve, let me tell you this trucking can be like a waltz, a truckers waltz, one step forwards and two steps back.”

“Both Rose and I understand that, Bill. Rose grew up in a trucking family, her dad and her grandfather were truckers and one of her brothers is a truckers. You might say she was born with diesel fuel in her blood.”

“How come you didn’t ask them to give you a hand?”

“Their still back in the prairies and I know you have been around since solid rubber tires, so I thought I would ask you. You don’t mind do you?”

Bill laughed and said, “Hell no, I’m happy to do it. It gets me out of the house and all that labor intensive, domestic bliss. ------Okay as long as you both understand. I’ll do what I can to help you; it will sure as hell beat painting the bathroom, this week.” They sat there for over an hour, talking about the business and some of the pit falls that Steve would encounter. They agreed to meet a couple of days later and lay down a strategy.

When Bill walked out of the café that day, he felt younger; you could see it in his step. Bill now had a purpose in life; he had something to look forward to. This Kid trusted him and by God he would give him every bit of knowledge he had acquired, over more than 40 year on the road. Then it would be up to him.

The next couple of days Bill was busy; he dug back into his mind and made notes of everything he thought might help the kid.

Go to Chapter 3