The Elecpencil Goes Red State

I am now home from my car trip to visit my son who works at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Many of the roads in Texas have 75 and 80 mph speeds. Even with that our hybrid sedan averaged over 39.5 mpg for the whole trip! I want to talk about some of the positive things I found in a few of the red states I stopped in. I will do that next post but put some vacation photos on this post.

I arrived home to find that my parents were in a car accident. They are both in their 80’s and were both bruised up with my dad suffering neck and shoulder pain. They were driving their bright red 39 Ford hot rod. Such an old car has no air bags and many hard metal surfaces. They were stopped with a turn signal on to turn left into an antique car show. They were rear ended by a woman in a Kia going over 55 in a 35 zone. The woman never braked at all before hitting my parents. The Kia driver claimed she never saw them. She was fine as her air bag deployed. Witnesses who were standing at the car show and a driver behind the woman said there was a reason she never saw my parents. That is because she was talking on her cell phone. The car my parents built and loved for 27 years is totaled, but at least my parents are alive. If you are someone who talks on a cell phone while driving, please stop before you kill someone.

I want to mention a couple of guys whose negativity I had to witness, as I returned to my valley, in this blue state. I arrived to hear; Regional Chamber President Tom Humphries claim that the Community Bill of Rights Committee has “a radical anti-development, anti-business agenda.” What the Community Bill of Rights Committee actually has is a common sense agenda. That agenda will protect the very existence of Youngstown’s citizens against earthquakes and polluted air and water from fracking.

Then I learn that Warren Tribune editor Frank Robinson is censoring one of the community writers that he hired to write columns. The writer wrote a column supporting activists fighting against fracking in our area. Frank didn’t run the column telling the writer, “Er um. I didn’t mention that there are some topics that we won’t run, particularly if they stand in such opposition to our point of view as yours does.” Imagine a newspaper not publishing columns because they don’t reflect the editor’s view. So much for the First Amendment. No wonder print media is becoming obsolete.

Now some photos:

memphis 3

My daughter and I walk in the land of the Delta Blues on Beale St. in Memphis.

Blues music poured from various bars as we walked with the “ghost of Elvis.”

This is the original music hall for the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

These guitars were for sale in a clothing store in Nashville. The store was called, “Two Old Hippies.” This old hippy could not afford the $150 shirts or $180 leather belts sold there.

This window is in one of several bath houses located in a row in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The bath houses now serve other purposes but were places where you went to experience the healing power of the hot springs water. I brought home a few gallons and it is the best water I have ever tasted.

Here is one of the hot springs pouring down into a park in downtown Hot Springs. The water is a natural 140 degrees and steam rises from it.


You know you’re in the Lone Star State when your hotel’s breakfast included waffles in the shape of Texas.

A photo of Austin, Texas from Austin’s botanical gardens.

This is Austin’s statehouse.

Austin’s beautiful botanical gardens.

We spotted this horse getting some fresh air as my wife, daughter and I hoofed it back to Ohio!

Thanks to my daughter Mackenzie for being the family photographer.


Marc Cohn: “Walking in Memphis”

“Silver Thunderbird”

Vacation: a period of travel and relaxation when you take twice the clothes and half the money you need.” ~Author Unknown


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2 responses to “The Elecpencil Goes Red State

  1. Sue

    Sorry to hear about your parents’ accident. But glad to hear they are ok. I loved your pics. And yes, only in Texas would you get a Texas shaped waffle!

  2. Brock Featherstone

    The important thing is your parents weren’t seriously hurt. To many ding dongs not paying attention while driving, playing on phone, smoking, eating and so on.
    People like Humphries and Robinson are mere puppets. When confronted with concerns or different opinions they resort to scare and hide tactics. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people complain about The Trib and Franky’s bias BS. The paper only serves one purpose and thats a toilet for my aunts dog.
    Nice pictures. Texas is a great state to visit! Lots to see.

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