Hasty Ruminations

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Today On The Road

. The Ozarks

We're making great progress.

We left Vacaville CA on Wednesday, and went through Nevada and Utah to Denver. Next time, I will avoid I-70 in Colorado - too many 7% grades, which are very hard on the truck and trailer. From Denver, we came East to stay in Abilene, Kansas, on Saturday night. Home of Dwight Eisenhower and his presidential library and museum. Since I toured Truman's presidential library in 2004, I toured Ike's on Sunday after Mass (across the street). The church, St. Andrew's, was built in 1916. I mentioned to one of the regular elderly ladies that Ike probably watched it being built. He was a cadet at West Point from June 1911 to 1915, and he married Mamie Doud of Denver in 1916. So they were certainly in town part of the time it was being built. She said that he didn't mention it to her. (No, no... just kidding.)

On Sunday, we drove through Kansas City, Missouri, where I consulted a couple of years ago. At that point, the prospect of pressing north and east through Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in March just didn't appeal to me, so we dropped south to Joplin, Missouri. This town was the site of a Bonnie and Clyde shoutout with the sheriff.

I plan to explore Branson, MO, on Monday. It is a country music and show resort in southern Missouri, in the Missouri Ozarks on the Arkansas border. It's the off season, but maybe a show will be open and Lacy and I can put on our Hee Haw duds and dosie doe with Dolly Parton (in my dreams!). Anyway, from there to home in North Carolina is a more weather friendly trip through Memphis and Atlanta.

Thoughts while I am here:

  • It's nice that the gay cowboy artsy Brokeback film didn't get the Best Movie Oscar. I'm tired of apologizing for American cult-chur.
  • I drove through Arapahoe Basin west of Denver a couple of days ago. In 1972, my new bride and I drove to a ski resort there. Both amateurs, we used the bunny slopes at 12,000 feet while she (unbeknownst to us) was pregnant with our #1 son. No problems. Holiday Inn retired our room, since they couldn't get the smell of linament out of it. I called her Friday to let her know I was thinking of her.
  • Some people use no sense when driving around a big truck and trailer rig like mine. A four ton 25 foot truck with an eight ton 35 foot trailer doesn't turn on a dime, or stop in five feet.
  • The diesel fuel for this trip is expensive, but it still feels good when I pay only $25 or so for nightly accomodations!
  • New phone policy: I will call once and leave a message. No more multiple calls from me. I left a message for one member of my family, and three days later I called again. This time I got through, only to find out that they were "entertaining" and could I call back in a few days? Well, no. A son has not replied to two messages spanning a week. Fuggedaboudit.
  • Lacy got a bath Sunday morning. Wow, what a difference! It's nice to have such a large shower in the trailer. Even though the fifth wheel is crammed with all of my consulting stuff, there's still enough elbow room to wash and dry her properly. It's a three towel event, and while it's messy, the results are worth all of the bother!
  • The small, old Catholic church in Abilene was full on Sunday morning. Many families with young children - something the church in Vacaville didn't seem to have. Folks there left the kids at home. In Abilene, a quaint old cattle town, church was filled with noise from the babies and the young children. I spent some time with hands poised to catch a rambunctious two year old in the pew in front of me. After Mass, the young mother and her eight year old daughter retrieved the two year old son with a look of exhaustion and relief. I told her that one thing about being pro-life is that it means we also must like kid noise! She was so happy with my comment that I invited her to bring the kids to the truck to meet Lacy, which they did.
  • At the Eisenhower museum, I bought two of his books: The European Crusade (about WWII and D-Day), and At Ease: Stories I Tell Friends (a memoir). I will put my thoughts on them up here soon. The biggest mistake the U.S. Naval Academy made in the early 1900's was to turn down Dwight Eisenhower because he was already age 21, and make him go to West Point instead.
  • I should have bought this bumper sticker at the Eisenhower museum: "I miss Ike. Hell, I even miss Harry!"
  • I may recommend The European Crusade book to our potential A-rab adversaries in and around the Gulf. They get all ji-haddy when we mention the Crusades. Maybe they should study how it takes Americans a long, long time to get all worked up over foreign agression; but when we do, it's like the line in "Tora, Tora, Tora": all the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor was to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve. The Marines have a new slogan I like: "Travel Agents to Allah."


  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger kenju said…

    I enjoy the "on the road" stories, Greg Sorry your phone calls are not responded to - maybe eventually they will realize they did wrong.

  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger brendalove@gmail.com said…

    Phone calls not returned: welcome to my world....

    How did Miss Lacy ENJOY her bath?

  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger Greg Finnegan said…

    Kenju, I hope so. Everyone gets busy, but... And I don't want to nag, so I won't say anything.

    Brenda, Lacy really enjoys her bath! A couple of years ago, she was nervous, but now, I run the water and I call her, saying, "Time for your bath". She comes to the bathroom, head down a little bit, maybe a little nervous. But she goes right into the water without any coaxing or touching on my part; and she stands there quietly waiting for the soaping and the rubbing. I use Johnson's Baby Shampoo - you know, no more tears. And, she smells like one of my kids 25 years ago! It takes a long, long time to get all of the soap out. Afterwards, she is typically energized, jumping up and down, and definitely not ready for a nap. I, on the other hand, am exhausted! It's an especially good soap for inside her ears, which get very oily and filthy.


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