Thursday, November 13, 2008


Buck was one of the greatest dispatchers we ever had on the day shift. He was even tempered, could handle a huge board, and had a great sense of humor. I can't recall him ever getting angry with anyone. It's my understanding that his wife got a good job in California, they moved there, and are living happily ever after. I certainly hope so Buck.

I think my finest memory of Buck on the radio came after a rotund fellow who, still works for the company, was going off on Bullfrog. That fellow gets so wound that sometimes he can't continue, so there would be a silence of say 90 seconds, and a new voice would come on. He hasn't dispatched in years. Such was the case that morning, he said, "And I don't stay mad for just a day or two, Bullfrog. I stay mad for a whole month!!!!!"

I couldn't resist. I waited for a pause of about 15 seconds, which would insure that my wise acre comment would get in, and said, "So does that mean that you hate all of us, all the time?" There was a silence of at least 2 minutes after that crack.

Then Buck's calm, unflappable voice came on, and he said, "Ah, yeah 60, I think that's what that means. He's mad at all of you, all the time." There was a little hint of a snicker in his voice, apparantly as the rotund guy was shaking with anger, Buck had chuckled out loud.

Another cute memory of Buck was when Bubba washed out of teaching school. When any of us wash out of anything, we always come back. Cab driving is forever for most of us. Bubba had confided to me that the second graders used to call him Grover in class, after the children's TV show character. So, I keyed the mike and said, "Al, you know what the kids used to call Bubba?" He said he didn't, so I said, "They used to call him Grover."

Buck thought about it for a minute, and then, just like on the TV, just like you'd call a child from the back yard, "Grover. Oh, Grover." That went on for a couple of weeks. It still amazes me that Bubba would ever let anybody find out about that.

My final memory of Buck on the radio was one early September morning when I had a kid who was about 10 years old in the cab. I was taking him home from school at about 10:00 am on the first day of school. We were about 1/2 there when he said brightly, "Know why they sent me home from school?" I said I didn't, so tell me why. He said, "I've got lice."

There is a former pharmacist in the office, so I keyed the mike and said, "Ah, Buck, this kid in the cab has lice. Ask T.H.M. if he has any suggestions on how to handle that." There was a long silence.

After about 5 minutes Bucks chuckling voice came back with, "Well, you might want to wipe down the seat, don't you think? And, you might want to avoid rubbing heads with him too." I dropped the kid near the office, so I went straight to the garage. I've never cleaned a seat cleaner. I cleaned it much cleaner that I did after the dwarf.

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