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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Almost home

Our travellin' pal Jack posts from the mountains high above Flagstaff, Arizona:

This will be the final installment of Road Notes. It has been a joy interacting with you, sometimes in front of everyone else, mostly privately, on all manner of topics. But I confess a touch of concern about the pessimism some of you express about our collective future. Some think Obama is driving the country into a black hole of debt-financed big government. Some think the nasty Republicans are the problem. Others think China will soon eat us alive. I disagree with all of that. But then, maybe I'm influenced by recently having read the Federalist Papers while driving around this muscular, limitless, incomparable land for six weeks. Or maybe I'm influenced by watching energetic young people do deals around tables eagerly waited on by other energetic young people; witnessing our independent judiciary in action; observing tourists from Asia and Europe swoon over our natural and man-made monuments; reading local newspapers spew their freewheeling criticism of both liberals and conservatives; listening to strangers openly discuss trivial and not-so-trivial issues over breakfast; seeing huge billboards attacking our sitting government without a thought of reprisal; driving down the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway in the rain; seeing thousands of lawn signs touting John or Mary for supervisor, alderman, judge, coroner, US Senator; meeting people deeply positive about their home towns of Amarillo, Salt Lake City, Woolwine VA, Nyack NY, Boston, on and on; learning a bit about curing bacon, growing apples, blowing glass, and surviving hurricanes (Vicksburg MS), tornadoes (here in Flagstaff AZ), floods (Cedar Rapids IA), and race riots (Selma AL); noting the overwhelming support for our troops overseas.

Or maybe I'm influenced by getting up very early this morning for the 49th Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, seeing thousands of smiling faces from all over the planet looking up at hundreds of colorful hot air balloons soaring into the October dawn. What a kick. I have never seen a deeper blue than the October sky in northern New Mexico. So maybe I am cockeyed or insufficiently cynical, but I suspect that what B. and I experienced over the past six weeks would soften even the crankiest curmudgeon. I come away from this trip absolutely convinced that we will find a way through our current crop of crises and soar into the blue sky. I also believe that pigs can fly. (See picture.)

Comments (2)

Jack's a hellova writer and obviously a thinker. I'm sorry his traveling posts are ending. Please consider asking him to write an occasional commentary of his take on various situations in our state. I would be particularly interested in his--and yours as well,
Mr. Bogdanski--reaction to Steve Duin's recent "underachiever" column.

Steve Duin's recent"underachiever"column.

He hit one right out of the ballpark(now a MLS stadium) with that one.

Best line:

“In this idyllic backwater of complacent mediocrity, you[Greg Oden]fit right in”.

Am sure that this especially stung the few among Portland’s tiresomely smug bourgeois bohemian community that still actually read the Big O.

Here’s one of their(our beloved Bobos) most cherished conceits: Portland is/has a “world-class”(fill in the blank). Come off it!- nothing about this town is, was, or ever will be world-class(and it’s not even particularly “weird”-it’s weird like a dish of vanilla ice cream).

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