Sandi Talbott (ST) and Idella Hansen (IH)
ST: When we started, there weren’t that many women out here driving trucks. And my husband’s health was not good, he only had one leg, so consequently I did all the driving.
IH: Plus you were taking care of him.
IH: You were a rolling nursing home.
ST: [laughs] Yea, kinda
IH: You’re a tough old bird, girl.
IH: You ever hauled missiles?
ST: Well, yeah. I hauled all kinds of missiles.
IH: I remember hauling tadpoles.
ST: Live tadpoles?
IH: Yeah. There’s a place that makes baby frogs and you have, like 36 hours to get them delivered.
ST: Yea, we hauled all kinds of stuff. But, when I take the truck in, it’s “oh, here’s a little old woman. We’ll make a bundle off of her.” And if I don’t like what they’re saying, I’ll call you, Idella. I’m not going to get any kind of hogwash, you’re going to tell me how it really is.
IH: Can you imagine doing anything else, Sandi?
ST: Absolutely not. Four years ago, I had a heart attack while I was on the truck. And when I got ready to go back on the road, I pulled out of my driveway and started through the gear pattern, it was like I’m back in my element. It is my life.
IH: I’m not interested in getting out of it. I’m not interested in retiring. When I get in that seat, instead of being slump-shouldered, all of a sudden, I have sat up straight, pulled my shoulders back, and it’s like a rush of hot blood.
ST: I’m like you, Idella. Don’t talk to me about cooking meals. I certainly don’t wanna clean. But what if something happens to my health? What am I going to do?
IH: I’ll stuff you in the truck with me.
ST: [laughs] When they pry our cold dead fingers off the wheel that’s when we’ll retire… because when people retire, they die. And we ain’t ready for that.
IH: Hopefully, I’ll be one of them you find sitting behind the wheel somewhere. I’m not interested in going home. I just want to drive my truck.
IH: That’s what I want to do. I want to drive my truck.