Come, Let’s say good-bye

Against the Current, No. 168, January/February 2014

Dan La Botz

Come on, let’s stop and say good-bye,
Steve’s leaving on his trip, on the road again.

See him standing there
in his hunter’s vest,
the pocket’s bulging
with notebooks and pens,
a small magnifying glass,
and a miniature flashlight,
miscellaneous papers
held together
with clips and rubber bands,
a couple of old maps,
his cigarette papers and tobacco.
He’s holding a small bag
with a couple of peanut butter sandwiches
and a quart of milk,
under his arm,
held together with a bungee cord,
a couple of books, of course,
and the Convoy
and Workers’ Power.

For years he’s wanted
to drive a truck again,
to sit up high
looking out over the road
out to the horizon,
heading for Sandusky,
or East Stroudsburg,
working again,
a freight driver
or a carhauler,
a Teamster,
a Teamster once again.
He’s looking forward
to the truck stop,
chatting with the waitress
and talking to the men
about the contract
and giving them a leaflet.

He’ll stop and see
the Janadias and the Wades,
stay a night with Frank and Ann,
and then drive on
to visit Bill Slater and Doug Allen.
He’s expecting trouble
from the bosses
and the union bureaucrats,
and he’s looking forward to it too.
He’s thinking “We’ll show them
a thing or two, by jiminy.”
You’ve got to keep an eye on Steve,
because, for better or worse
he’s afraid of nothing.

See him, walking up to the cab,
standing there on the step a moment,
with his big shoulders,
his hair blown about a little,
and that great smile.
Take a good look,
he’s off again, for the last time,
and we won’t see the likes of him again.
Bye, Steve, take care,
and have a good trip.

Dan La Botz was a friend and comrade of Steve Kindred, and a truck driver member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

1 comment

  1. thank you for this moving tribute. you have captured Steve so beautifully as a person and a comrade and his nostalgia for the vibrant days of our youthful organizing when our purpose and our seemed so clear.

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