I'm always interested in the topic of transportation. How could I not be? My father ran a very successful truck and trailer company that had a parts department, sales department, service department, and paint and body shop. His company served as a support system to the truck and trailer industry. Dad's company kept other companies on the road. In fact, I remember one year where his slogan [which he put EVERYWHERE] was "On the Road Again". You know, like the song by Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again"?
Of course, he had to get permission from Willie to use the title of his song on all his advertising and to play the song for radio and t.v. commercials. [Yes, we had t.v. commercials. My cousin on my Dad's side did those.] And you'd think that would've been hard to get Willie on the phone and to ask him. I can still hear my Dad tell that story.
"It was easy. I put in a few calls. He called me back, and said, 'Sure.'"
Nothing was signed. Nothing was official. But? This was Willie Nelson. On the phone. And we never got sued. Of course, years later I was riding in the passenger seat while Dad was driving, and we were listening to the news. And they were talking about Willie Nelson's income tax woes. Basically, he hadn't been paying his taxes, and he owed them quite a bit in back taxes and penalties.
"Guess that's why he never had us pay to use his song and title. He was passing on the savings. Bet he's regretting that now." *snort*
Finding More of the Peeps' Stories
Likewise, I'm always particularly interested in how our ancestors made their living. And I always perk up when I find one that's involved in transportation in one way or another. I have a 2nd great grandfather, Daniel Rook Vaughan, whose maternal uncle, James Rook, was a teamster. That couldn't have been an easy job back in 1860. They'd be dirty and grimy. They'd be constantly exposed to the elements. But what an integral part of life! They'd be moving cargo and people from one point to another in a time where there wasn't many other alternatives.
But another one of my peeps that I'm fond of was Clayborne Leander Bouquet. He was a railway messenger for Wells Fargo and for the company that would become American Express. I call him a 'peep' because he isn't an ancestor of mine, but he married my great-grandmother's sister, Genevieve. And while Clayborne [whose name ROCKS, btw] didn't drive a team, or in this case wasn't a railway engineer, he was the person that protected everything and everyone on that train and did so by risking his own life. He did this for years on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border. Maybe he wasn't as dirty and grimy as James, the teamster, but it couldn't have been easy to keep the peace on those trains and to be so far away from Genevieve and his 2 girls.
While researching him, I found that Clayborne and Genevieve eventually divorced, and Clayborne eventually pursued [quite naturally] a law enforcement position where he could stay at home. All of which leads me to one of my interests in the 1940 US Census. [Yes, I know. Finally.] When did Clayborne give up the 'rails' for a more 'still' life? When did he and Genevieve divorce? In the 1930 US Census, it's recorded that Clayborne had risen up the ranks to Chief Messenger, and he was still married to Genevieve. That's where I lose his story, and I don't pick his trail back up until the late 1950s when he passes away.
Tracking ol' Clayborne down in the 1940 US Census will hopefully nail down a few things for me about his and Genevieve's stories.
Support is Always Needed
But? When the 1940 US census is released, it won't be indexed, and that's where you can help. Join the 1940 US Census project and sign up to be a 1940 Census indexer. Being an indexer is one of those support jobs, like my Dad's company was. The more people who sign up to index, the quicker it will get done. And the quicker it gets done, the more researchers will be back on the the road again hunting down all those family stories.
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
~1st chorus of On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
Note: I am a 1940 Census Ambassador [another one of those support jobs], and this blog post enters me into a contest for a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Now. I don't need to tell you how happy I'd be to get that, do I? But I'd be even happier if you signed up to be a 1940 US Census Indexer.