Morningtime. I am bound for Savannah, riding in our little white utility van. My wife is driving, and I am in the passenger seat writing to you.
We are flying past farmland and cattle, occasionally stopping at side-of-the-road veggie stands, or filling stations, trotting inside to conduct a thorough inspection of the commodes.
On top our dashboard sits a stack of classic country CDs, teetering like a famous tower in Pisa. There are maybe forty separate albums from the golden days of Nashville twang and fringe. Everything from Ernest, to Acuff, to Loretta, to Willie. The old highway hums beneath my tires as Tammy Wynette reminds her listeners to stand by their male counterparts.
Funny. These CDs used to belong to my mother-in-law. They were her prized album collection. After she passed a few months ago, we were sorting through her belongings when I came across all her beloved LPs, forty-fives, cassettes, eight-tracks, and CDs. Nobody wanted them so I confiscated the lot. She would have wanted it this way. We shared
an impeccable taste in music.
Anyway, this morning it’s almost hard to believe that my wife and I are on the road again. We used to go on the road all the time. We used to live on these old highways.
Such is the life of a hack writer.
People are always asking you to speak at events after you write a few books. Usually, it’s Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis meetings, church groups, or the chair yoga class senior at the citizen’s center.
We did it all. No speaking gig was off-limits. No journey was too far. My wife and I visited almost every state in the Union in our little secondhand Labcorp van. We’d wake up in some no-name Montgomery hotel, eat a meager breakfast of Pop Tarts, whereupon I’d deliver a speech in a conference room to a bunch of people playing on phones.
After which, we’d…