Monday, March 25, 2013

9335. Roy P. Baldwin

(Sorry for the delay - I've had the flu).

It's one thing to take it literally, and in Roy's case, I think that's the way it is. After all, besides the words "Keep in Truckin'" written on his gravestone, there's a drawing of a truck.

So, born in 1932, is it safe to say that Roy was "truckin'" in the 1970s? I think we can assume so. And since this is my write-up, we will. Think of the CB culture that came out of that era. America's cross-country interstate highway system grew out of the post-World War II era of renewed freedom. By the '70s we had great big convoys, running through the night. Freight was being moved in ways it never had before, as previously it had all been confined to train lines, boats and our early planes.

But the phrase "Keep on Truckin'" came out of more than just that. The phrase, brought to public prominence by artist Robert Crumb in 1968, with his series of long-striding cartoon men, epitomized the feel-good lifestyle of the hippies - which was not his intention at all. Strangely, the hippies have mostly gone away (I still know a few), but the big rigs and their drivers are here to stay. It's not a jump to assign the words to a trucker, as the hippy culture has mostly left our psyche, but it wasn't it's original meaning, either. Either way, I hope Roy and his friends, wherever they may be, are still doing what they loved most. Truckin'!

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