Blog 2250 – 12.17.2021
On The Road Again
An inspector I worked with many years ago, Tim Welch, because he was more experienced than I, drew most of the inspection trips at the oil tool manufacturing company we both worked at in Houston, Texas. He came into work many mornings saying that he had heard Willie Nelson’s, On The Road Again, and figure a new away work assignment was brewing. I envied him his travels and enjoyed hearing his stories of his adventures to cities far and wide.
I also recalled how much my dad seemed to enjoy all his travels as a sailor, sea bee, and Army burial escort during and shortly after WW2. In the nineteen fifties dad also spent several years as a long haul trucker. He loved his life on the road, but his family more and gave it up for work that allowed him to be home with us every night.
Like my dad I got to see a bit of the world during my military days including three Army bases stateside and the Oakland Army Depot for processing to Vietnam where I spent the longest hottest summer of my life, eleven months long. On the twenty one hour flight there we spent two hours on the ground in Honolulu, Hawaii, with another fuel stop in Guam (two places my dad had gone before me.) We also stopped in Okinawa for fuel before finally landing in Long Bien, South Vietnam. The eighteen hour flight back almost a year later had only one fuel stop in Japan.
My first long drive in a car was after that leave at home I had after returning from Vietnam. I had bought a four year old 1967 Chevy Malibu, it was my dream car when it came out during my last year in high school. I drove it solo from Chattanooga, Tennessee, my home town from birth and then to Fort Bragg, near Fayetteville, North Carolina where I spent the last eight months of my active duty service in the U.S. Army. The drives both there and back were wonderful adventures. The lines from a famous poem by Sir Walter Scot came to mind then and often have on my many road trips since then:
“Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said
This is my own, my native land?
Whose heart has ne’er within him burned
As home his footsteps he has turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?”
I still do so love a road trip, but always the best leg of any journey is the return trip home. Today I start home to Houston from Norfolk, Nebraska, where I have been working for six months and sixteen days) and to my loving and lovely wife, my M.M. (Marilyn Monroe) and also L.L. in two ways (Loving & Lovely, my Linda Lee.)
I hear Willie singing that familiar song and I am singing along with him, “On the road again, I just can’t wait to be on the road again…”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
On The Road Again