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The Knife Man and Jai’s Christmas Present

There are several things particular to driving “team”… one of them is …missing good-sized chunks of any given trip.

For example, when I wake up, I’m often several states away from where I went to sleep.

On some occasions over these last several months, Jai will tell me about a particular part of the country that I never had the chance to see. He sees things I don’t and vice-versa.

We went over I-17 south several times, between Flagstaff and Phoenix before both of us had the opportunity to see it. On the first occasion that Jai happened to be driving when we reached that point in our trip-plan, it was dark! So, he still didn’t get to see it until the next time he happened to be on-shift when we hit that point in a trip out to California, in the daylight.

It took awhile for us to figure this one out. That it was happening.

Several times, I would find myself stumbling over which highway I was on over the CB. Or stumped by a question someone would ask about a particular route. The fact is, the when my drive-time is done – or Jai’s drive-time is done – the truck doesn’t stop moving forward!

Sure, I’ve been able to read a map since I first started driving. That doesn’t mean I actually knew where the 635 intersects with the 30 – or even which city it was in! Driving a truck OTR quickly changes that. You start to know the freeway system. Perhaps not the smaller roads, but the major north and south corridors, yes. However…

… as a “team”, it takes a little longer to get the whole in your head when you’re driving chunks of a trip and not the whole thing.

That is precisely why Jai and I couldn’t figure out which TA it was that he met “The Knife Man”.

On one of our trips out to California, he stopped at a TA during his break and fell in love (ok, very strong “like”) with a particular knife.

The man who sells the knives has been in that TA for 23 years.

Jai told “The Knife Man” that he would be back to buy that particular knife. The man told him it was highly unlikely that would ever happen. Jai begged to differ and told him “I’ll be back”.

And then… we couldn’t figure out which TA it actually was!

Several months later in November, we finally happened along the I-10 through Tonopah, Arizona, when both of us were awake and during the day. Together we figured out and stopped. Sure enough… there was “The Knife Man” and Jai’s special knife!

“The Knife Man” is actually called ‘Herb’ and he’s a pretty nice guy… once you get past the slightly sharp edges (yes, pun intended!)

In the end, Jai got his early Christmas Present and I have to say it’s a pretty good knife! The video tells the whole story…

Enjoy!
Andrea



Andrea Steward

Andrea Steward

Before driving professionally for Con-Way Truckload, Andrea was (and still is) a musician/singer/artist/writer and serial entrepreneur. She has written and produced 5 albums (available on CD Baby). Now... she's driving in a husband/wife truck driving team and LOVIN' IT with passion. "Life in America depends on truckers... my Grandaddy did it for 45 years, it might be in my blood!" - Andrea
Andrea Steward

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Andrea Steward
About Andrea Steward (143 Articles)
Before driving professionally for Con-Way Truckload, Andrea was (and still is) a musician/singer/artist/writer and serial entrepreneur. She has written and produced 5 albums (available on CD Baby). Now... she's driving in a husband/wife truck driving team and LOVIN' IT with passion. "Life in America depends on truckers... my Grandaddy did it for 45 years, it might be in my blood!" - Andrea
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1 Comment on The Knife Man and Jai’s Christmas Present

  1. I have known Herb Ilrig for 27 years, and yes he is a hell of a nice guy. He is now in a rest home in Phoenix.

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