Boy­hood on road with Dad

Big Rigs - - TRUCKIES I’VE KNOWN -

SOME­TIMES the best yarns don’t come from the mouth of the man him­self, but from those who know him best.

Such is the case of the story of Sam Inserra as told by his son, Do­minic.

“You know, my dad had a 110. He had to get rid of it be­cause his belly wouldn’t fit be­hind the wheel.”

That line ex­panded into a pre­cis of Sam’s life.

“Dad got off the boat from Italy in 1949 at age 16 and ended up in Ade­laide. As soon as he was able, he got his truck li­cence and drove for 40 years or more – 18 of which were on in­ter­state.

“I was al­ways go­ing on runs with him. I learnt to do my shoelaces up in Bris­bane, hang­ing over the edge of a trailer at age four or five. The trucks didn’t have sleep­ers – dad never had a sleeper. He used to push the pas­sen­ger seat for­ward and I would sleep be­hind that.

“On one trip we wake up one morn­ing and I’m cov­ered in mos­quito bites. He goes, “Geez, your mum is go­ing to kill me.” I said, “It’ll be OK Dad.” “He goes, “Whatta we gunna do, whatta we gunna do?” He was a tough old bird, my old man, but he had a healthy re­spect for my mum.

“He al­ways car­ried a bot­tle of Remy Martin brandy which would last him for the trip to Syd­ney, where he would buy an­other for the trip home. That’s how it was back then – a dif­fer­ent world.

“He got the brandy and poured it all over me to stop the itch­ing. It worked a treat and I didn’t itch, but when we got home my mum wanted to kill both of us. I was like a drunk, reek­ing of brandy at five years old.”

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