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In-cab Fever
All work, no play makes Jack a brain-dead workaholic
Truck driving is a job that can easily demand that 80 or 90 percent of your waking hours be working hours. Even when you’re off duty, too often you’re on a short leash. Seeking a healthy balance while you are sitting for hours in your truck or in a truck stop isn’t easy, but we’ve got some ideas to stave off the “in cab fever.” Whether you need an entertaining escape or an intellectual retreat, we’ve got you covered.

'Big Rigs, Elvis & The Grand Dragon Wayne'
Land Line columnist Bill Hudgins first introduced me to the writing of Michael Perry, author, humorist, music maker. Hudge, who is a friend of Perry’s, sent me a book and a book-on-tape and I’ve been hooked ever since.

I wasn’t expecting to relate like I did, but it was a jolt when I began to read an essay called “Convoy” and it turned out to be about the time Perry hitched a ride with my friend and OOIDA member David Sweetman. That kind of name-dropping had me from the git-go.

Perry’s collected essays – “Convoy” and several others are about trucking – were published several years ago by Whistlers and Jugglers Press. My personal favorite is entitled “Big Rigs, Elvis & The Grand Dragon Wayne.”

It’s available from major booksellers, or if you have a PayPal account, you can get it from the author at his Web site at I ordered mine from and had it in two days.

– Sandi Soendker, managing editor

The thinking man's Southern rock
If your Allman Brothers CDs have more scratches and dings than an old beater pickup, never fear – the Kings of Leon might be your salvation.

Funny word, “salvation.” It’s something lead singer Caleb Followill and his brothers – drummer Nathan and bassist Jared – take mighty seriously, having spent their childhoods traversing the Deep South with their father, a traveling Pentecostal preacher. Their cousin and guitarist Matthew joined the band in 2000.

That Southern-fried upbringing shines in every long-haired track on “Because of the Times,” the band’s third full-length album. But this time, something’s a little different, like the band hung out with David Bowie before heading into the studio.

For first-time listeners, it’s a bit heady and experimental, but after a few spins, you’ll wonder how you got along without this album in the first place.

– Aaron Ladage, staff editor

Iacocca: 'Where Have All the Leaders Gone?'
OOIDA member Paul Sasso of Edgewater, FL, phoned us the other day. “Brooklyn” was keyed up about this new book he was reading. It was American auto exec legend Lee Iacocca’s new work, “Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” I actually had the book on my summer reading list, so during the Memorial Day weekend, I read it.

If you like Iacocca’s style, he’s in typical form. The first paragraph is a grabber: “Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘Stay the course.’ Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic.”

Iacocca, who says he “flunked retirement,” never slows down throughout the rest of this 274-page wake-up-America call. Published by Scribner in April 2007, this book is also available in an unabridged form on audio CD from Simon & Schuster. It is also available as an e-book.

– Sandi Soendker, managing editor