Archive for the ‘Made in America’ Category

I sit sometimes and wonder how America can survive. The Government  seems bent on destroying the country.

The full power of the executive branch is focused on pretending to care for the American worker while behind the scenes those who wield the power in pretense of saving American jobs, make even more jobs vanish in search of cheaper labor or evasion of the very onerous regulations they promote to “save the planet from AGW”.

Then I encounter one of the “little things” that bring hope that some American businesses are beginning to understand that “BUY AMERICAN” is not only possible, but a necessary stance American businesses and consumers have got to put in practice if we want to save our own ability to work and spend money.

Here is a ‘little thing” I noticed this week that actually gave me hope.soap1soap2

I took a shower at the TCA South Jacksonville, Florida. Instead of the usual MADE IN INDIA soap the TCA chain usually offers in their showers, I found this beautiful bar of soap! 

Thank you to whoever decided to buy soap made in America instead, I hope to see these more often until they are everywhere. It is one of the little things that can begin to turn this economy back from the brink of collapse.


How We Began


Our beginnings were as many organizations the actions of individuals. Some driver would become needy, and among the ATN Fans drivers would talk together and pool resources to help that driver.

In small groups we shared concerns, and we shared some efforts. Many of us did what we did quietly through friends in the belief that the recipient should not know where the aid was coming from. “Thank You” was not something most of us wanted to hear. Some of the recipients later became benefactors to others because, among the ATN Fans as among the trucking community in general, the belief in “pay me forward” rather than “pay me back” is strong. Some people did “pay back” when they were helped, those funds always seemed to find a new need to be applied to.

Over time it was only natural that small groups started discussing formalizing an organization to continue this effort. The shock we all experienced when one of the hosts of the radio show our group seemed to revolve around experienced the crushing loss in his personal life that our efforts could not ameliorate, gave some of us the spark that galvanized us into action at last.

Jacob Boulanger and his father Eric ( Bubba Bo) and Steven Sommers and his father Steve are for many of the ATN listeners an extended family. It seemed only fitting that we should guarantee that our trucking community efforts should reflect our acknowledgment of that relationship. Steven we agree to uplift in all his endeavors, and as a group we rejoice in his accomplishments. Jacob however we will with our own efforts try to honor because his life was cut short.

This memorial fund is the continuation of our community building that for most of us began with our participation in, and enjoyment of, the ATN show. Our hope is to also spread the community beyond the ATN audience to the entire trucking community. It is after all the entire trucking community we belong to that shares the beliefs that we put into practice here. Our roots as an organization are after all only the place to gain nourishment for the living plant we are bringing to life here. A fund by truckers for use helping truckers.

Jake Russell Boulanger Memorial Fund

While home in Troy , Alabama I visited the ho house.  I will let the food Jihad pictures speak for themselves..

Another food Jihad experience I had last week at Beto Junction Kansas..

So you started off as a truck driver thinking you would be a professional tourist. You would drive across the country seeing everything from the windshield of your peter-bago.

Well there are so many beautiful scenery areas it is almost true. But in this article I want you to be the real tourist sampling the local culture.  Imagine a local farm market from the lake shoe of Pennsylvania with local made food products. It might look like what you can experience right out the front door of the TCA truck stop in Harbor Creek, Pa.

Here are a few views of my experience there. You really need to try to get by there one weekend and buy a few treats for yourself! Click on  a photo for a larger view!


I really think the TCA/Petro merger is working out to give drivers better places to stay on those weekend when you have time for rest and a little tourism!



Some of my harvest from 2009

When Mothers Day came this year I found myself in my garden tilling, planning and planting this years crops. My mind slipped back to my childhood and the pleasant memories of a young boy who had been making daily trips to the garden to see if any of the green bean seeds I had planted had burst through the soil . I would come back into the house with rejection clearly painted across my face for the first few days and my mother would ask…….any of your beans up? My answer accompanied with a sigh, not yet. Then with a comforting voice of a mother she would assure me that they would sprout and grow when they had been in the ground long enough. Then came “THE DAY” when my daily trip became a celebration that found me running back to the house gleefully shouting, they’re up, they’re up!!

Mom knew how important this was to me so she gladly let me drag her by her hand back out to the garden to show her the barely visible hints of green poking their heads up out of the soil to find the sun. That summer I spent a lot of time in the garden helping to keep it weed free and watered, and eventually harvested. The row of beans that I had used my own hands to place the seeds, and then cover carefully with soil, were of special importance to me. That row received my best efforts.

This past weekend I had the same sense of satisfaction when I went out to check to see if a row of beans I had planted had been uncovered by the hard rain we had received the night before. The bean row had faired fine and with a little closer observation I spied that my corn rows planted the weekend before were peeking out of the ground.



Although I abstained from jumping up and down, a smile came across my face because I knew how good this sweet corn would taste this fall and all winter long from what I would preserve by canning and freezing. I was also pleased that all of the tomato and broccoli plants that I planted on Mothers Day were all doing well and had grown about an inch.


Some of these tomatoes will be made into yummy salsa.

(if you look on the right you see I use a string stretched tight to lay off my rows in straight lines)


There is nothing better than fresh broccoli.


I lead into this article with a memory of a young lad being taught how to raise his own food at an early of age six or seven years old for a reason . When this event took place in the early 1960’s it was common for people to have gardens in their back yards. Bringing a garden from preparation stages, to planting, caring for and on to the final stages of harvesting and prepping and canning the fruits of the family’s labors, were all done as a family unit. It was a skill that was passed on from father to son, mother to daughter. In today’s world I think something as simple as planting a garden whether in a plot or containers on the back deck, would go a long way to bring cohesiveness to a family. I know that the convenience of just going down to the local store and buying what ever you need is a lot easier. But what if you went to the store and the shelves were empty? We live in a very unstable world at the present time and this could become reality as much as not. My parents both lived through what is known as the Great Depression, it hardened them to the reality that things can go awry very quickly. If a lot of families had not had gardening and preserving skills during that time they may have starved. There was food on shelves in stores back then, if you were lucky enough to have a job so you could afford to buy the goods. My point being that gardening and preserving is a skill that people should learn, not only for a “just in case” scenario, but to share more quality time with your family and maybe share some with others. You will find NO healthier food than that you raise yourself.

My intent is to pique peoples interest in this dying art and I will continue with more articles showing the progression of this years garden, maybe share some tips and hopefully get people eating healthy food they raised themselves. (in case your saying …I don’t have time. I will let you know I am a truck driver that is only home on the weekends, so it can be done.)

Michael Frybarger