Now, before we go any further we have to talk. Those of you who have read the diaries in the past know that I am not a writer, speller or grammerist. I write these at the end of long days on the road and do proof read them once. I do miss things, you bet. I like to have these delivered to the reader in real time, because in the past, if they weren't on some peoples' computers by morning, I would get emails and phone calls from around the world, saying "why haven't I got an update". However, in order to upgrade the quality of the posts now that anyone can read them, instead of just friends, I have hired an editor. The post will still be out as soon as I can get it written and will be edited the following day. So, if bad writing bothers you, wait until the following day to read. Not to worry about the cost of the editor, as my friend Vicki Bennett is going to pay big time.
Back on the road.....
We crossed into Mobile and went in to the first tunnel ever on the scooter. The road surface was old lumpy concrete and I was glad to be through it. If there is a nice part of Mobile we did not see it. I was in need of a "Gucci" coffee but all I saw were lots of fast food joints. On one avenue there must have been 5 hospitals and not a single coffee shop. How does the medical staff survive. We followed US-98 into Mississippi where it turned into a nice four lane highway with light traffic. When you cross into Mississippi the first and only store for the next 15 miles is a guns and bullet store.
I left US-98 at Lucedale and joined MS-26. I needed coffee so we pulled into Toms Restaurant on Main St. in Lucedale. Toms is the typical southern restaurant. It has what I call "the table". It is where the nobility of the town sit and hold court every morning. Don't ever sit at that table, even if no one is there. The conversation was about the oil spill and illegal immigrants. A young, loud burley guy at the table said "we should shoot a few of them as they come over the border and the word will get out and they will keep coming." The wiser, older man said "the best way is to establish a national identy check when you hire them and make the fine very high for hiring illegal workers and the word would get out and the people employing them might quit doing it". "But", he said, "that ain't going to happen." The loud guy said "they won't even hire a white boy for 8 or 9 dollars, they give them jobs to the Mexicans". "The problem" he said "is people like Larry", indicating one of the senior members of the table who had just left, "he won't hire nothing but a Mexican." I could feel the chill come over the room from were I was sitting. At the table, you can have an opinion, but no young guy ever criticizes a senior member.
the tablePaid up and hit the road again. I had changed from the orginal route along the coast in hopes of seeing more diverse scenery. It did not happen. Just more miles of timber land, like all of north Florida, southern Georgia and Alabama. The were very few people living along this road. I know that because a) there were very few houses and b) every intersection did not have a sign that said "First Freewill Holy Pentacostal Life of Jesus Reformed Bapist Church turn right". There were almost none and in the south that is rare. The most exciting event was when I came upon these fine citizens picking up litter in the middle of nowhere.
Walked down town to get a few beers for the room before the rain starts for real. Thought about a couple of these for dinner but passed.
I passed the first 600 miles and thus the $600 for one month's food for the students of the Escuela Bilingue los Algarrabos. Now I will be raising money to cover the $480 a year for the internet coverage for the next 480 miles. This has has become a wonderful tool for the students and the teachers. It goes way beyond the classroom. These young children go home and tell the parents about the internet and the parents get interested. One of the families of a young girl was interviewed for a video. When the mother was asked what she liked best about her child going to school she said "every day when she comes home she teachs me to read and write just like she learned at school today".