Today, CB radios aren’t nearly as common as they used to be. But truckers used to use them to communicate on the road and even today, old drivers talk of incredible conversations that occasionally break up the silence on long hauls. This story is about one of those conversations. A little boy turns on a CB radio and asks if there’s anyone out there who wants to talk. When a truck driver answers the call, an unbelievable story unfolds. The story is based on a song, so I can’t say how much of it is true. But it’s so good that I wanted to share it here with you.
I was on the outskirts of a little Southern town trying to reach my destination before the sun went down. The old CB was blarin’ away on Channel 1-9 when there came a little boy’s voice on the radio line.
And he said, “Breaker 1-9, is anyone there? Come on back truckers and talk to Teddy Bear.”
I keyed the mike and I said, “You got it, Teddy Bear,” and the little boy’s voice came back on the air. “Appreciate the breaker who we got on that end.”
I told him my handle and then he began: “Though I’m not supposed to bother you fellows out there, Mom says you’re busy and for me to stay off the air. But you see, I get lonely and it helps to talk ’cause that’s about all I can do, I’m crippled and I can’t walk.”
I came back and told him to fire up that mike and I’d talk to him as long as he’d liked.
“This was my dad’s radio,” the little boy said, “But I guess it’s mine and mom’s now ’cause my daddy’s dead. Dad had a wreck about a month ago. He was tryin’ to get home in a blinding snow. Mom has to work now to make ends meet, and I’m not much help with my two crippled feet. She says not to worry, that we’ll make it alright. But I hear her cryin’ sometimes late at night. You know there’s one thing I want more than anything else to see. Oh, I know you guys are too busy to bother with me, but you see, my dad used to take me for rides when he was home. But I guess that’s all over now since my daddy’s gone.”
Not one breaker came on the old CB. As that little crippled boy talked with me, I tried hard to swallow a lump just wouldn’t stay down, as I thought about my boy back in Greenville town.
“Dad was gonna take mom and me with him later on this year. Why I remember him sayin’, ‘Someday, this old truck will be yours, Teddy Bear.’ But I know now I’ll never get a ride on 18-wheeler again, but this old base’ll keep me in touch with all my trucker friends. Teddy Bear’s gonna back on out now and leave you alone ’cause it’s about time for mom to come home. But you give me shout when you’re passin’ through
and I’ll surely be happy to come back to you.”
Well, I came back and I said, “Before you go 10-10, what’s your home 20, little CB friend?”
He gave me his address and I didn’t once hesitate ’cause this hot load of freight would just have to wait. I turned that truck around on a dime and headed straight for Jackson Street 229. And as I rounded the corner, oh, I got one the heck of a shock: 18-wheeler were lined up for three city blocks!
I guess every driver for miles around had caught Teddy Bear’s call. And that little crippled boy was havin’ a ball. For as fast as one driver would carry him in, another would carry him to his truck and take off again.
Well, you better believe I took my turn rifin’ Teddy Bear and then carried him back in and put him down in his chair. And buddy, if I never live to see happiness again, I want you to know I saw it that day in the face of that little man.
We took up a collection for him before his mama got home and each driver said goodbye and then they were all gone.
He shook my hand with a mile long grin and said, “So long trucker, I’ll catch you again.”
Ah, I hit that interstate with tears in my eyes.
I turned on the radio and I got another surprise. “Breaker 1-9,” came the voice on the air. “Just one word of thanks from mama, Teddy Bear. We wish each and everyone a special prayer for you. ‘Cause you just made my little boy’s dream come true. I’ll sign off now before I start to cry. May God ride with you 10-4 and goodbye.”
This story is based on a country song called “Teddy Bear.” You can listen to it here.
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