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Friendship grows during 80-mile commute
commute girls
Jennifer Davis and Susan Strebeck enjoy commuting together every day to their management positions in Livermore 80 miles round trip. Davis lives in Ripon and Strebeck resides in Manteca. When stuck in traffic they just slide back the overhead moon roof window and use the time for girl talk while other motorists appear to be getting more frustrated.


209 Living reporter

Commuting can be fun, especially with two women thinking ahead and avoid the aggravation of traffic congestion.

Two commuters from Ripon and Manteca have joined forces in driving to their management positions over the hill in Livermore.  When the line of cars often grinds to a stop, they have developed the perfect answer and slide back their moon roof and engage in “girl talk.”

Jennifer Davis of Ripon and Susan Strebeck have become close friends in the process and depend on each other for support and consolation with the problems of the day.  Davis drives from Ripon every morning and parks at the family’s Elite Arms gun shop on South Main Street in Manteca where she meets Strebeck.  They trade off driving week to week and leave one car in front of the shops entry way where staff can keep an eye on the vehicle.

They have learned the available detours that are their options when the roads are closed.  They were shocked recently when an 18-wheeler went off the side of Interstate 580 near the ACE commuter train tracks on the downhill side of the Altamont. It took them an hour to go 12 miles, they said.

Davis said she and her husband Mark have lived in Ripon for five years and in Manteca prior to that. 

As for their favorite drivers seen on their commute, they both credited the truck drivers as being the most professional on the road. 

“We see a lot of people on their phones, reading and putting on makeup while we are trying to be aware of what is going on around us and stay safe,” Davis said.

Strebeck added that they often treat each other to breakfast when they recognize it’s been a tough week. She said they don’t talk on their cell phones when they are driving because they recognize the responsibility of keeping their partner safe and make sure they return from the commute to their loved ones. 

“It keeps us better disciplined,” Davis said. The mother of two – a 20-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son – said of her advice to others: “Slow down, stay off the phone and watch the car ahead of you.”

Strebeck has small sons two and four years old. 

In the day-to-day commute they have become the best of friends.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email