Devitt - Where dedication begins

A legend is defined as “an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field” according to Webster's dictionary.

Recently one late night at a truck stop diner in Eastern Pennsylvania I met an old hand who told me about a man whom he called a legend, named William Devitt. The old hand goes on to tell me as he starts to chuckle “Ole Ginger Jake would leave the scale man’s jaw on the floor and the dispatcher screaming you did what !!” 

The old hand proceeds to tell me he worked with William Devitt at Senate Cartage. He smiles and adds “back then we all were hard runners. I don’t care how cool you thought you were, nobody topped Ginger Jake” as I watched and listened to the old hand reliving the good old days. All I could manage to do is smile and laugh at his stories. Then like any grandfather would do to his grandson, he suddenly softened his look and said, “The man had heart. I was envious of the relationship that Bill had with his children. He would take them to work with him as small kids and Bill always made his kids top priority.” We talked awhile longer and parted ways as I headed back west I desired to learn more about the legend of “Ginger Jake”.

 I recently got the chance to talk with his Son Tracy Devitt. I learned that William “Ginger Jake” Devitt passed away last May. You would think this is where the story would end right… Well you would be wrong!

Bill was stationed at Point Loma in the early 60’s while serving in the Navy. He fell in love with the area and knew this is where his finally resting place would be. Tracy Devitt and his son Jake, whom was named after his grandpa’s cb handle where headed out to Point Loma, CA to honor his wishes and spread his ashes. Tracy goes on to tell me Dad was very persistent on this. ” Tracy when I die I want you to take my ashes and spread them at Point Loma. You better Truck them out there too, don’t mail me or make me ride in a car. I want to be trucked out there.”  This Friday April 20th, the whole family will merge on Point Loma to finally lay Bill to rest. 

Like a wide-eyed teenager, I was left immobilized listening to Tracy as he told me some of the crazy things the “old man” did. I would’ve loved to meet Ginger Jack first hand and hear him tell his stories. However, the thing that most impressed me was his level of commitment to his family. Tracy sums it up best “There was never a day that I didn’t think Dad loved us, he made sure to tell us daily.”

The Devitt family is entrenched deeply into trucking. Between the 6 sibling they have amassed an incredible 150 years of Trucking knowledge taught by one-man William Devitt. William Devitt's legacy is a story of dedication to Family, Love and Trucking. If your interested in hearing the whole interview with Tracy be sure to listen to the Devitt – Dedication to Trucking Interview below


on 17 April 2018