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Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Making good use of a few hours

Yesterday I was stuck in a line to dump soybeans at Mankato MN, and had to wait over four hours to dump a semi of soybeans. Struck up a conversation with the older gentleman behind me in line and he was quite interesting, having retired from owning his own trucking business and still helping out part time near the age of 80, though he looked decades younger.


The guy had been in 47 of the 50 states, and had a keen memory. I think he could have written a book about his experiences and observations. He knew stories of some of the richest capitalists in America, as his trucking business had him doing business for many of them over time. I think he leaned towards being a liberal in some ways, but he was certainly not an "in your face" type of conversationalist and probably was part of the "Reagan democrat" electorate...those that sincerely wanted a better America. THose are the ones that must really scratch their heads and worry about the direction of the nation right now.


One thing that he said reminded me of my own he was waiting someplace else one time, and took the time to give his drivetrain on his truck a good grease job, and another trucker remarked to him how ridiculous that looked, when there was a Jiffy Lube just a short distance away...he told me that a grease job like that at Jiffy Lube is $100, and that he told the heckler that doing things like that is what makes the difference between driving a truck all your life, and owning your own trucking firm.


When I was a smartass kid, I was baling road ditches with my father, and I missed a swath of hay, and dad got miffed...made me go back  pick it up and told me that it might not be much that day, but in the long run, things like that differentiated between being an owner and a renter. never forgot that.


The guy that makes the extra effort should keep most of the fruits of his labor.....if I do something to make $100 or save $100, I should keep much more of that than the govt should take as taxation. That should stay a basic tenet of taxation. True conservatives get this...I wonder how many liberals understand why that is what makes capitalism work, and why it drives efficiences.


All in all, it was an interesting morning...lots of stuff about chance events and how they shape destiny. I would share them but it was his story, not mine. I did tell the gentleman that he sounded like a man that had lived his life the right way, from marrying his hs sweetheart and being true to her, to raising sons that thought enough of him to live in the same community as he and his wife did. Salt of the earth type of American.

1 Reply
gough whitlam
Senior Contributor

Re: Making good use of a few hours

Oh that stirs my heart to hear such gut wrenching tales from old codgers who think everyone is a fool. I have had personal experience with that. But it is ironic how you branded him as a liberal with such a brief encounter. You unlike him are an exceptional human being with talents like that.