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in memory of Frank Converse
Dear friends, I have spent the last three months roaming the country and mastering the open road with eighteen wheels churning below me. I hitched a ride with a big rig and acted as co-driver for my friend Cool Breeze as we delivered produce across the land. A trucker's life is interesting to say the least, and a few months behind the wheel has left me with many tantalizing tales, one of which I am pleased to impart to you presently.
Cool Breeze and I had been on the road for just over a month when we pulled into a truck stop off of I-95 in Pennsylvania and entered the establishment. It was early morning and we were quite peckish and in need of a thorough cleansing. We also needed to procure a new load of cargo. We had just delivered a mixer load of produce in New Jersey which we had acquired in Florida and now we were in search of new endeavors. Cool Breeze was in the process of conversing on his cellular telephone. It was apparent that he was attempting to obtain a new load.
"Sure, that sounds fine", Cool Breeze told the other participant of the phone conversation, "mushrooms from the DiAngelo farm. Hey you don't have to thank me, it sounds like a good load."
While Cool Breeze conversed, I ambled over to the counter and ordered some of the establishment's fine cuisine. After Cool Breeze had ended the conversation, he turned to me. "Well, Lucius, it looks like we'll be hauling mushrooms from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania out to the Chicago Terminal Market."
As Cool Breeze told me of the load, a short flannel-clad man approached him. "You don't want that one", the man explained to Cool Breeze in a gruff voice. " DiAngelo and his farm are off limits. The old man's the only one who won't sell his farm to Compton Development Corp. They're wantin' to buy up all the local mushroom farms and turn the land into an amusement park, but they won't do it unless all the local growers agree to sell. Everyone else is sellin' because Compton is willin' to pay huge cash for the farms. DiAngelo's the last holdout, so the mushroom grower's association's blackballed him. You'll be in for a world of hurt if ya take that load. No one's allowed to haul his toadstools. He and his 'shrooms can rot up on that farm."
"Thanks for the tip, but it pays well, so I'm taking it", replied Cool Breeze. The man then attempted to block Cool Breeze from sitting next to me at the counter. "You'll be sorry if you don't forget about that load", said the man menacingly. Cool Breeze firmly pushed the man out of his way and sat down in front of our eggs and scrapple. The compact man turned again to confront Cool Breeze. I eyed him with a piercing gaze from my shiny black eye. "Sir, we will travel where we wish and deliver what we wish. I suggest that you depart from our presence." Defeated, the man slunk off to his compatriots, apparently to quietly discuss the situation. A palpable tension lingered in the air while we ate at the counter. We did not dawdle, however, and soon we had finished our meal, washed up, and returned to Cool Breeze's Kenworth.
"Well that was quite a spectacle", I exclaimed to Cool Breeze once we had entered the truck's cab. "I do believe that this endeavor has the makings of a fine adventure!" Cool Breeze nodded and smiled in agreement as we pulled out of the truck stop and headed towards DiAngelo's farm. Shortly after midday we pulled off of the main road and continued on a smaller poorly paved road that led to the farm. Unfortunately, we did not get very far.
A short distance up the drive, we encountered a road block. Approximately five individuals with various imposing implements and a large wooden cart barred our way. Cool Breeze applied the brakes as we approached the men.
"Good day sirs, if you would be so kind as to move your cart, we will be on our way", I stated to the men while leaning out of the truck window.
"I don't know where you think you're goin', but it ain't up there. You best turn around and find yourself a safer load to take", exclaimed a stout man holding a tire thumper as he stepped towards the truck.
"These must be bully-boys from the growers association, here to stop us from making our pick-up", I thought to myself. I then jumped down from the truck to confront the rabble.

Lucius confronts the belligerent rogue

A flying kick to defuse the situation
"We have vowed to take this load, and we do not give our word lightly. We will pick up these mushrooms. Now stand aside before you arouse my ire!" I announced.
The husky man advanced towards me, raising his tire thumper and making grandiose and hubristic threats against my person.
"You are a cad and an uncouth blackguard!" I exclaimed to the man. "You leave me no choice but to abate your progression with physical force!" I then leapt up and struck the man with a flying kick. He fell to the ground while making a sound like that of air being released from the bag of wind that he resembled.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves", I stated to the surrounding crowd. "You have no right to force Mr. DiAngelo to sell his property for your gain, nor have you any right to prevent us from delivering his mushrooms! You are like grubs writhing in the dirt, blind to everything except your own wants. Our freedom of perambulation is unfettered. Should you doubt me, I am presently willing to school you on that fact!"
"Time to pack it up and move out, Lucius", Cool Breeze shouted to me as he revved the engine, black smoke shooting through the six-inch straight exhaust stacks. "I must concur, we are wasting time here", I responded as I hopped back into the truck. Cool Breeze shifted into gear and crashed through the blockade. Shards of wood from the cart rained down upon the men as they dove from our path.

Lucius delivers his condemning colloquy