Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On the Road, Well Kind Of

I miss 1973.  I had graduated from college and was home in Hyde Park awaiting orders into the Air Force.  I found a job with Command Airways where I started early in the morning and drove all over Dutchess, Ulster and Orange County picking up small packages for Emory Freight that Command Airways would fly from Dutchess County Airport to JFK for transfer into the Emory system.
My boss, Mr. Kingsley, gave me a 1973 Vega to carry the packages in and didn’t seem too concerned about the number of hours I worked a day as long as I made all the pickups that we were notified of.
I hit the road from the Dutchess County Airport about 8 am and headed north to Kingston to pick up stuff from the IBM plant there.  I think that ride was about an hour  and it took me up 9G to 9 and over the Kingston-Rhinebeck bridge, or if I was bored over the FDR to 9W and up.  I think I started the job in late September or early October and did the run everyday until I quit in February.  I probably put in 10 hours a day five days a week rolling around the valley.  I really loved watching the valley change colors as I cranked up the AM radio to be heard over the wind, and listened to the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Bad Finger and countless other early 70's groups.

When I wasn’t headed to Kingston I was going the opposite direction to Newburgh and Orange County. I know that everyone thinks where they grew up is the nicest place to be, but in the fall few places compare to the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley.
Now we travel in air conditioned comfort with the windows tightly sealed along interstates.  When driving for extended periods it seems we always have destinations and a desire to arrive.  I miss that brief time when I was relatively carefree and making time and a half for everything over 8 hours a day. 

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