Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Installment 1.7

Kenny walked into the Windmill Truck Stop in Madera County, California.  The Windmill was frequented by independent truckers.

A raspy woman’s voice boomed across the dining room.  “Well I’ll be damned.  Look at what the cat drug in.  If that ain’t Kenny Lane!”

“Hi Bev.” Kenny grinned.  “Long time no-see.”

“What the hell have you been up to?” Bev asked.

Kenny and Bev had been an “item”…about thirty five years ago.  Now they were just good friends.

“Well, for one thing, I found a place to ship all that field corn the State won’t buy.” Kenny said.

Bev said, “Are they paying anything for it or are they just expecting farmers to give it away?”

Kenny said.  “They are paying, and paying good.  Better than the State would have even if they had not screwed up the contracts.”

“Hey, Bucky, Auggie.  You gotta hear this.” Bev shouted.

Two men ambled over to where Kenny and Bev were standing.  Kenny’s eyebrows shot up when he recognized the men.

“Summabitch, Bucky Christensen.  I thought you were dead.” Kenny said.  Bucky was an easy 150 pounds overweight.

“Naw, you can’t kill mean-n-ugly.  I’m mean and he is ugly.” Bucky said as he pointed his thumb at Auggie. 

Kenny recognized the other man as Auggie (Augusta) Mendoza, a trucker with a solid reputation for getting the job done.  He was not a fast mover but he did not stop working until the job was done.

“Here is the deal.” Kenny said. “There is a market for this corn.  A good market.  They pay cash money on delivery.  They got people lined up like ants to unload it.  They clean out the trailer in less than fifteen minutes.”

“Thing is, they are kind of particular.  The corn has to be in fifty and hundred pound bags and you gotta deliver it when they tell you to.  The other thing is that they don’t want you to use no GPS or other electronic gadgets.  They want it old-school.  Paper.” Kenny said.

“Oh, and this may be the most important thing.  You gotta fly flags with a “P” on your bumper guides.  Do that and nobody will bother you.  Cops won’t bother you.  Weight station won’t bother you. The thuggas in town won’t bother you.”

Buckey asked, “Where the hell am I gonna get two of them?”

Kenny said, “I can leave ten with Bev which should be enough to get you rolling.  Just be sure to ask the load master for more flags and bags before you leave.”

“How we gonna know when we are supposed to deliver?” Auggie asked.

“That is the simple part.  This card tells you when you are supposed to hit their loading dock based on your name.” Kenny said.

Bucky was looking at the index card.  “Where the hell is Chula Vista?” he asked.

Kenny said, “I looked.  It is somewhere in San Diego County.”

“Can I keep this card?” Bucky asked.

“Nope.” Kenny said.  “I’m gonna pin it to the bulletin board.  This offer is open to any independent willing to make the drive.”

Bucky turned and started walking toward the door.

“Where ya goin’” Kenny asked.

“I gotta truck to load and a nap to take if I plan to hit that loading dock at two in the morning.  I don’t have time to drink coffee when there is money to be made.  Bev, could you be a sweetheart and write that information down?  I will pick it up on my way through.  Oh, and a thermos of coffee will be much appreciated.”

Next Installment

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