Colorado Jones, or Cj for short, was definitely a tried-and-true trucker after forty years, thick-skinned, wearing a blue plaid button up shirt with rolled up sleeves, oily stained jeans, and always wearing his favorite faded cowboy straw hat. If you were to call him an African American then he would correct your politically correct terminology so that you may label him as part of the “Black Folk” community instead. His tenacity and hard grit prevented him from retiring, and his elderly age most certainly was not going to stop him neither, not no way and not know how! Besides, he was just going to have to work more and make more money if he was going to retire.
On the way to St. Jude’s Research Hospital after dropping off a load, Colorado Jones drove his candied red apple rig through Memphis city traffic extremely nervous and excited that his seven-year-old granddaughter, Carly, was getting her first chemo treatment today. She was diagnosed with Leukemia.
“Suey, Mr. Paws! I do say that I have a mighty fine story to give Carly,” said Cj to his canine companion. “What d’you think?” Mr. Paws, a middle-aged Basset Hound with white short fur and spottled brown spots, looked up at Cj from the passenger seat expecting a delicious dog treat.
“Now don’t go giving me that look, Mr. Paws. Why you always gotta be judging me like that? Of course, we’ll fit in the hospital parking lot,” said Cj.
Colorado Jones’ rig was his home, his pride, and he had it all fancied up with a new red candy apple paint job and gold cursive lettering delicately hand painted by himself. He had a fine hand for the arts but never really pursued it considering it was too girly for the likes of him. Inside his rig was like a kaleidoscopic collage filled with grandbaby memories: baby Carly with a big pink bow on a soft white blanket, baby Carly in a yellow sun dress with Mr. Paws sitting outside in the grass, a toddler Carly wearing a blue dress sitting on the lap of the Easter Bunny.
And then there was a Notre Dame Fighting Irish Leprechaun bobblehead mascot stuck right smack dab in the middle of the rig’s dashboard. It was a sign of good fortune that Carly was accepted into the St. Jude’s research program on the very day he delivered a load to Indianapolis, Indiana, a few months ago.
On that day after he got the word about Carly’s entrance into the program, Cj stopped to get gas for his rig and noticed several leprechaun bobble-heads for sale in front of the gas station’s attendant. So, without hesitation he bought one and thanked God. “Alright, you Goblin King, I got you. Seems I have won your favor,” said Cj in a side conversation he was having with the Almighty alone. “Me and Mr. Paws are on the road back. Ready to deliver this magical clover to the great and grand Elf Empress so she may bloom her magic over all of Fairyland!” Cj was sparked with a new story on that day too, and started making plans on how to craft the special hand-made book for his grand baby girl. He absolutely loved making his own books rather than buying them from the store. He truly felt like he was giving a gift from his soul, and it came out in his home-made crafted tales. So he was sure the special book would be completed before he would go visit Carly on her first day at the hospital.