When the Interstate was built
September 27, 2010 | by: Lucinda Coulter
“I was 6 in 1958 when the Interstate Highway System began construction near my family’s home in Dearborn, Mich.,” writes retired owner-operator Bobby Flaherty, a former car hauler and resident of New Port Richey, Fla.
“I’d ride my bike a short ways from our house to sit on a hill and watch those yellow bulldozers and machines knock down houses, move earth and pour concrete. Flaherty says his father love the West, was a devoted Zane Grey fan and took the family on frequent road trips across the nation. The travel bug had struck, he says. “Years later when I climbed into an 18-wheeler, I had found my home, a ride with a bed in the back.”
As a husband and father of two sons, Flaherty introduced his family to the lure of the road early on. “Every minute the boys were out of school, they were trucking wtih mom and dad — four bodies piled in the bunk. My sons never went through teen-age wasteland as they stepped into the world of truckers.”
Both sons hauled cars as well. Flaherty’s older son, Bobby Flaherty Jr., was awarded the Truckload Carriers Association’s Highway Angel and was featured as an Overdrive Knight of the Road in the March 2008 issue for saving a child from being struck by a rolling car. Flaherty Jr. sustained injuries and required multiple surgeries but is thriving now.
Bobby Flaherty senior says he is grateful for his parents’ legacy: “Thanks, Dad and Mom, for planting the seed of adventure and freedom of the road so some of us could follow the road into the sunset.”