Who Stayed On The Truck?

While going through a list of books I’ve read – some worth my time and some not – I found On The Road. I’ve been wondering a good many years why that caught on so well.

I was so curious about Jack Kerouac and what made him tick, that I even went to a late birthday sponsored by the Hungry Head Book Store. Apparently, I was the only one who failed to bring a jug. That may have accounted for the reason I heard so much rotten poetry.

The party occurred some twenty-five years ago and I’ve journal-ed many paragraphs about the celebration during that span of time. Apparently, my time was well spent.

There are many things about On The Road that have stayed with me. The scene that keeps coming back is the one where he and his friends are standing on the back of a flatbed truck that’s speeding westbound on route 6. The road was obviously rough because the contest was to see who will be the first one to piss is lengthy. No one ever described the tailwind washing back in their faces, so I’ve questioned if it truly happened. But that brings me to my point.

During my high school summers several of us bucked a lot of baled hay – thousands of bales. We all rode the truck to the barn to offload the bales, and then rode back to the hay-field standing on the back much in the same manner as did Jack and his friends.

One person always stayed on the truck to stack the bales while the others trotted along side swinging them up. Riding was easier, so that’s how we selected the fortunate one. The way back was much like a jeep road – very rough, so starting a stream was difficult, sometimes impossible. The first one who succeeded got to stay on board.

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