Speaking of not much to see, the other day I posted on Facebook that I was turning on to I-80 eastbound in Nebraska. I asked people to wish me luck as it is a long, long, uneventful drive to the Iowa state line. Anyone who has traveled this road understands.
A friend of mine, Dave Peterson, who is now an over-the-road truck driver, (or drives truck – depending on where you live in the USA) commented that he too would be traveling I-80 across Nebraska, headed westbound. “Maybe we’ll pass each other.” He joked. I suggested we should meet for dinner. Dave said I would be long gone by the time he got there. As usual, things that distracted me, slowing me down.
Later, I messaged Dave to ask his twenty. (twenty, that’s short for 10-20. Truck driver terminology; CB lingo
for where are you?) He said he was about ninety minutes east of York, Nebraska, his stopping point for the night. I told him, “I’m about two hours west of York. Do you want to meet for supper?” And just like that, I had a dinner date on a Friday night out on the prairie in the middle of Nowhere, USA.
We met at the Huddle House. A nice restaurant just off the interstate with home style cooking and plenty of overnight parking for semi-trucks. I hadn’t seen Dave for several years. He had a few more grey hairs, but other than that he looked the same.
Dave and I go back a long way – over thirty years! We worked together at the radio station. I don’t think I hired him – maybe it was Bill. Whoever hired him, he was a good disc-jockey and turned out to be the best music director we ever had. We talked about the old days in radio. We caught up on what we were each doing now and what our kids are doing. I couldn’t believe how grown up his kids are – he was surprised how my kids grew up so fast, too. We laughed about how the kids got older – and we didn’t!
We met for dinner around seven and we didn’t leave the restaurant until ten. We had such a good time it surely didn’t seem like we were there for three hours. I’ve been blessed with many people in my life whom I may not see for years, but when we do get together, we click like it’s only been a few weeks. Dave is definitely one of them.
We said our farewells, “See ya later, Timmy.” He said, I smiled with a warm heart. When I first met Dave, he nicknamed me Timmy, while others called me Tommy. Some things will never change.
Dave went back to his truck for the night; I went to my van, but not before grabbing a couple of toothpicks to hold my eyelids open for the rest of the drive across Nebraska.
Heading down the road toward Iowa, I chuckled and gave my dog a rub on the head. “I didn’t even have to pay for my dinner, June Bug – Dave picked up the tab. That’s another thing I like about that guy.” June and I shared a good laugh about that.
I started thinking about the Aleutian Islands, in Alaska. Someday I’ll get there to see where east meets west, but Friday night, I was perfectly content being eastbound and meeting an old westbound friend on the same road, in York Nebraska.