Friday, April 10, 2009
Crazy Freds Whorehouse Truckstop
Today while driving east on 40 through Arizona, I came across a grand piece of americana. This fantastic view of the past is located about 5 miles out of Kingman, in the outskirts of the desert mountains. Oddly enough my Co-Driver knew all about this place, and decided we should stop and "look around". So there I was, pulling into a relatively small truck stop just off of exit 44, not far from the legendary route 66, and this is when i realize that this is no ordinary choke and puke, but an American landmark. Sure its old, small and rundown from years of abuse, but you can feel the energy that was once there emanating off the buildings. The title to this joint is Crazy Fred Whorehouse Truckstop. And directly behind it, not 50 feet away, is a wonderful little tavern called The Dollhouse A Big Rig Gentlemen's Club(sadly not open this late in the morning). Which resembles a barn, or more so the old western taverns. My first reaction to all of this was to not get out of the truck cause the air could be rank with AIDS. But after thinking about it I decided i should not miss such an opportunity to learn more about the history of truck driving. The sign for Crazy Fred's does not actually say whorehouse, I had to meander inside and browse the gift shop to find out the true name. The reason I am so interested in such a place comes from knowing how truck driving as a lifestyle once was. Truck drivers years before my time were all mavericks and renegades roaming the country always in search of "a better time". These were the kind of truckers taking hills at a 120, not sleeping for days at a time, all the while keeping tabs on several different love affairs across the states. They were kings of their territory and could not be slowed down for an instant. And the only actor who could ever pull such a role off is Burt Reynolds. But as the years progressed the federal, and local governments slowly started playing around in the business. Speeds on highways were reduced, trucks were governed, roads were restricted, laws were set in motion to make sure that drivers get the proper rest and aren't causing ruckus(this is where the logbooks were implemented). Local communities started shutting down the truck stops that were deemed religiously, politically, and lawfully inappropriate. Even the truck stop whores(lot lizards) are few and far between. My point being there is no fun in truck driving anymore. Sure there is a good amount to see around the United States, but what professional driver has the time or money these days to stop and see the sights. Granted I am new to all of this, but the message is coming across just the same. Senior drivers I have had the the pleasure(or displeasure) of meeting all have the same view. Its not a lifestyle anymore its just a job. I still love the road, but I am disappointed knowing its not what it once was. Truck driving was the American Dream, the meaning of freedom, it was full of comic book characters and true entertainers, it was filthy, raunchy, politically incorrect, and most of all a formidable career. Present day trucking is just another employee handbook to read an memorize. So in conclusion, I salute you Crazy Fred for keeping the past alive, and living the American Dream, with cheeseburgers, strippers, and diesel fuel. end.