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Trucker's strike 1973


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VTF and I were posting in the Altima strut topic about driving in the Hood.

Reminded me of my senior year.

Dad had a Sherwin William's paint store and our inventory was depleted.

He rented a 20ft U-haul box truck and we headed for Cleveland.

After hand loading a LOT of cases of paint, as terminal had few workers show up in support of the truckers, we pulled away from the dock

A guy ran up to us waving his hands.

Dad stopped and guy told us how to get to interstate using alleys to avoid strikers. It was a setup.

A car was following us thru the alleys which Dad was concerned with. Then a pickup  pulled across the alley in front of us.

Car was full of strikers as was bed of pickup.

Dad pulled a tire iron from under seat and said to lock the doors if/when he got out.

These strikers had our truck surrounded.

I was scared $hitless

Dad opened his door and they screamed at him to open the rear door of the boxtruck.

He told them he understood their plight but he had a family of nine to feed and he needed product.

They told him to get out of the cab.

Now, my dad was 6'4" #270 and no fat.

He stepped onto the running board with tire iron in hand.

He told them they had us outnumbered but asked if there was 3 or 4 brave men to try to take the tire iron off him.

Things got REAL quiet.

A few of them mumbled privately then told him to get out of Cleveland and not come back.

Dad thanked them and offered his hand.

Many if not most stepped up and shook his hand. 

Das fired up the Uhaul, asked if I was ok then said "let's get the he!! Out of Cleveland

.

 

 

 

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Back in the day you could go for to toe with someone, settle your differences and leave with a mutual respect for each other

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Great story, but you know what it reminds me, the Kevin Costner "Wyatt Earp", if you've never seen it it's near the end and Earp is guarding an inmate, johnny behind the deuce, a crowd wants him and Wyatt tells them they will get him and the con but not before he takes half a dozen of them with him.

Starting with the ringleaders they mumble and groan but no one wants to be THE FIRST.

2 hours ago, sandhiller said:

Back in the day you could go for to toe with someone, settle your differences and leave with a mutual respect for each other

Ya know another thing, there is no mano a mano anymore.

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Reminds me of a story my Uncle tells of working on his uncle's construction crew with his cousin.

This construction company specialized in pouring cement. They even had patents on some forms and machinery to do these specialized pours.

This was in the 60s. My Uncle went to work for Uncle Arleigh because him and his Dad didn't get along on the farm. Working for Arleigh was hard work. He was a ball turrent gunner on a B-17 that went down over France after a bad raid over Germany. The French underground hid him from the Germans and smuggled him out of France and back to England. After that he was fearless. He figured if he survived that, he'd survive anything. He lived to 92 so he was right in his case. ( there are a lot of stories surrounding him that you wonder how he walked away from this or that to)

Anyway, they were doing a pour in Jackson Mi and they had permission to park their equipment in a lot that was used by Consumers Power, a electric company. Consumers had a strike going on and were blocking the entrance to this lot and was making a nuisance of themselves. One day they climbed on the machine with my uncle's cousin and proceeded to tell him they weren't going into that lot except over their bodies. Guy grabbed David and David goes " Fine have it your way " He throws a punch jumps of the machine and gets into a fight with the guy. The other strikers started to get involved when the whole construction crew joined in. My Uncle said he never seen trucks and equipment empty so fast. It turned into a melee with everyone fighting. My Uncle was still in high school and was in awe in what he saw. 

Guess what? They parked their machinery in that lot that night. And they didn't have anymore trouble with the strikers after that. The crew was wanting another round with them honestly. ( they were a hard working, hard drinking, hard fighting type of crew)

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Funny thing is I just heard that liberal girls are sick of dating Sissy men of their own kind so there looking for men like this 

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  1973 our Dairy Farm had 300 high Producing Holsteins,  The Milk Hauler we hired to haul our Milk had Purchased a Semi & trailer,  He had out grown his straight truck.

 He made 4 trips a day to the local dairy processor,   With his New Purchase he could go straight to the "Detroit Bottling Plant",   

Michigan Milk Producers Association would pay the dairy farmers more money per hundred weight for fluid sales, (Fresh Bottled Milk at the Grocery store).

 A GMC Astro & 45 foot Stainless steel Tube, Pulled into our Driveway one morning.   A Beautiful Site! 

That Beautiful Trailer could bee seen Shining a mile away!!!

Within 4 days of traveling to inter city Detroit to the Bottling plant, along with many other "Milk Trucks" and crossing the Picket lines of Angry Men with rocks.

The out side of that Insulated Milk Truck Barrel was Dented & Bruised,  The inside was still new,   functionable, Useable.

That GMC Astro Blunt front end looked like a Target Practice Bullseye, Several broken Windshields & Mirrors were replaced.

He Didn't give in,   That truck was a rolling statement,   I remember the Driver of the truck showing Dad & Grandpa a Detroit Newspaper Picture,

of his truck rolling through a Group of Men throwing rocks &  stones,

He Said His Banker & Insurance Man Saw the picture.......He was getting a new truck,   He wouldn't have to pay for his Purchase of the Astro & Trailer!!!  

 

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3 hours ago, DroschaFamilyDairy said:

  1973 our Dairy Farm had 300 high Producing Holsteins,  The Milk Hauler we hired to haul our Milk had Purchased a Semi & trailer,  He had out grown his straight

Truck, He made 4 trips a day to the local dairy processor,   With his New Purchase he could go straight to the "Detroit Bottling Plant",   

Michigan Milk Producers Association would pay the dairy farmers more money per hundred weight for fluid sales, (Fresh Bottled Milk at the Grocery store).

 A GMC Astro & 45 foot Stainless steel Tube, Pulled into our Driveway one morning.   A Beautiful Site! 

That Beautiful Trailer could bee seen Shining a mile away!!!

Within 4 days of traveling to inter city Detroit to the Bottling plant, along with many other "Milk Trucks" and crossing the Picket lines of Angry Men with rocks,

the out side of that Insulated Milk Truck Barrel was Dented & Bruised,  The inside was still new,   functionable, Useable.

That GMC Astro Blunt front end looked like a Target Practice Bullseye, Several broken Windshields & Mirrors were replaced.

He Didn't give in,   That truck was a rolling statement,   I remember the Driver of the truck showing Dad & Grandpa a Detroit Newspaper Picture,

of his truck rolling through a Group of Men throwing rocks &  stones,

The Said His Banker & Insurance Man Saw the picture.......He was getting a new truck,   He wouldn't have to pay for his Purchase of the Astro & Trailer!!!  

 

The rock throwing because of some kind of strike? Or was it just because he was going through Detroit?😐😋

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6 hours ago, Dasnake said:

Great story, but you know what it reminds me, the Kevin Costner "Wyatt Earp", if you've never seen it it's near the end and Earp is guarding an inmate, johnny behind the deuce, a crowd wants him and Wyatt tells them they will get him and the con but not before he takes half a dozen of them with him.

Starting with the ringleaders they mumble and groan but no one wants to be THE FIRST.

Ya know another thing, there is no mano a mano anymore.

Also the gun scene in Stand By Me, one of my favorites.

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Ohio had highway patrol escorts getting trucks out of the state due to the violence. This was before my time but dad has told me about it. Need to ask him about it again cause I’ve forgotten a lot of what he told me. 

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There was another truckers strike about 1983. I was driving during that one. I kinda wanted to convoy with several other guys from our company but the miserable old tired Shiny 290 in my S2200 could barely keep up with a 2 year old on a tricycle.  Had a car full of guys kinda try to harrass me on I-80 one morning.  Some guys running for a different trucking company I knew got shot at, half dozen bullet holes in the frt of the trailer.

    All sounds like a typical weekend day in Chicago now days.

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5 hours ago, Reichow7120 said:

The crew was wanting another round with them honestly. ( they were a hard working, hard drinking, hard fighting type of crew)

That is the type of crew I want to hire.  After a hard days work and job completed, I am happy to purchase the beverage of choice.

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Thats a great story mark! 

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Worked on an asphalt mill in Detroit once, had to have 2 of us down there. We had to work on it while it was running, moving down the road, milling asphalt before a pave job. I don't remember what we were doing to it now. I remember the street they were doing was quite wide, like 2 lanes both ways with a center turn lane, and long and straight, could see a long ways down it. Always wondered why they were wasting the money on it, since it had very few cars on it and it was a really trashy area, every house looked abandoned but had residents setting around on the porches. The paving crew did a lot of work in that area and told us to back our truck up where no one could get into the back of it, that someone would draw our attention and then someone would try to get into the back when we weren't looking and steal our tools. So one of us had to stay behind to keep watch over the rest of our tools in the truck while the other rode on the mill and worked on it until it got back and we switched. I remember it milling down quite a ways before it came back, maybe a few miles? I also remember a guy that kept wandering around out in front of me looking pretty intently at the truck, guessing that was the guy whose job it was to distract, until they saw they couldn't get to the back door of the truck. Didn't seem to be any violence, just a lot of thieving in that area apparently. Easier to live off the state and steal stuff than get a job. 

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42 minutes ago, RBootsMI said:

Worked on an asphalt mill in Detroit once, had to have 2 of us down there. We had to work on it while it was running, moving down the road, milling asphalt before a pave job. I don't remember what we were doing to it now. I remember the street they were doing was quite wide, like 2 lanes both ways with a center turn lane, and long and straight, could see a long ways down it. Always wondered why they were wasting the money on it, since it had very few cars on it and it was a really trashy area, every house looked abandoned but had residents setting around on the porches. The paving crew did a lot of work in that area and told us to back our truck up where no one could get into the back of it, that someone would draw our attention and then someone would try to get into the back when we weren't looking and steal our tools. So one of us had to stay behind to keep watch over the rest of our tools in the truck while the other rode on the mill and worked on it until it got back and we switched. I remember it milling down quite a ways before it came back, maybe a few miles? I also remember a guy that kept wandering around out in front of me looking pretty intently at the truck, guessing that was the guy whose job it was to distract, until they saw they couldn't get to the back door of the truck. Didn't seem to be any violence, just a lot of thieving in that area apparently. Easier to live off the state and steal stuff than get a job. 

That wouldn’t have been Woodward avenue would it.

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22 minutes ago, Dasnake said:

That wouldn’t have been Woodward avenue would it.

I'm not sure, I've drove through Detroit and worked there quite a bit in the past, but it's been quite a few years since I've gotten off the beaten path down that way, so I don't remember the names of anything down there except for one... had to go to the Rouge Ford plant to work on anything, then get some parts from Cummins Bridgeway down there, then go to another job. I remember being in a really classy area (NOT!!!), and seeing an establishment where ladies take their clothes off for money. It was Dix street, and the name of that dump was Chix on ... well you get the rest of it. That always stuck in my mind for some reason, 15 years or more later.

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Funny the way streets change, 😉 or highways for that matter. Also interesting how business ends up on streets with names to help you remember. In Fresno Ca the girls without many cloths would hang out along G Street.

 

I do believe a friend and I saw some picketing truckers on one our trips to the "experienced parts store" aka junkyard that was the main reason to visit Fresno. But we hunted bigger bear houses than we had local and lot of industrial machining places on Cherry Street. This was from 80 to 95, when the old man retired from his junk business. Was back 3 years ago to go to a bull sale about 20 to 30 miles east of town. The old highway is new improved expressway. No cross traffic, highway in a man made canyon so surface streets go over you.

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4 hours ago, RBootsMI said:

I'm not sure, I've drove through Detroit and worked there quite a bit in the past, but it's been quite a few years since I've gotten off the beaten path down that way, so I don't remember the names of anything down there except for one... had to go to the Rouge Ford plant to work on anything, then get some parts from Cummins Bridgeway down there, then go to another job. I remember being in a really classy area (NOT!!!), and seeing an establishment where ladies take their clothes off for money. It was Dix street, and the name of that dump was Chix on ... well you get the rest of it. That always stuck in my mind for some reason, 15 years or more later.

Reason I asked woodward was it was the main drag street in the 60s, and your definition, long and wide and faraway, made me wonder about the old houses also, there used to be a website dealing with the old mansions that were derelict but the city didn't have funds to destroy the decaying part of the city that blossomed from the auto industries infancy.

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5 hours ago, Dasnake said:

Reason I asked woodward was it was the main drag street in the 60s, and your definition, long and wide and faraway, made me wonder about the old houses also, there used to be a website dealing with the old mansions that were derelict but the city didn't have funds to destroy the decaying part of the city that blossomed from the auto industries infancy.

  Woodward Avenue,  Detroit, Michigan,  A lot of Michigan automotive history attached to that Street name.

Several years ago,    An Automotive TV company called "RoadKill" (I Enjoy The Program) Leased or Barrowed Woodward Avenue to hold a Drag Race on this street

In the summer, Titled "RoadKill Zip tie Drags",  Didn't have an event this past summer,  But we have taken our Cars their Several times,

  This weekend event will draw 30,000 people to Detroit,   Great Fun,  You Can View the Pictures on Youtube.

Grand Stands Are Assembled next to the Street, and are filled to capacity!!    Automotive Displays & Car shows in the infield area,  Fun for the whole Family!!

The staging area ahead of the Drag strip has a set of railroad tracks,  The Amtrak Station is a few blocks from the event,  as the Crossing Gates and alarm sounds

every one on the street scatters and clears the area.

The Event Announcer encourages the folks in the stands to wave at the Amtrak train riders as the train slowly approaches the station.  Great Family Fun!!

Woodward Avenue is a comfortable 4 lanes wide, and long.

The Drag Race track is Measured in the 1/8th mile,  shut down area is another 1/8th mile,   This mile long area is blocked off from local traffic.

Local Food business's enjoy the walk-in traffic, we park a couple miles away at the school's parking lot,  shuttle buses haul the spectators.  

Jim Droscha 

 

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7 hours ago, DroschaFamilyDairy said:

  Woodward Avenue,  Detroit, Michigan,  A lot of Michigan automotive history attached to that Street name.

Several years ago,    An Automotive TV company called "RoadKill" (I Enjoy The Program) Leased or Barrowed Woodward Avenue to hold a Drag Race on this street

In the summer, Titled "RoadKill Zip tie Drags",  Didn't have an event this past summer,  But we have taken our Cars their Several times,

  This weekend event will draw 30,000 people to Detroit,   Great Fun,  You Can View the Pictures on Youtube.

Grand Stands Are Assembled next to the Street, and are filled to capacity!!    Automotive Displays & Car shows in the infield area,  Fun for the whole Family!!

The staging area ahead of the Drag strip has a set of railroad tracks,  The Amtrak Station is a few blocks from the event,  as the Crossing Gates and alarm sounds

every one on the street scatters and clears the area.

The Event Announcer encourages the folks in the stands to wave at the Amtrak train riders as the train slowly approaches the station.  Great Family Fun!!

Woodward Avenue is a comfortable 4 lanes wide, and long.

The Drag Race track is Measured in the 1/8th mile,  shut down area is another 1/8th mile,   This mile long area is blocked off from local traffic.

Local Food business's enjoy the walk-in traffic, we park a couple miles away at the school's parking lot,  shuttle buses haul the spectators.  

Jim Droscha 

 

When I was looking up the mansion story I saw that, what a hoot, I'm not a big 1/8 mile fan but for the average person that's a terrific show, thanks jim.

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On 9/27/2020 at 10:14 AM, DOCTOR EVIL said:

There was another truckers strike about 1983. I was driving during that one. I kinda wanted to convoy with several other guys from our company but the miserable old tired Shiny 290 in my S2200 could barely keep up with a 2 year old on a tricycle.  Had a car full of guys kinda try to harrass me on I-80 one morning.  Some guys running for a different trucking company I knew got shot at, half dozen bullet holes in the frt of the trailer.

    All sounds like a typical weekend day in Chicago now days.

Yup Don't remember what state maybe Colorado there was 6-7 of us together, It was day light some A$$ wipe threw a 4-5'' cobble from a high ridge along the road it hit the right front window post (359 Peterbilt with 36'' sleeper) went between myself and the other driver hit the back of the sleeper then hit the side vent knocking it out. The good Lord was looking over us. Scared us $hitless couldn't get get home fast enough.  At the time hearing stories of RR ties chained to over passes then when the truck was close throw it over the side and take the cab out.

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