When I left Sunday headed to Erie,Pa. I called Ma to tell her I wouldn't be in the Christmas parade this year. She said ''you knew Gary Barr died didn't you?". No, I didn't.Gary was an old friend,been knowing him since high school.Been driving a truck all his life practically-he changed the date on his license to run double to California with me in 1979 because he was too young to run out of state, and he had been driving for several years then,even owned his own truck and leased it on with H.H.Moore Jr. Trucking Co. in Appomattox,Va. hauling wood chips to Covington,Va. Was an old 7400 White daycab, with a 220 Cummins and 10 speed. We ran together until I quit, and soon after they caught up with the license deal so the let him go,but told him to come on back when he did turn 21 because he must know what the hell he was doing.Years later Barry Warner and myself were on the way to Boston one night loaded with structural steel and ran across him on 95 between Washington and Baltimore. Gary was driving for P.L.Duncan then,Barry and I drove for H.H.Moore. We stopped in Baltimore and "hung out" for a couple of hours( you could do more,or 'get away with' way more then than now!), then Barry and I rode the rest of the night to be in Boston by 7 am...but we made it.
When I stopped at his house and took the pictures of the Diamond T it was the first time i'd seen him in years. He was driving for Abilene, had been with them a pretty good while.We talked in his shop,and he showed me the truck and told me how he'd found it in N.Y. and brought it back in an Abilene van. I printed the same 2 pictures I posted here full page size on my best photo paper and mailed them to him.When I saw the parade entries listed in the Farmville Herald, I noticed one said "In Memory of Gary Barr" but it just didn't register-I thought he had the Diamond T in the parade in memory of his Dad or something,but no,it was him. His Mother called him to come eat dinner last Monday night and when he didn't answer she went out to his shop and found him dead of an apparent heart attack. He was only 49,and a truck driving son of a gun!