Why the tailgate title you ask?
The tailgate of a pickup truck is where working men (and some women) congregate on working-class job sites. It is the “office water cooler” for people who do physically demanding outdoor jobs, using their backs, their hands, their minds, their tools, and heavy equipment on a daily basis.
The tailgate is the desk upon which architecturally sophisticated, fully engineered, globally positioned multi-million-dollar homes are laid out in blueprint form and studied. It is the tradesman’s chat room and lunchroom. It is the boss’s oval office, where policy is laid down, schedules made, people hired, fired, chewed out, and slapped on the back. It is where hands are shaken in mutual respect and final agreement.
It is where a man can sit and rest at the end of the day and talk seriously or laugh out loud with friends It is the place to retell the story of some goofy job someone did years ago, something no one had done before, or a job that went bad, but no one got hurt. Maybe some big shot from Texas came to town and thought he would blow away the small-town local talent. Or some rich guy from California spent a fortune building something wasteful and extravagant.
It is where you stand to hear if your company got the bid, if there is work for next week, if the weather will allow a full eight-hour day, if materials are to arrive, where to turn in
your time card, and where to pick up your paycheck.I write about a lot of different kinds of people, but I hold in special regard those folks who go to work in pickup trucks.
* Final note: This here’s the favorite pickup truck of my sixty-year lifetime. A short-bed birthday gift from my cousin Rocky. The truck became known far-and-wide on area construction projects as “The War-Pony.”
Do you have a favorite tailgate/ pickup memory? Share it. Then, if you have a tailgate, go “have a sit down.” Remember those good times. It’s good therapy.