Broadcasting from his citizens band radio pulpit, a barber-turned-preacher dispenses guidance for the soul and directions for the road to his congregation of truckers.
They call the Rev. S. Anthony Bat-taglia The Chaplain Man.Battaglia, 60, found a new calling when the Baltimore Port Truck Plaza wanted to hire a citizens band radio buff to guide tired, hungry and lost drivers on the busy Interstate 95 corridor.
"He's a right responsible fellow. He's kind of a caretaker around here. He helps guys who get into a bind," said Steve Newton, a former driver who is now a trucking agent in Baltimore.
Sandwiched between a gift shop - complete with mud flap ornaments including the popular chrome reclining nude - and a coin-operated laundry, Battaglia mans his radio pulpit in the security office of the truck stop's motel.
Every weekday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Battaglia sits with his imitation leather Bible at a desk piled with a 40-channel CB radio, police scanners, atlases and phone books.
Battaglia, an ordained Baptist minister, is a chaplain at a suburban Baltimore church and a volunteer chaplain for the Baltimore County police and fire departments. He wears his fire department uniform to the truck stop in case he gets a call.
He spent 30 years as a barber, then switched directions and worked as a real estate agent.
Now, his congregation includes drivers with handles such as "The Rubber Duck," "Low Rider," and "The Destroyer."
"Basically we're here to help the drivers. When they come into Baltimore its one big maze of streets," Battaglia said.
"Truckers are lonely, too. They have marital problems. They can feel free to come in for counsel," he said.