I was out on the West coast, trying to make a buck and things didn’t work out.
I was out on my luck I got sick and tired of roaming around so I started thumbing a ride back East towards my home town miles from nowhere.
The first two days when I figured I’d be home in a week if my luck held out this way.
But the third night I got stranded way out of town on a cold lonely cross road, the rain was falling down, I was hungry and freezing, and then I got a chill when the lights of a big semi topped the hill.
Lord I was sure glad to hear them air brakes come on! climbed in that cab I knew it would be warm.
At the wheel sat a big man weighing about 210 he stuck out his hand and said with a grin, Big Joe’s the name and I told him mine and he said the name of my rig is Phantom 309.
When I asked him why he called his rig such a name he said “Son this old Mack can put them all to shame, ain’t a driver or rig running any line that’s chasing nothing but tail-lights of the Phantom 309”.
Well we talked the better part of the night when the lights of a truck stop came in sight
He said, “I’m sorry Son, this is far as you go cause I got to make a turn just down the road”.
Well he tossed me a dime then he put his rig in low and said, “Have yourself a hot cup on old Big Joe.”
When Joe and his rig went on! In the night in nothing flat, I went inside and ordered me a cup,
I told tire waiter Big Joe set me up, you could hear a pin drop.
It got deadly quiet, the waiters face turned kind of white, “Well did I say something wrong? I said with a halfway grin. He said, “No this happens every now and then, every driver knows Big Joe well son, let me tell you what happened about ten years ago at the cross roads, tonight where you flagged him down there was a bus load of kids coming from town and they were right in the middle.
When Big Joe tops the hill it could have been slaughter but he turned his wheel well, Joe lost control and went into a skid he gave his life to save that bunch of kids and there at the crossing was the end of the line for Big Joe and Phantom 309.
But every now and then some hiker will come by like you, Big Joe will give them a ride.
Here have: anther cup and forget about the dime, keep it as a souvenir from big .Joe and Phantom 309.