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Back in the mid '80s we hauled structural steel from Montague-Betts in Lynchburg,Va. to Boston and the surrounding areas like mad. Sometimes we would load lumber in Palmer,Ma. to bring back but if we were real busy we'd unload and come straight back to Lynchburg as quick as we could to get another load of steel to go straight back to Boston. As you could imagine, the jobsites were a real pain in the ass to get into,the traffic was horrible,and all the ironworkers were assholes when you got there.
We had a dropsite for a couple of jobs,and that wasn't quite as bad. It was in Everette or Chelsea I believe-I know you had to go by the big produce market to get there. I was driving a 1984 Kenworth K100 with a 400 Cummins in it-big horse at the time. I left one Sunday right after church going up and got to the drop yard a little after midnight. I stopped in the street and went to open the gate but it was locked.Sunday night...hmmmm...I sure didn't want to wait until morning when all the traffic was out trying to run over me,still felt good-I was young then-so I got my tools out and took the gate off the hinges.
The truck was in the street with the flashers on and I was taking the gate off the hinges after midnight at a trucking company's yard. But apparently I didn't look suspicious. Got the gate off and out of the way,pulled in the yard and dropped the trailer,took my chains off,hooked to an empty and pulled it out into the street,put the gate back on,and hauled ass out of there.
I stopped at the 7-11 store in Gainesville,Va. Monday morning to call headquarters,and was back at the shop in Appomattox,Va. by lunchtime. Didn't even have to go back out until Tuesday.
We also used a different drop yard just down the street before we started dropping trailers at the trucking co.-or maybe it was a construction company where I took the gate off,I don't remember.
Anyway,I got to this yard late one evening,around 4:30 or something to 5 o'clock. I dropped the trailer as fast as I could, found an empty, then pulled around to the load i'd just dropped to take my chains off and throw them on the empty trailer. About then some hateful bitch- I mean, a woman- came out of the office and pretty much told me to pack sand. I told her all I needed to do was snatch the chains off real quick,and I was done...out of there...gone.Oh, hell no you're not-"you're leaving this yard right effin' now,if not sooner" she said. "But all I gotta do is get these chains off-" "You're not doing anything but leaving,it's 5 o'clock and my guys get off at 5,and i'm not paying them overtime to wait on you,now beat it!".
So I had to lay over and wait until the next morning just to pull 5 or 6 chains off the load i'd busted my ass to get there before 5 the day before.
So I went over to King Arthur's Bar and motel and got a room,reserved enough money to pay the tolls to get home,and invested the rest in beer.
And then there was the time I picked up a load of steel in Lynchburg,and when I chained it down I got up on top of the load to make sure my chains were in the right place-sometimes there might be a short piece you couldn't see from the ground that a chain wasn't over,so you always climbed up on top to check everything before you tightened the chains.
All my chains were fine, but I did notice a dead possum laying in one of the beams. Obviously been dead for several days, because it had already swollen up and had a swarm of flies around it.
I tightened the chains and went up 29 to the Tye River Truckstop,backed up to the edge of the lot,and looked around until I found a long stick in the edge of the woods. Figured i'd climb up there and push that dead possum off the end of the beam and into the woods-but it was gone. I looked at the beam it was on and there was a big rectangular hole cut into the web of the beam,and the possum had fell down onto the next beam down.
Hmmmm....nothing I can do for it now without having to touch it.
So I let it ride on to Boston and dropped the load,dead possum and all,at the drop yard.
To this day I wonder what those a-hole ironworkers reaction was when they were unloading that load and got down to the possum-already well "ripe" when it left Lynchburg!