Trucking in the ’70s Captured in Period Documentary Film

When Lynn Adler and her four Optic Nerve video colleagues hit the highway in the late 1970s to interview truckers, they didn’t know much about the nitty-gritty of the over-the-road grind. By the time they’d completed their national tour of more than six weeks, hanging out with drivers at truck stops and their homes, their eyes had been opened. Among other things, they learned that “the lifestyle is not exactly healthy,” partly because of truck stop food, Adler said when we spoke early this month. And sometimes it wasn’t just nutrition that the fare lacked.

“We would go into a truck stop, we’d meet some guys, we’d do an interview, and we’d ask them if they would come into our funky motor home,” she said. “We’d play back some of the material, and we’d give them coffee.” Long before gourmet coffee had become commonplace, the videographers pleasantly surprised their guests by serving a brew made from upscale beans they’d brought from their base in San Francisco. “They were, like, what is this?” Adler recalled.

Their interview subjects often warmed up to their hosts, inviting them to visit them at home. The crew accepted offers when the location fit their schedule. Some of those intimate moments at homes are among the most touching scenes in the 30-minute 1979 documentary that emerged from their tour… read more >

Federation of Interstate Truckers 1978 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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