We decided to visit my wife’s brother,
to surprise him for his 65th birthday.
Since he lives in Hertford, North Carolina
and our cars have high miles on them,
we thought it best to rent a car from Avis.
When we came to pick up the rental car,
they said the Kia sedan needed washing.
Instead, we would have to settle for a smaller car.
It was a new red Mustang convertible
that was available for the same price.
I replied, “I guess that will be alright.”
Once we drove off of the rental lot,
my wife and I burst out laughing
and quickly put down the top.
We got stuck in traffic in the DC outer belt.
Drivers didn’t use their turn signals at all
as they entered the road and crossed three lanes.
In Virginia, we noted an unusual hardware sign
it said get fresh veggies and your pool water tested here.
We saw another one stop shopping store.
They sell guitars and guns.
You could get either one that strikes your chord.
Or, pick up both some amps and ammo.
Virginia is for lovers and fresh peanuts.
They even sell those terrible boiled ones.
A sign declared North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola.
Oddly enough, every diner served fountain Coke not Pepsi.
You can get ice tea as long as it’s sweetened
with enough sugar in it to bake a cake.
Tobacco is the North Carolina state vegetable.
There are tons of different kinds of churches everywhere.
I was puzzled by a sign declaring that Catholic Church masses
would be held at the nearby First Methodist church.
I have no idea if the pope knows about this.
In the south families are very tight.
It’s easy to visit your great-grandparents,
grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles.
That’s because they reside 100 ft from your house
nested all together in the family cemetery.
In the south no one asks if you have crazy people in your family.
They just ask which side of the family they are on.
We noted that Southerners back into parking spots.
They seem to be very directionally challenged
as they back up several times before completing their task
We traveled many miles on remote back roads,
getting lost as there was no cell phone connections
for our Mustang’s built in GPS to pick up.
Like up north we saw hundreds of Dollar Stores.
I noted that none were called, “Confederate Dollar Stores.”
Actually, we had to wait until Ohio
before we saw a Confederate flag.
I never saw a Trump sign or bumper sticker,
until we arrived back in Pennsylvania.
That doesn’t mean that Southern states
aren’t struggling with their history of slavery.
Fredericksburg, Virginia is facing such an issue.
The city council is considering removing
a former sandstone slave auction block.
It’s a heavy fixed structure that historic preservationists
say could be damaged if it were moved elsewhere.
Some residents want it removed as it’s a painful reminder
of the ugly history of the town and the South.
Other citizens want it to remain as a tangible reminder
for the public to be able to reflect
on the city’s painful history.
I am glad to see some in the South
wrestling with the sins of the past,
in an effort to make a better future.
All in all a great summer trip.
Returning that convertible was the
low point of the whole vacation.
The Gun Club: “Mother Earth”
“With age, comes wisdom. With travel, comes understanding.” – Sandra Lake