Friday, January 27, 2012

Road Trips, Pink Houses..and Ultrarunning


[photo by Gary]

Made a road trip last week to Georgia and back over 2 days, some 650 miles each way.  More later on the reason for the trip (it’s all good) but what I wanted to post about was some road tripping observations.

1.  Pink House.  Photo above is of the old pink marble home of the company president of the quarry I went to.  Of course, the Mellencamp song applies (here, clip from Farm Aid 2008, in case the embed does not work):




2.  Crosses, big and small.  I saw several huge Christian crosses at churches, a couple of which were identical.  So I guess there’s now a company somewhere whose niche this is.  Oh, and I pronounce it “nitch,” not “neesh” like the talking heads on the radio do.  And tons--too many--of small crosses where people were killed in traffic accidents.

A friend of mine lost his daughter in an auto accident, and in a quiet moment I asked him whether he was drawn to the spot of her death.  He said no, it had no special draw for him...but he did like to go to the cemetery and talk to his daughter at her grave.  He told me this softly, but not apologetically or sheepishly. 

I don’t know what I’d do.  I get the idea of the roadside cross, and I get the cemetery thing as well.  Both do not compute on a purely scientific basis, but whatever helps you get thru the loss of a loved one is a good thing—I’m not going to judge, as I’ve not walked in those shoes.

Lots of good music.  The most coincidental was probably the John Mellencamp tune above, which actually played shortly before I saw and photographed the real pink marble house.  Also in the truck's console I found an old compilation cassette tape, a birthday gift to me from by buddy Don, way back in 1984.
That's 28 years ago!  And it still played!  Of all the mixed tunes on the tape, the one I particularly loved all over again was Rosalita by Bruce Springsteen, (here in case embed fails):



The Boss sure gets cooking in this tune!  And does anyone else also think that his style is very reminiscent of Van Morrison?...or maybe it's the reverse?

At any rate, I love road trips, and this was a wonderful journey.  My Dad was an over-the-road trucker back in the 1950s, and a proud member of the Teamster's union.  I like to joke that I inherited what I affectionately refer to as the "Teamster gene."

Maybe that's what compels me to run vast distances on foot?

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