On the Road: Looking at America Through a Layer of Filth, Grime and Bug Guts

Good Ol' Cooper

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday morning came with a phone call from my wife. She had taken our cat, Cooper, to the Vet. She had found him on the carport that morning, very lethargic and weak. She didn’t know what was wrong with ol’ Cooper and was waiting for a call from the Animal Hospital. With a cloud of worry hanging over me, my brother and I started the second day of the trip.

Mom made breakfast and we ate. During the meal, Dad presented me with some traveling money and a bible. My dad’s no slouch, I didn’t have to look at the back of this bible and make sure it was a Hallmark™. This bible had both the new and the old testaments, not just one testament like those green or red bibles the Gideons hand out. It was also a King James Version(KJV) -- one of my favorites. Some may argue the KJV is not the best translation of the Bible, because it is hard to understand and it's not as faithful to the original as it could be, however if you are going to quote the bible then you can’t beat the way the KJV sounds. At least this bible isn’t one of those new Michael Crichton or John Grisham translations, or one of those bibles with all the juicy bits chopped out. I know we should protect kids from violence, but when I read the new “Children’s Bible” by Random House, the story of the crucifixion lost a lot of it's impact when Pilot hit Jesus in the face with a coconut cream pie, poked him in the eyes and said, “Wiseguy, eh?”
Author’s note: You have just witnessed a tangent. I will use them frequently, so get use to it. Tangents are great. I remember my first tangent when I was 8. I loved that tangent. I used that thing everyday, until I broke it two days later. Boy, was it a beauty. These days I have a full closet of tangents. I'm using one of them now. Did you know that? It’s sitting right here in front of you. You're reading it now. See how sly they are? That’s why I love them.
I insisted that Dad and Mom sign the “presented to” page and date my new bible. We finished breakfast and got ready to hit the road. My family made final hugs, kisses and goodbyes and by 10 am, Wendell and I were on the road heading west. Our destination for the night was the geographic center of Tennessee -- Murfreesboro.

Murfreesboro is the home of the appropriately named Middle Tennessee State University and Baron Black, one of my three brothers. Since the trip was relatively short that day, Wendell and I decided to head for the back roads and take our time. We wanted to cut a trail through the Smoky Mountains over to Knoxville, Tenn. and see the sights the mountains had to offer.

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