I’m writing to you from the heart of the nation, now. Our respiratory experiment, on the Gulf coast, is finished. And I know the high level of humidity, there, was not the solution. So, after leaving the arid climate of Colorado (which was very difficult because it’s my favorite place) and the humid southeast, we hope the “baby bear porridge” of Kansas will be “just right.” I’ll let you know as time goes by.
But there’s one great thing I can say about the heart of the nation, so far.
It sure reminds me of something I wrote a few years ago. It was a recollection of a country where I used to live, play, work, and dream. I’m gonna share that full article with you now. See if you can relate.
“Long before I ever had even a notion of writing or singing for a living I remember my brother and me traveling with our grandparents through the backroads of a country called America. And I remember our parents taking us for excursions through sections of it called Kansas, and Oklahoma, and Texas. Here are a few more things I think of when I remember America and the good times I had there.
I remember America being a lot like my family.
The local people spoke English like us. They had different accents, but we could understand every word. In fact, when we’d stop for something to eat, the waitress (yeah, that’s what they called servers back then) sounded American. Our whole family marveled at the coincidence. And when Dad would stop at a gas station, a friendly guy would come out, pump gas into the car and ask if we needed the oil checked or windshield cleaned. Most times with a smile on his face.
I always wondered what made those guys so happy.
When we’d drive down the interstates (which were nice roads), Grandmother would challenge us to read the road signs. It wasn’t all that difficult, though, because they were in English. But they zipped by pretty fast…that was the challenge. The roads were smooth, and trash was almost non-existent. And we never saw graffiti…not even on train cars. I know. Hard to imagine. But it’s true.
I remember America had a lot of friendly people.
So many people would smile and say hello when I’d walk with my Grandmother to the grocery store. The local natives would punch in the totals on clunky cash registers, and some guy would put all the groceries in brown paper bags. It was like they didn’t have a clue how inefficient and wasteful that was. They’d just smile and talk and ask about the family, and it took much longer than a kid could stand.
And I remember America seemed to settle down quite a bit each evening.
They had the oddest forms of evening entertainment, too. Sometimes the grownups would sit around in lawn chairs telling stories while someone churned out something called homemade ice cream. Or they’d split open a large, red fruit…I think they called it a watermelon. And everyone would eat and talk until well after dark.
There were no special TV shows or channels of music for kids so guess what they did while the grownups talked. Chase fireflies and put them in a jar. Can you imagine? No one seemed to realize or care how every life (even a bug) is equally valuable.
And those poor folks back then didn’t have all the great ways to make a quick buck. Like:
- Legalized abortion,
- legalized pornography,
- ubiquitous pharmaceuticals,
- marijuana dispensaries,
- divorce lawyers,
- serial killers and terrorists selling their stories to movie producers, or
- should I continue?
All in all America was a nice country to visit.
Even though it was a dorky family-friendly environment filled with bumpkins and simpletons (especially those in the heart of the nation) I’d certainly go back for an extended visit.
If I could just find the way. I guess it’s like the yellow brick road. Just start out. And head across…
Drive the flats and see the billboard message
Showing you the way is always clear.
Pay attention to the heartfelt message
Because your last day could soon be here.
Before you go, share this link with everybody you know. Tell ’em to jump on the Rhyme and Reason Bandwagon AND get some music and other fun stuff, for Fa-Ree.