The Legend-News

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Saturday, 2004 June 19 : Volume 7, Number 4 Latest⇒

Ed.'s Head

Mea culpa. I had intended to publish last week, but [insert standard whine about life interfering with hobby]. But I'm back, and expect the publication schedule to be weird, because for the forseeable future I'll be working weekends at a paying gig.

An upcoming project is the comparison between different versions of C.W. McCall songs, as released on LP, single, and CD. A while back, someone (I forget who) pointed out that the single and LP versions of " Crispy Critters " are slightly different: the difference is only a couple of words, but nevertheless, they're not the same. I'll be checking my collection for other changes.

— Ed.

Waiting For The Video

SPC Ray Grossman sent this ditty to me; it's a parody of "Convoy" called "Iraqi Convoy". Ray's in the National Guard, if you can't tell. For the militarily-impaired, there's a glossary at the end.

Was the light of the moon, on April fools
When we pulled on out of Kuwait
50 cal. gunner spinning 'round and 'round
'Cuz we were running 'bout 3 hours late

We was off to Anaconda on Highway One
With a mile of old school trucks
We planned on making it in three short days
With some ammo and a whole lotta luck

'Cuz we got a Guardsman convoy, rocking thru the night
Yeah we got a Guardsman convoy, barely armored anywhere in sight
Please don't join our convoy, Herrera is leading our way
Anaconda, here comes our convoy, so we can guard those gates

In the middle of the day we were on our way but we had to flip a bitch
Made a wrong turn on the Haji Interstate and we felt like Jessica Lynch!
We had to pee, and we couldn't see, 'cuz the road was a dusty mess
And somewhere there on this crummy road we lost a trailer to a PLS!

'Cuz we got a Guardsman convoy, rocking thru the day
Yeah we got a Guardsman convoy, every body get outta our way
Please help out our convoy, our gunners are getting chapped lips
And warn us of the overpass before we get bruised ribs

We rolled on the Baghdad cloverleaf
Like warriors ready to kill
Our SINGARS kept on crapping out
And the trash heaps made us ill
The traffic was thick as bugs on a bumper
But we never hit an I.E.D.
Bartowski fired off his Mark Nineteen
And he claimed he nailed an R.P.G!

Yeah we got a Guardsman convoy, and we made it all the way!
Yeah we got a Guardsman convoy, we're here to wreck the day
Now we don't run no convoys, we guard the dump and all of the gates
And deal with stupid B.S. 'cuz soldiers they think we ain't

The glossary:

Alex, I'll Take Narrow-gauge Railroads For Three Hundred

On one of the Crispy Critter pages , there's a picture near the bottom of the page.

Silverton train

Along the Silverton's route there were these things that looked like a child's jacks from a ball & jacks set. They were steel rails welded into the jack configuration. I don't know what they're called or their use. If you have an idea of what they were used for let me know.

Critter Bruce Hoff supplies the answer.

I believe they're avalanche barriers. I would guess you saw them in a place where trees (natural barriers) had been removed.

Thanks, Bruce, from those of us who were wondering "why are there tank traps on the side of a mountain?"

KCSN Classic Heartland Interview With Bill Fries, Continued

Here's the next installment of a Bill Fries interview that occured last August. But first, some words from Rod Fleury, one of the interviewers.

I was in Nashville a month or so ago for the first Tennessee Truck Show . Red Simpson was there performing, and I helped arranged an interview for a program that Whispering Bill Anderson does for XM Radio's " Bill Anderson Visits with the Legends ".

I interviewed a trucker, along with Red Simpson, made a phone call to Bill Fries, and talked with trucker DJ Dave Nemo and current trucker singer Joey Holiday — he sings a song called " Convoy Again " (an excerpt, in WAV format).

I was in the room with all of these guys. Boy, that was fun!

Trivia Time! From " Windshield Wipers In The Rain ":

I got the radio on, playin' on a station from New Orleans…

I hear the D.J., sayin' "Here's a little tune for all you truckers"

Dave Nemo was on WWL in New Orleans until about a year ago. He started in 1972 as a backup for Charlie Douglas on "The Roadgang" then in the 80s took over The Roadgang, which got canned in a station consolidation after 30 years. He went independent as the "Dave Nemo Radio Network", and then a year ago he dumped all the AM affiliates and is exclusive on XM as the Dave Nemo Show.

Thanks, Rod! And now, our interview.

Rod: After you retired — you didn't exactly retire — you did a video series, you narrated a video series for some four-wheel-drive group?

Bill: Yeah, well, we did a few things here and there. There's so many...

Rod: Silverton-Durango…

Bill: Oh, yeah, right.

Rod: I got a little gem sitting in front of me here, called "Pine Tar Wars". A little 45.

Bill: Oh, yeah, that was for what's-his-name, Brett, the guy in the Kansas City Royals.

Rod: George Brett.

Bill: George Brett, yeah. And there was that big stink goin' on about that time about him, you know, usin' pine tar on his bat so he could get a grip on it, you know. He was a big home-run hitter.

Rod: You gonna write a song about cork for Sammy Sosa, now?

Bill: Cork, yeah. "Pop The Cork."

Rod: "Cork Wars."

Bill: "Let's Pop The Cork," all right.

George: But anyway, but uh, yeah, you basically did over six years did over sixty songs…

Bill: Yeah, that's right. I recorded that many, and wrote many of them myself, probably about fifty of them. And most of them were about — you know, we kind a' got hung with, well not "hung" — but we were delighted that most of them were about trucks, and truck driving, and all that. So a lot of them were about the open road the great folks that drive those eighteen-wheelers over the highways. And they really became my buddies all through the years, and I think very highly of them. They do a, they're hard-workin' guys and I love 'em. Any other group of songs that I wrote were mostly about well, Colora… well, places I grew up in Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado. And a lot of them about the mountains. And about the little places where I was a kid, you know. I even wrote one about the Nishnabotna River where I grew up.

Rod: If you're just tuning in, you're listening to Classic Heartland on member-supported KCSN, Northridge, Los Angeles, a service of California State University Northridge since 1963 and we're streaming on the World Wide Web at I'm George Fair, you're listening to Classic Heartland. My special guest host is Rod the Big Bad Radio Trucker. We're doin' the Classic Heartland Truckin' Radio Special, and we're joined live via telephone by a gentlemen you know as C.W. McCall; of course, his real name Bill Fries. Bill, thank you for joining us this afternoon.

To be continued…

The World's Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics, 2004

Remember last year, when The World's Largest Truck Convoy (hereinafter referred to as "WLTC") set a record? Well this year, there are WLTCs planned for all over the U.S.

World's Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics, 2004

WLTC, the creation of Corporal Norm Schneiderhan of the Orange County (Florida) Sheriff's Department, will once again be rolling on Saturday, September 18. If you have a truck and want to participate, or if you just want to know where the convoys will be held, check the official web site .

For general information, write to ; or telephone +1 (202) 628-3630 or +1 (800) 700-8585.

Convoy 2005

Next year's attempt to duplicate a storied feat, a.k.a. "Convoy 2005", is still scheduled, although we haven't yet decided upon a route. Several Critters have voiced their opinions, with many wanting to spend some time in the Ouray, Colorado area, and there was even a suggestion to travel through New Hampshire (which is, I think, a suburb of Nova Scotia).

If you've got ideas or questions, join the discussion on the Other Wild Places forum .

Next issue: Bill's interview on Classic Heartland continues, plus anything else that I can think of.

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