Hey there, hands its, Ole Jimmy, your self-proclaimed legendary lead driver. Well, this morning I was overhearing some fellers tellin DOT Man stories while I was having a cup of coffee and I thought about this one particular day. But before all that, just for some of you new hands, the DOT Man is the Highway Patrolman in the black and white Tahoe. You can usually find them behind an 18 wheeler on the side of the road. Now, these guys are straight business and are 90% of the time darn good at their jobs.
Now back to my story.
So back a few years ago I was told I’d be training a young man in the arts of being a vac truck driver. To my happy surprise, it was a guy named Robert. I had known his family for years as his dad was my Football coach for the greatest High school football team in God blessed Texas. The Rankin Red Devils! Rob was a hell of a kid tall and strong a quick learner and from what I gather somewhat of a ladies man, or so he said. Well in those two weeks of his training Thanksgiving Day had fallen.
The plan was to get up early, haul what needed haulin, make it back home by 3:00 pm, eat a Turkey and watch the Dallas Cowboys. So at 2:00 am we got started and all was going great. You see I had five loads of Brine water to haul to a rig out south of Iraan. My rig could legally haul a 100bbls due to weight restrictions. The Jimmy plan was to haul 4 loads of 125bbls each and being that they only needed 500bbls of Brine water that day. I could load heavy and be done in 4 hauls.
So, there we were on the fourth load, it was a cool crisp day with just a taste of gray. The temperature around 45 degrees and mostly cloudy out. I had just got done tellin Rob how I would have coached the 1993 QTR Final game between Rankin and Sudan differently and how with my game plan we would have won. I could tell he was impressed as he stared out into the gray. But I’m used to that as I have so many great ideas. Just then we passed a DOT man, aka the highpo, aka the weight man. He was sitting out just off the road. In my mirrors, I could see he shot out onto the Highway and settled in right behind us.
I said, “Tell me if his lights come on!” A few minutes past and he was still on our tail. I was starting to get nervous. I did my best not to stare in the mirror but there he was every time I looked. I was playing it cool, radio on now but that was the only sound in the Rig. Believe me, I knew if I got pulled over, no way I’d be home in time to watch the Cowboys game. At this point, he’s been behind us around 40 min. Rob starts asking if this is normal. I assure him it is not. Nervously I hit the Jake Break and start gearing down as we pull onto the lease road. Rob said, “He pulled in behind us.” Of course, I had just started saying, “Hell no he won’t get out on the lease road.” However as soon as the sound came from my mouth, I saw the weight man in the mirror. “Dang,” I said, “What is this guy’s problem?”
Now I’m out in the bush, deep in Terrell County, and I have the law on my tail. Not to mention I’m overloaded and I had to pee. The location we were going to was about fifteen miles deep in the lease, and wouldn’t you know it he was on our tail. This goes on until we get to the location. I pulled up eased around with the precision of a dancer backed up to the Brine water tank and hoped I could unload before the law started asking questions. That’s when I saw the rig boss Pablo step out of his office. Pablo looked to be in his 50’s. He was rugged, stood about 5’8”, and arms covered in what looked like prison tats. On the knuckles of his hands were the faded words LOVE & HATE. Earlier that year I saw him settle a pugilistic disagreement between two rig hands by getting in-between them and daring them both to fight him if they wanted a fight. His face was weather-beaten, and he looked a little like Magua from the movie The Last of The Mohicans.
I watched Pablo walk on over. Usually, he came over to sign the ticket or just visit for a few minutes. Except for this time, on this particular run, Pablo walked out to the Weight man shook his hand then started hugging him. Later when I walked in his office he said, “Jimmy this is my Son!” He introduced us, and we joked about how scared I was all the way in. Turned out Pablo told him I was coming out and to get behind the green and white rig. That would be the easiest way to find the location. We had a big laugh as I shook hands and started out the door.
Next stop would be the house.
I have never seen that officer again, and I know it’s an issue he and I could never discuss but if you’re reading this, thanks for letting the Turkey get away. On a side note, the Cowboys won. Till next time this is Big Jim signing off.