GOOD HOPE — Bob Hoglan was serving up barbecue in Good Hope Friday, the sign from his smoker proclaiming “Free Food” in large letters. With his fireworks store in the background, and traffic passing at the busy interchange with I-65, Hoglan dished out chicken quarters, baked beans and pasta salad. “There were desserts,” he admitted. “But I ate too many of them.”
Hoglan, whose mother has driven a truck for Walmart for some 30 years, wanted to do something for the trucking community, a community he was once a part of. “I’ve been hearing from them that it was tough for them to eat right now,” he said. “They can’t go in the restaurants and some of [the restaurants] won’t let them go through the drive thru.”
So earlier this week, Hogan set up shop on the side of Hwy. 69 to provide meals to the truck drivers or anyone else who needed food. Stockyards, in Birmingham, donated the pork and chicken. “I was going to buy it wholesale but they just gave it to me,” he said.
Over 20 years ago, Hoglan was a truck driver. Now, he’s a builder, building inspector and owner of three fireworks shops. The first two pay the bills, the third is his joy. “Fireworks are my passion,” he said, grinning.
So is taking care of his trucking family.
“Without truckers, America stops,” he said. “We have to have these truck drivers.”
A few have offered to pay him for the meals. “But I don’t want their money,” he said. “I don’t need it. God has truly blessed me.”
On Friday, he started dishing up meals at 10 a.m. and was going to go until 3 p.m. or until the food ran out. He said he’ll be back at it one day next week, once he can get away from his business obligations, to do his part to keep America truckin’.