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Columbia Missourian

BOONE LIFE: Family celebrates belated birthday while dad's at home

By Samantha Clemens
October 19, 2008 | 10:34 p.m. CDT
Jeff Thompson plays with his son Caleb, 3 in front of Thompson's semi-truck. Thompson's job as a truck driver forces him to be away for extended periods of time: "I like the job. I just don't like being away from him (Caleb)."

CENTRALIA — Driving around on the front lawn of his family's Centralia house in his miniature red car, Caleb Thompson, 3, emulates his father. His dad, Jeff Thompson, is a truck driver for Swift Transportation Co. Inc., a company that operates throughout the continental United States.

While home for a few days, Jeff Thompson, his wife, Cassi, and Caleb spend an afternoon playing in the front yard of their Centralia home. The family's dog, Trixie, a Miniature Pinscher with hints of a Chihuahua mix, yelps while Caleb drives his new car.

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Caleb had his birthday in July, but the family had his birthday party Oct. 4 because his dad was on the road earlier. Caleb's main gift was the little car, which is further dwarfed in size when compared with his dad's semi-truck parked in the driveway.

After wearing out the battery in his new toy by zipping around the yard, Caleb, in his brown John Deere T-shirt, watches his father, wearing a green John Deere T-shirt, take out the battery so it can be recharged.

"I like the job," Jeff Thompson said of being a truck driver. "I just don't like being away from him. I'm gone three weeks to a month at a time."