The hidden years in Canada,75, co-drivers

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 28 June 20:22



The last working day of Richard lay behind him and we were back early for a change, a lot of contractors had already taken an early start for the upcoming long weekend and our cargo had consisted of a medium-filled truck without a trailer. It changed our day tremendously and we were once again waiting between the mates for our ‘grace’ money from the hands of mister Kurt. He called your name and if you got up he threw the bag containing the payslip and the money on the table in front of him. You had to bend down to pick it up. It had something feudal about it. The person who picked it made the bag open in Kurt’s presence and then quickly counted it to see if  everything squared up. Eventually Richard's turn came and Kurt threw the bag in front of him on the table. Richard looked  up and started to count the number of hours on the strip and checked it to the final amount and began counting. Satisfied he put his money away. It took a while and then it was my turn. With a loud sound of the bag it landed almost in front of me on the table, it slid forward for a bit and then lay still. I nodded at Kurt and opened the bag. I looked at the number of hours and to the final amount on the slip. My goodness, I had earned the wages of two and a half weeks in one week. Money lessened the suffering and suddenly the hours that lay behind me seemed not so annoying anymore.

I had almost had the last pay packet, and soon we all walked to the exit. ‘Hey Lip,’ I said to Louis, ‘who is the co-driver tomorrow on my truck?’ I picked a good one for you, one who also has a heavy duty driver's license, so you can swap places if your days are too long. ‘ Who is it, I asked? ‘There are two who like to work on the truck, I’ll have to choose, come to the Queen's,’ laughed Louis, ‘you can buy me a beer and then we can discuss it.’ I do not go to Queens anymore, ‘I said,’ too much happens there lately. ‘ Sure, ‘he asked? ‘Then I’ll choose for you.’


The old Pontiac growled when it came alive again and slipped from the grounds of our company. ‘The salary makes it all up,’ said Richard.’ You were happy with it’, I asked? ‘Yeah man’, Richard said, ‘in one week I have earned more than usually in two.’ ‘Same here,’ I said. ‘Tomorrow is a different life for you,’ I said, ‘it will take some getting used to for me, another fellow in the cabin. ‘You’ll get used to that,’ Richard smiled,’ by the time I have my first lessons behind me, then you do not even remember what my name was.’ ‘What do we do with the dough’, Richard asked, ‘I'll buy you a burger at our POP’s and then we’ll go home, I suppose.’ ‘Right on,’ said Rico and then tomorrow I’ll get that stuff for the expedition, but after sleeping out a bit, when you are already long on your way to Blackfoot County. Thus, the construction career of Rico ended, Rico who actually had been Richard and who had worked with Mama Fuzz who was actually Harold and had been blown away. Never again would he meet Louis the lip and he did not need to eat Mistah Kurt’s ‘grace bread’ anymore. Mistah Kurt, sir, that was.

San Daniel 2015

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