A procession that included 17
transfer trucks turned out to honour long-time P.E.I. trucker James
Deane Johnson who died last week at the age of 80. Johnson spent more
than 60 years driving trucks all over North America.
James Deane Johnson, 80, died peacefully at home in
Cornwall last week following a lifetime of driving his truck all over
Fourteen Midland trucks, two RST trucks and one JTML
truck took part in a procession that stretched from Belvedere Funeral
Home in Charlottetown to Westmoreland Cemetery, near Crapaud.
“He drove for 60-plus years all across Canada, all
across North America,’’ Roberts said. “At the end, he was just doing
Saint John, N.B., five, possible six trips week (in his late 70s).’’
His career driving for Midland boasted three million miles accident-free over the past 23 years.
Roberts said it was the people her father encountered in his travels he loved so much.
“He loved the people, and if he didn’t know anybody
when he walked into a place he knew them when he left. He always had a
smile; always had a story and everyone knew him or knew of him.’’
James Deane Johnson
How James Deane Johnson’s safety record compares to other numbers
- Three million: the number of miles Johnson drove accident-free for Midland
- 4.8 million: the number of kilometres that converts into
- 369,000-plus: the number of trips across Confederation Bridge you’d have to make to equal his safe driving record
- 515: the number of times you’d have to drive from the eastern-most
tip of Canada, Cape Spear, N.L., to the western most tip, St. Elias,
- 79,077: the number of trips from Charlottetown to Summerside you’d have to make
Roberts said she can remember plenty of times when
winter weather would delay her father’s return home to Cornwall, but she
always looked forward to spending time with him on the road in the
was a big deal to go with him in the summertime, to go with him for a
week because he went away weeks at a time. That was like summer
vacation. You got to spend one week with Dad to yourself.’’
Roberts remembers standing at the banana pier in New Jersey observing just how green bananas were coming off the boat
Roberts said her father also taught her all she knows about servicing a truck.
“I can remember Sundays growing up was our day to do
service work, so I’m a 48-year-old woman who knows how to change tires. I
know how to grease, I know how to grout tires to make them last longer
and wash a truck and wax and shine. The truck had to be spotless all the
Roberts said her father was mingling with friends up to two weeks before he died.
“He had still been going up to the coffee shop every
morning at Robin’s Donuts at 8, and a lot of people didn’t even know he
was sick. His coffee buddies were as precious to him as his family.’’
As the family mourns his passing, though, it will be the man’s smile that sticks with them forever – and the memories.
“It wasn’t as much the destination; it was the journey to get there.’’
Source of article click here : The Guardian