Friday, August 19, 2016

The Long And Winding Road

19th August 2016

Because my local school in Scotland stopped short of the final two years of high school, I had to live and study thirty miles from home in the largest town in the area, Oban. The bus that took us country bumpkins into the metropolis had a tape player but a very few tapes. One of these was by Paul McCartney, and often the song, "The Long and Winding Road," would be playing as we went home on a Friday evening along a long and very winding road. (McCartney actually owned a farm not that far away, so it may indeed have been this very road he was thinking of!)

I am on a road trip to New York City right now along a different winding road. If you Google, "Things to see along Interstate 80" the general consensus is Nothing.

If I were on another highway,  I could be enticed by signs for retail ventures such as Wall Drug, or  South Of The Border, one sign just about every mile for hundreds of miles, bewitching you into thinking you really ought to get off this long road and pay the place a visit. Of course, feeling somewhat cheapened, that's exactly what you do.

I would stop at Indian remains, but they have been co-opted into memorials to the glory of the pioneers. I went to one in Utah run by little old white ladies in which were posted glowing testimonials from Native Americans who had been removed as children to government boarding schools and there given Christian names like Earl in place of their lovely Running-Water type names. Reading these endorsements was like watching a promotional video for Isis with a Western hostage at knife-point calling out Allahu Akba!
Along the mid-section of this road, there's plenty of shrines to white Americans and the forts that kept them safe and sanctified. I stopped at one to Buffalo Bill whose claim to fame was having slaughtered almost five thousand buffalo in eight months (hence the name.) Thanks, Bill.
So, pedal to the metal, eyes to the front, mile after mile, state after state, as in life, so on the road, the trick is to keep on trucking.

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