I retired on Dec. 30, 2015, from a very active career in the trucking industry. I have been involved in heavy engine repair and rebuilding for more than 50 years and found the sudden STOP most disconcerting. My time away from the industry seemed so unusual, like I was forgetting some appointment somewhere, and I missed the “action” that is a constant.

My time was mine for sure, but oddly enough, I was always out of place in my mind. I’d lived my life “on the clock.” I’m still awake at 4:15 each morning and though I have no place to be, I’m still ready to go out the door at 6. It didn’t take me long to realize I needed to be working. Thankfully, my ex-employer would have me back three days a week covering only my territory on the island. No more New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. I’ve seen more than my share of construction cones and barriers, having lived through the finishing of the Long Island Expressway and then again through its widening from the city, east.

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My wife and I will be staying on L.I. because our children and grandchildren all live here, as well as all of my sisters-in-law. I couldn’t get my wife out of here with dynamite. We may just “snowbird” for January, February and March next year, but that’s not in concrete yet. No sitting for grandkids in our future, but the occasional pickup from school may come to pass. I’m hoping to do “long weekends” regularly and I’m trying to stay awake longer in the evenings, not worrying about the morning clock too much anymore. We’ll see how that goes. But for right now, all seems to be right with the universe again.

I have my fill of “action” and I get to spend some time each week with some of the hardest working people on the planet. That allows me to keep my fingers on the pulse of an industry that’s in my blood.

Dennis Madden