My Good Friend Chuck

My good friend Chuck Dudley in Joplin had a conflict with my timing and he had to be at the Dixie swap meet that was on the same week end so he had made arrangements with his step father to help me load the signs I had bought from him. These were not just sings alone. They were all pole signs and big 18’ long heavy and hard to load signs.

My trailer is designed to haul this kind of sign but they are always tricky to load. Especially by people who don’t have experience in loading. We left the motel and managed to find our way to Chucks place but went down the wrong driveway, of course, and found ourselves in a tricky part of the yard but soon figured out how to get to a better spot to load.

It was hot and humid but fortunately overcast from the impending hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas. I managed to find the hidden keys to the tractor and eventually George showed up to “help” me load up.

I’ve never met anyone like George before. He was 10 years my junior and looked pretty old. He has the thickest southern accent I have ever heard and has an incessant need to talk. He is a singer at his church and all he can do is talk and sing. He has a gym for every sign and any and every subject. He has more never ending stories than Uncle Remus and none of it fit with my schedule of getting loaded and getting off to Branson so mom could get a show in before the day was over. I have five big pole signs to load and needed a lot less praises and a lot more lifting and loading. I also had a couple of other signs that friends had dropped off and stored at Chucks for me to pick up as well as some long awaited skins for a rare gas pump that Chuck had found a guy to make for us. I was thrilled to get those skins as our local guys wanted $1000 plus to make a set and these were only $320. It took over four hours to finally get it all loaded up and strapped down as George watched, stood and sang to check my patience level. I survived but it wasn’t easy.

George (Chuck Dudleys Step Father)