A Salute To The “Cold Shoulder Generation”

There are certain albums that are especially profound to my childhood. One of my all-time favorites is Garth Brooks’ ‘Ropin’ the Wind’. A hidden gem on this album in relation to unmatched, good-ole-fashioned storytelling is a song called “Cold Shoulder”. This masterful narrative will be a key focal point for this blog I am writing tonight.

Brooks proceeds to illustrate for the listener a couple in the warmth of their home enjoying the luxuries of a relaxing evening: a glass of red wine, candlelight, a crackling fire, and soothing music. We are abruptly brought into reality with the following lyrics:

“I’m there in her arms 

But it’s all in my mind.

The snow is piled high on the highway tonight. 

I’m a ship lost at sea on this ocean of white.

Eighteen wheels anchored somewhere out of Dover…”

Currently, I am reading about a “prolific lake-effect snowstorm” that dumped several feet of snow on parts of the Buffalo and Watertown areas. Dover, Delaware, is no exception to the areas around the Great Lakes that will endure these storms.

No matter where you are, readers, our weary truck drivers will face these storms head-on to deliver all items necessary, on time or at a delayed time, so that you can trample each other on Black Friday.

Brooks also refers to the highway in the second verse of this song as “the Mistress that keeps me from the ones that I love.”

Friends, I hope you know that I am not deliberately targeting any of you that go out and enjoy Black Friday and visit your beloved stores. What I AM trying to bring awareness to is that there are many that are caught this time of year in the Thanksgiving/Black Friday ‘crossfire’:

  • Truckers
  • Retail workers
  • Our Brave Military
  • Gas Station Attendants
  • Nurses
  • Police Officers

I am sure that I am unintentionally leaving others off this list, and I apologize. May these “Cold Shoulder” laborers not be forgotten nor ignored this year, friends!

Recently, I found a YouTube podcast that listened to this song and reacted in a very negative way. They even had the audacity to refer to this song as a “Bathroom Break” song during a concert where you would get up and go to the concession stand or the restroom. Maybe I can give a rebuttal to this by sharing Garth Brooks’ reasoning for writing this song:

“Garth Brooks got the idea for this classic country cut about a lonely trucker while he was driving home for Christmas and spotted a semi-tractor trailer rig parked on the shoulder of the road. ‘I knew that’s how this guy’s going to spend Christmas Eve before going to work all day Christmas Day…’ he explained in his 2017 book The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years. ‘I started thinking, Wow, if we could take the listener from where they’re thinking he’s in this warm place, painting this nice, pleasing picture where everything’s just great, and then hit them with the truth, that it’s a harsh reality, hard work, work that takes you away from your family.’” (songfacts.com)

My prayer is, readers, that we enjoy Thanksgiving. Be patient when there are delays in your day on Friday. Be courteous and speak gently to those who are working and sacrificing their holiday to accommodate you. May we continue to be law-abiding citizens and be mindful of our neighbors’ needs. May we heed the truths in the book of 2 Corinthians 9:11:

“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

Blessings to You, Your Loved Ones, and those “hugging the unrelenting cold shoulder”,



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