Marty the Trucker

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Marty the Trucker
“The town that didn’t exist!"

 

 

In traveling across country, somewhere along the highway you see a sign welcoming you to town?  So you drive on, slowing down as you center the city limits.  You look about and somehow this town seems strange or unusual, still, you can’t quite figure it out!  It’s as if this quaint little place is somehow out of place and time, then as you leave town you shrug it off, perhaps it’s just your own imagination. 

Martin Benton a long haul trucker has seen all matter of strange phenomenon, as he crisscrossed from one coast to the other.  Until one day he discovers a town, a town that never existed!  Travel with us as we roll along the endless miles of highway, with a young Trucker named Martin Benton as he attempts to uncover a mystery.
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"Those who criticize and lambaste everything Confederate and Southern are like unto the man who looked at his reflection in the mirror and cursed the manufacture of the mirror for the evil reflection of himself.  While being certain the defect is in the mirror itself!"
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Trucker Martin Benton
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By Willie McCabe
Our story of Martin Benton begins with his having an early breakfast at home; Martin is a long haul truck driver, and as such he spends most of his time on the road.  Marty, as family and friends know him, along with his wife Alicia, has a home in the northern suburbs of Charleston South Carolina.  The company he works for often sends him on deliveries to Atlanta, where, often as not, he will pick up a long haul to California.  Marty always enjoys what precious time he may have to spend at home, and on this particular day it was as hard as usual to say good by.
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Marty and his wife as compared to their elders is a relatively young couple, having only recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary!  The Benton’s wanted children, but had decided from the beginning, to hold off, that is until they were more firmly establish.  Martin had been fortunate in that he got an early start as a trucker, inasmuch as his father was a trucker before him, allowing him to benefit from his fathers years of experience.  It was the fall of the year when the sun normally arises a little later, but this didn’t change Marty’s need to get an early start in the morning.
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After a breakfast of ham, eggs, grits, a biscuit, and fresh coffee, Marty and his wife Alicia said their good bys, with a hug and a kiss, and out the door he went into what was still darkness at 4:30 in the morning.  Fortunately Alicia was by her nature one of those early to bed, early to raise ladies, so she didn’t mind so much.  After passing through the company gate, not far from their home, and punching the time clock, his next stop was the Yard Shack, where he picked up the manifest for the days run.  Then after parking his car not far from his rig, he walked over and began to check it over!
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Marty knew big rigs well, so he went about his initial check out procedures like the professional he was, and soon it was time to saddle up and hit the road.  Young Marty always liked to hit the pavement early enough to avoid the morning rush hour, so he was usually driving his 18 wheeler past the gate shack by 5:30 in the morning.  Alicia normally packed him something special for the road, and he enjoyed her little surprises.  He never like stuffing himself with candy and sweet drinks along the way, so Alicia made it a habit of provided something he could eat in small portions, something tasty, and nutritious.
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I myself, Willie McCabe, my wife Bernice, along with Marty and Alicia, have been friends since our Elementary School days, and we all know Marty to be honest, honorable, trustworthy, and of a good nature.  The four of us have attended the same Church since our younger childhood years, so we also knew Marty to be a man of abiding faith.  Marty’s rig was equipped with all the modern gadgets, among them is global positioning, an in dash road map, and phone hook up.   Marty, being quite good, not only with big rigs, but also with electronics, had no problem managing everything.
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Marty had put together an easily removable vehicle CD player with large strong plungers, which could be fastened under the dash, where he could listen to his favorite Oldies but Goodies, as well as Southern Gospel Music.  He also had an older piece of equipment he hiked very much, that being a CB radio, as did nearly all of the other drivers he knew.  This allowed them to speak to each other off the normal channels, and without dialing telephones or the like.  His handle was the Road Runner, and he even had one of those air freshener cartoon items of the Road Runner, which hung from his rearview mirror.
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Marty’s run to Atlanta always seemed to roll by quickly, and so it was on this occasion, so in good time, he was backing into the loading dock in Georgia’s biggest city.  After his drive to Atlanta and unloading, there was precious little time left in the day, so he liked to take advantage of the Atlanta hubs parking facilities, as did other long haulers.  After finding him self a good spot, then shutting down for the night, he’d make himself comfortable in the sizeable sleeper section of his cab.  He always had plenty enough to entertain himself, until a combination of road and passing time, he managed to fall asleep.
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The Endless Miles Ahead
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Morning came all to soon, and Marty was up before daybreak preparing for the long endless miles to California; a fresh cup of coffee and a make do breakfast, along with a little music with his shave, always seem to be a good start for the day.  Besides Gospel Music, Marty enjoyed traditional Country Music, music from the days when Country Singers wore suits, rather then faded blue jeans and a tee shirt.  Before turning the keys in his rig and moving out for the hooking up, he would always take the time to speak to the Lord God.
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Marty put no formality behind his prayers, but enjoyed speaking to God, as if he were a friend, right there with him in the Cab.  And Marty was convinced the Almighty God was indeed with him, wherever he happen to be at any given time!  After hooking up, making his routine check, and looking over his shipping manifest, Marty headed for the road.  The days he spent with his father, when added to his own experience, told him which cross country route to take.  He usually decided upon Highway 24 to the northwest out of Atlanta, 69 heading west out of Chattanooga, then 40 to the west Coast.
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When delivering to southern California, he’d sometimes turned south onto Highway 10 in Arkansas!  But whichever way, it would still be many hours before crossing the California Line, and dropped off his load.  After an hour or so down the road, he called on his CD to check in with Billy-Joe, which was not his name, just his chosen handle.  The man who called himself Billy-Joe was Kentucky born, and his handle made him feel more like a good ole boy, rather then a big city man.  They’d have a laugh or two, a short few words, and share information about the road ahead, while passing in opposite directions.
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Martin Benton or Marty though young for such an experienced driver, was well known, not only by other truckers, but also by Law Enforcement, all along the way.  Often while passing a State Trooper on the Highway they’d signal each other, usually with a wave, but more then once he was asked to help box in someone fleeing from the law.  Under Highway Patrol or Police direction, several truckers would close in on such a vehicle, until a patrol car could finish the job.  A few times over the years Marty would lend a hand where a Highway Patrolman was in an untenable position, often with his life in danger.
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Many of the older Officers along the way knew Marty from years before when he was just a boy, riding shotgun in the cab of his fathers big rig, and precious few of them were surprised when he took up trucking as an adult.  Just east of Amarillo Texas Marty loved to take a break at his favorite Truck Stop, where he would always find fellow trucker fiends.  The managers, Wayland and Wilma Atkinson, a couple being not quite elderly, but old enough to be gray headed.  Wilma, a friendly lady who it seemed had always been around since way back when, always greeted the truckers with a kind word and a smile.
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Marty fueled up, parked his big rig along side the others at the rear of the lot, and walked the distance to the restaurant!  Upon entering, there was Grandma Wilma moving about the room chatting with the truckers.  She turned toward Marty and gave him a warm hug, “Marty, its been to long since you were here last, hope the road has been kind.”  Marty, still holding onto Grandma’s hands, “It sure has Grandma, it sure has, and I see you are still looking at lovely as always.”  Grandma chuckled, “Now Marty, you’re an honest man, remember!"
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As always Marty was greeted by a number of truckers before reaching his table, then again by waitresses that knew him from so many times before.  He was about to order when an old friend by the name of Justin Garrett approached, “Marty, mind if I join you?”  Marty looked up at a dear old friend, “Most certain, please do join me, have a seat my friend.”  The waiters paused while Justin got seated, took the two men’s order, and soon walked away.  Justin seemed troubled, and it wasn’t long before he opened up and described a serious accident some 20 miles the other side of Amarillo.
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The Town of Hood Texas
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Marty looked at his watch, and though to him self, “Its looks like its time for me to hit the pavement!”  Marty stood to his feet, and as he did so, Justin did likewise.  Marty held out his hand toward his friend, “Till next time Justin!”  Justin looking at Marty returned the kind gesture, “Don’t make it to long a time Marty!”  As Marty and Justin parted company, and Marty walked across the floor to ward the door, Grandpa approached, and gave him a warm hug, “You’re always welcome here Marty, and the parking space for your rig is waiting for you, God bless Marty, and have a safe trip.
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Grandma Wilma looked upon the truckers pretty much as family, and she treated them as such!  Just maybe the kinship of the road and the need for fellowship along the way, was what kept Grandma so alive and well for her age.  Marty always left his favorite Truck Stop feeling good, but now it was time to get on down the highway.  Marty considered the Grandma Truck Stop his half way point, so once he passed through the outskirts of Amarillo, for him, the miles seemed to dwindle away.  But unknown to him, Marty’s adventure on this particular trip, was only just beginning!
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Marty and his rig must have been ten miles outside of Amarillo when he spotted a sign up ahead, which puzzle him, a sign that he’d never seen before, it simply said Welcome to
Hood Texas.  He slowed his rig down and moved forward cautiously, not being sure what to expect, while thinking to himself, “I’ve traveled this road more often then I care to account for, since a boy with my father, and I know, there’s no such place as Hood Texas.”  The divided highway quickly gave way to a two-lane road as he entered what, and where?  There was no such place as Hood Texas, yet here he was in Hood Texas
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And why name a town after General
John Bell Hood, who was relieved of his command in January 1865, and surrendered himself in May of that same year at Natchez.  The same John Bell Hood
that chose to live with his wife and child in New Orleans, dying there in 1879.  Marty thought to him self, “it certainly makes sense to name a town after a State hero, but regretfully the Confederacy lost the war!”  As he slowly passed through the downtown area, he noticed City Hall, and the Courthouse; both displayed the Confederate National and State Flags, no U.S. Flag anywhere.
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Marty decided he had to stop and find out what this was all about, how could a city called Hood Texas exist, when I knew there was no such place.  As he reached the opposite side of this small but modest size town, he spotted a Coffee Shop having a sizeable parking space, so he decided stop off for coffee and a snack.  He’d never stopped off anywhere for this length of time, and he just might pay dearly for the lost time, but he had to know about this town.  As his rig moved in front of the Coffee shop preparing to make a right hand turn into the lot, he notice the Confederate Flag out front.
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As he parked, exited his cab, walked across the parking lot and entered the front door, he wondered, “Am I going nuts, have I entered the ‘Twilight Zone’ or something.  The one thing for sure, he thought, these people don’t sound like back home, they all have a Deep South accent, the way people down here used to speak.  However the service was not unlike what one would expect in a coffee shop, even if the decor were totally different.  He took a seat at the counter, a counter that reminded him of pictures he’d seen of the 1950’s; he then took a little time to look things over.
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This place still had ashtrays, something no longer found in any kind of U.S. establishment he knew of; he picked up the ashtray and there it was, made in the CSA.   The napkin holders and everything else he could put his hands on, said likewise, made in the CSA!  As the waitress took his order and walked away to fill it, a man sitting nearby befriended him, “You look like a man who is a wee bit lost, and don’t know where he is.  Greeting my friend, my name is John McCann, maybe I can help!”  Marty turned and glanced at his new friend, “Yes sir, if you don’t mind, could you answer a few questions?"
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The Tour of Hood Texas
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Marty and John spoke of many things, and to Marty’s surprise John did not react like he was crazy, it was almost as if he understood or just maybe someone else had mistakenly passed this way.  Past this way into a town that in Marty’s world, did not exist!  Then John made an offer Marty could not refuse, an offer to tour the city and take a closer look, which Marty haply accepted.  Marty pulled out his wallet and reached in to pulled out what he thought was a $20.00 bill, but to his surprise it was a high tech, $20.00 bill alright, but it was a modern Confederate Gold Certificate, not a U.S. Federal Reserve Note.
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John spoke up, “Here Marty let me pay for it” and he too pulled out a $20.00, and it was also a real, legitimate Confederate Gold Certificate, a $20.00 dollar bill, which meant the Confederacy won The War.  It was just as John had described, the South had won, but stayed on the Gold Standard, unlike the U.S. and its valueless money.  John glancing at Marty, “you must have come from a place where you’ve never seen Confederate Money.”  Marty smiled, “only historic Confederate Money from the early part of The War, a bushel of our money back home, wouldn’t equal one of these $20.00 bills."
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Before they left, Marty did take the time to change his $20.00 Confederate money for a $10.00 bill and two $5.00’s, more for the variety then anything else.  He wanted to see if all this was real, and maybe a souvenir would help!  Finally they both left the Coffee Shop and the two men did as John had promised, and it was a wonderful, informative tour.  But finally Marty knew it was time to leave, he had to get back on the road, and contact home base in Charleston.  Along the way the two men spoke of Confederate History, as it turned out in John’s world!
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But before arriving at the place where his big rig was parked, Marty had to ask another question, among so many, “John, tell me, do you have trouble with National Courts overturning State Laws, Regulations, Customs and the like?”  John gave a low toned laugh, “No Marty, in the Confederacy, the States are sovereign over all domestic affairs, if any National Judge dared to attempt such a things, it only take three State to call a convention and move to overturn such usurpation of power.  Then he laughed out loud, besides those same three States can mandate that the judge be put on trial and removed!!
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As John drove back to the Coffee Shop and parked next to Marty’s big rig, Marty couldn’t help but notice, the name place on John’s car read “Dixon 440” and Marty never figured out what the 440 meant, accept maybe its horsepower.  Marty watched in the rear view mirror as John got back in his car, they each exchanged a beep on the horn as John drove away by one parking lot exit, and he himself by the other.  Marty continued heading west out of the city of Hood Texas but the little down that didn’t exist, just maybe did exist after all, and it was on his mind, until he was 20 miles out of town.
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It was at that time that he got a call on his dash mounted phone, so he pushed the button, it was Mel Trumbull his boss, “Marty, you disappeared form the Global Positioning for a hour, we wonder if you are alright.”  Marty smiled to him self, thinking maybe this one would better be left until he arrives back in Charleston.  “Yes boss, I am just fine, I think you might want to hear my story, but I suggest putting it on hold until I am back at home base.”  He await an the answer, “Sure enough Marty, we’ll speak of it later, until then we are all pleased that you and your rig are alright, and have a good run."
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Marty finished his delivery in California and returned by the same route, stopping in pretty much the same places, save that when he approached the area where Hood Texas had been, he slowed down considerably, but to no avail.  There was no city of Hood Texas anywhere to be found!  He had a delivery to make in Atlanta, then another to Charleston!  In addition to Southern Gospel Music, Marty turned on some traditional Country, the kind once heard on the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ back when Country Music Singers still hand a twang, wore Rhinestones, and the women dressed like Southern Ladies.
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Explaining to the Boss
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The remainder of his cross-country run and back passed quickly; soon Marty was standing in his bass’s office, trying to explain himself.  He tried to avoid sounding like he was one of those who had been kidnapped by Space Aliens, but it seemed like he wasn’t doing so well.  He finally decided he’d show his boss Mel Trumbull, the money he had brought back from Hood Texas.  He pulled out a $10.00 bill as well as two $5.00’s and held them in his hand!  And to his surprise Mel walked over and unlocked a safe mounted in the wall behind his desk, opened up an envelope and showed Marty the contents.
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Marty gave a big smile as Mel held out two $5.00 dollar Confederate Gold Certificates obtained in a town called Hood Texas, a town which does not exist, or does it?   Mel himself smiled, “would you like to make change for your $10.00 Gold Certificate?”  Marty paused to gather his thoughts, “Mel, are saying you’ve been to this place called Hood Texas?  Mel smiled again, “when I was much younger, I made that same trip, although the roads where nothing like today.  Just between the two of us, I believe what we have experienced is what is called an alternate dimension.
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It seems there’s a doorway somehow, we have both slipped through that door, and into a dimension where the South won The War, and become a modern, prosperous nation.  A Confederacy with a solid monetary system!”  Marty looked at his boss, “Is it possible that someone could stumble through that same doorway and visit Hood Texas, as we did?  Mel smiled as he glanced at Marty, “I think the odds are against a repeat visit, as much as we both wish otherwise!”  Marty looked at his boss as he turned toward the office door, “If it happens again, and I am not under company obligation, I’ll stay this time!"
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God save the Confederacy
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Log onboard the below {hyperlinks attached}
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Alien Ghost Soldiers
Angel in Gray
Army of Georgia
Deep Space Mission
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"Governor, if I had foreseen the use these people desired to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox, no, sir, not by me. Had I seen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand." --- General Robert E. Lee - as told to Texas ex-Governor F. W. Stockdale
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