Yesterday I was driving out to meet some of my clients for my annual holiday party for my home-based business, Pear Tree Enterprises. I had the 1970s country station on Sirius radio and heard one of the saddest heartfelt songs ever: “Teddy Bear” by Red Sovine.
I’m driving along, alone, tears streaming down my eyes, thinking about the kindness illustrated in this old song about truckers, a crippled boy and a CB radio.
And for those who don’t have time to listen to the song, here are the lyrics:
By Red Sovine
I was on the outskirts of a little southern town, Trying to reach my destination before the sun went down. The old CB was blaring away on channel one-nine When there came a little boy's voice on the radio line. And he said, "Breaker, one-nine, is anyone there? Come on back, truckers, and talk to Teddy Bear." Well, I keyed the mike and I said, "Well, you got it,Teddy Bear." And the little boy's voice came back on the air. "'Preciate the break. Who we got on that end?" I told him my handle, and then he began: "Now, I'm not supposed to bother you fellas out there, Mom says you're busy and for me to stay off the air. But, you see, I get lonely and it helps to talk 'Cause that's about all I can do. I'm crippled and I can't walk." I came back and told him to fire up that mike And I'd talk to him as long as he'd like. "This was my dad's radio," the little boy said, "But I guess it's mine and Mom's now 'cause my daddy's dead. Dad had a wreck about a month ago. He was trying to get home in a blinding snow. Mom has to work now to make ends meet And I'm not much help with my two crippled feet. She says not to worry, that we'll make it all right, But I hear her crying sometimes late at night. You know, there's one thing I want more than anything else to see. Aw, I know you guys are too busy to bother with me, But, you see, my dad used to take me for rides when he was home But I guess that's all over now since my daddy's gone." Not one breaker came on the old CB As that little crippled boy talked with me. I tried hard to swallow, the lump just wouldn't stay down As I thought about my boy back in Greenville town. "Dad was gonna take Mom and me with him later on this year. Why, I remember him saying, 'Someday this old truck'll be yours, Teddy Bear.' But I know I'll never get to ride an 18-wheeler again, But this old base will keep me in touch with all my trucker friends. Teddy Bear's gonna back on out now and leave you alone 'Cause it's about time for Mom to come home. But you give me a shout when you're passing through And I'll sure be happy to come back to you." Well, I came back and I said, "Before you go ten-ten, What's your home-twenty, little CB friend?" Well, he gave me his address and I didn't once hesitate 'Cause this hot load of freight was just gonna have to wait. I turned that truck around on a dime And headed straight for Jackson Street, 229. And as I rounded the corner, boy, I got one heck of a shock-- Eighteen-wheelers were lined up for three city blocks! Why, I guess every driver for miles around had caught Teddy Bear's call And that little crippled boy was having a ball. For as fast as one driver would carry him in, Another would carry him to his truck and take off again. Well, you better believe I took my turn at riding Teddy Bear And then I carried him back in and put him down in his chair. And, buddy, if I never live to see happiness again I want you to know I saw it that day, in the face of that little man. We took up a collection for him before his mama got home And each driver said goodbye and then they were all gone. He shook my hand with a mile-long grin And said, "So long, trucker, I'll catch you again!" I hit that interstate with tears in my eyes And I turned on the radio and I got another surprise. "Breaker, one-nine," came a voice on the air, "Just one word of thanks from Mama Teddy Bear. We wish each and every one a special prayer for you 'Cause you just made my little boy's dream come true. I'll sign off now before I start to cry. May God ride with you. Ten-four, and goodbye."