The Advantages of Trucking

“ Now, there is Tracey, the truckman,” suggested the Talker. “ I suppose Tracey has done more for this town than any young doctor, lawyer, or minister in it. Why, before Tracey went into the furniture and piano moving business, you could n’t get a bureau moved across the street without having all the casters knocked off. And as for pianos, no one ever thought of playing one after moving. Now, when you want anything moved, — from one end of the town to the other, or over to the next county, — just at the appointed minute up drives Tracey’s big yellow van ; and your piano or sofa or cooking stove is handed out as carefully as if it were the Queen of England; and off it goes, safe under cover, with no disreputable legs or stuffing exposed to a heartless public. Tracey has been in the business five years. When he was through high school, his father wanted him to go to college. But he did n’t care much for books ; he was a big, strapping fellow, fond of horses and outdoor life. He told his father he would rather have the college money to set him up in the moving business. So the old gentleman gave in finally, and bought him a good pair of draught horses and a big wagon with fancy lettering. He did the thing up in good shape. I suspect that it was young Tracey, though, that put him up to the ring trimmings on the harnesses. But that truck wagon, I tell you, when they got it going, was an object lesson to the town. Of course everybody laughed, and said all that style would n’t last long ; it was too fine for business. But I noticed that everybody hired him. It was the novelty first; and after that wore off, folks had found it was rather pleasant, after a moving, not to have to wander around the house with a splinter, trying to fit it in for a leg or an arm or a back to something. So they kept on hiring him. He has six pair of horses, and as many wagons. They send for him for miles around to do any fancy moving. Makes money? Yes, it looks like it. Of course there are other truckmen; but they have to keep their teams better, and treat your furniture a little less like cord wood. All the work horses in town are better cared for than they were five years ago. It may be Tracey, and it may be the climate. It does you good to see him come driving along, beaming down on everybody out of that big yellow ark. He has found his niche in life, if ever a man did. Stranahan was saying the other day : ‘ What a pity Tracey never had a college education! With his ability, he might easily have been a college professor.’ Now, as I see it, Tracey has enough in him to make half a dozen average professors, and have something left over for trimmings. I should hate terribly to see all that good stuff sitting around in a professor’s chair, or waiting on a footstool for the present incumbent to die, — my piano, meanwhile, bumping down the front steps. Well, what I was getting at is, that if half the young fellows whose fathers are wasting capital on them could be set up in some business they really like, it would be a good deal more comfortable for them and for the rest of us. It is respectable enough to buy your boy a ranch off in Texas or some remote corner. Why not a trucking business right here in town ? I look to see young Tracey do more for this town in the next twenty-five years than all the college graduates that come into it, — by just minding his own business.” “ Yes, it’s all very well to talk. But how would you like your boy, if you had one, to be a workingman ? ”

“ My boy ? ” responded the Talker. “ Why, if I had a boy, young man, I’d be almost willing to work myself, don’t you know ? ”