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A while back something came up that required me to drive over to Maysville, Kentucky, one evening. I clocked out of work, did what I needed to do there and began the two-hour drive back to Huntington.

By then I was kind of tired, and my eyes told me they weren’t big fans of nighttime driving anymore. But you’re far from home and you have no choice but to drive.

As I was leaving Maysville, on the part where the AA Highway is still four lanes, I saw a tanker truck heading in the same direction. Should I speed up and go around, or should I hang back? I hung back.

The truck did me a favor that night. He followed a car at a distance where his headlights would not bother its driver, and I did the same for him. Following his tail lights made the trip home a lot easier with me not having to stare into the darkness on a road with little beside it, plus it was nice to know he was there to scare off any deer that thought about crossing our path.

There came a moment when a decision was needed. When you travel toward Huntington on the AA Highway, there’s a place east of Vanceburg, Kentucky, where the road forks. The right fork heads toward Interstate 64 at Grayson. The left fork takes you to the bridge over the Greenup Locks and Dam, where you can cross the Ohio River and take U.S. 52 the rest of the way.

I hoped the truck would go right, but I was so reliant on his lights that I figured I would follow him wherever he went. He took the right fork, and we traveled together toward Grayson, where both of us headed east on I-64. Then I was confident enough to pass him (or her).

That was an otherwise insignificant decision except that once I was home, it got me to thinking about next week’s election. Most of us know where we want our communities and our nation to go, but there are choices on how to get there. When you’re in unfamiliar territory and you don’t know exactly what’s ahead, it helps to have someone who knows the way and who you can trust enough to follow.

That may not have been the most perceptive way of describing our collective decision-making process, but hey, I was tired.

By now we’ve made our choices on who to vote for, or whether we voted at all. Maybe a week from now the votes will be counted and a winner will be declared. Or maybe not. The truck hasn’t come to the fork in the road yet.

That night I was glad to be part of our three-vehicle convoy and I was prepared to be part of it even if it didn’t go the way I wanted. I hope I feel the same way this week.

Jim Ross is development and opinion editor of The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington. His email address is