King of the Road

 

I’m not one of those people who go to the lake and read a book.
Summer exists to prepare for winter; it is not my play time. However
when I find a person or event that interests me, I buy the book. This
week I want to tell you about the book “King of the Road” written by
Alex Debogorski-star of the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers.”

Alex Debogorski is famously-known as the trucker with the big laugh
who prays and sings as he crosses vast stretches of frozen
countryside in his semi tractor-trailer combination. I like him
because he has lived enough that he doesn’t have to show off or prove
something-he is just himself.

Much of the book, “King of the Road,” deals with Debogorski’s life
before trucking. His father was imprisoned in a Russian Gulag in
Poland until the pact between Nazi Germany and Russia broke prior to
Russia’s entry into World War Two. Stalin opened the gulags as a
sign of good faith and Debogorski’s father scattered through the
woods to later join the Allies as a paratrooper. Debogorski’s mother
and her family hid Jewish residents of Poland during World War Two
and later smuggled them to safety. Debogorski is conservative and
hates both fascism and communism.

Alex the trucker is probably much more familiar to the public. He has
spent his life driving massive coal trucks (like a huge Tonka toy)
and tractor-trailer combinations. He also has prospected for gold,
driven a taxi, operated a gravel business, been a bouncer and even
farmed a little-often all at the same time. Debogorski has eleven
children and has been married to Louise for the past forty years.

“King of the Road” is like listening to my Grandpa Zavoral, who was
kind of coarse but spoke about real life. Alex Debogorski talks about
life without any cute words and he does not blush when he speaks of
life’s more earthy matters. If you are part of the politically
correct crowd, then this book might be a little too real for you.
Debogorski laughs out loud without care for who is watching but also
listens for the other guy’s perspective. He offers a hand to those he
sees as life’s victims, human and otherwise. Some of his best stories
involve rescues of damsels and truckers in distress.

“King of the Road” is available from all the regular internet outlets
and I only paid about $6 for it delivered. If you like Debogorski on
“IRT” then you’ll like the book as it is such an easy read-just a
bunch of stories with letters written by his family to add depth and
substance.

I have a favorite quote from Debogorski that I will paraphrase for
length. “Someone is always watching a listening to you, it’s not
always the big things we do in life that influence people. Sometimes
it’s the small things you don’t even notice yourself. Every day you
go out into the world, you are like a big stone hitting the surface
of water. The ripples go out in big circles, but the stone is unaware
of them.” That is just a sample of some of the philosophy found in
the book and the stories contained inside it will make you question
how this man lived so long to understand so much. It is the perfect
summer time read in between sessions of mowing grass at the lake.

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