How to Give a Thank-You Wave

When Dad jumped behind the wheel of a car, all the goodwill he had for mankind came along for the ride. Which explains his penchant for thank-you waving.

If he encountered a fellow driver who slowed down to let him merge or pull out onto a busy street, he appreciated the courtesy and thank-you waved with gusto. You could tell by his rapid, crisp delivery that Dad believed these salutes communicated great power and righteousness.

When Owen “Truck” Roberts served up a thank-you wave, you knew it came from the heart. His version was no weary, weak-wristed raise of the palm.

 the author's father, Owen "Truck" Roberts had a penchant for a friendly thank-you wave

the author's father, Owen "Truck" Roberts had a penchant for a friendly thank-you wave

If our car met another at an intersection, and the opposing driver motioned Dad to go first, Truck looked through the windshield, locked eyes with his fellow road warrior and snapped his hand forward, face-high with fingers tight and upright , like tiny soldiers.

“Hey, thanks buddy,” he’d say as his hand flew off the steering wheel. Sometimes he extended his right arm across the inside windshield, so if you had the shotgun seat you had to be prepared for a hand in front of your face. If you were on the receiving end, you couldn’t miss it. Dad’s salutes could cut through the thickest morning fog or the heaviest afternoon traffic.

Those thank-you waves were a lot like him, really: quick, clear and full of life.

- Linda Miller is a freelance writer living in Berks County, PA, who devotes much of her time to writing essays and stories about a happy childhood spent with her Mom, nicknamed Mick, and her Dad, Truck, and her brother John. Truck was well known around their small town, Slatington, PA, as a gregarious teacher addicted to great jokes, Laurel & Hardy movies, fishing, working with Veteran's groups, and watching cartoons with his children and granddaughter