Monday, 18 June 2007

"Where seldom is heard a discouraging word..." 291 Miles

I lit outta Dodge at high noon just after the scheduled gunfight and continued heading east.

Still a lot of Kansas to go. Mile after mile of the Great Plains with nothing to catch the eye apart from the roadside advertising hoardings.

Cheery messages such as "Smile, your Mom chose Life" or "A baby's heart is beating 24 days after conception."

I then came upon a large crucifix with a foetus where Jesus would have been. Underneath, a banner read: "America's Holocaust - 55 million abortions."

To leaven things in between the ads for mundane stuff like cars, clairvoyants and propane products were "improving" religious tracts or, as it was nearly Fathers Day (something taken very seriously over here - by the way, I love you Dad), were exhortations such as: "As a father it is your duty to teach your children God's law".

I turned on the radio and a talk show host had a woman on the phone and throughout the conversation they referred to a Witchita based doctor who specialised in terminations as: "Tiller the killer". Free speech is enshrined in the first amendment of the U.S. constitution; I just wonder what it must be like living in a small town in the "Land of the free, home of the brave" where your opinions don't match those of your neighbours.

I passed through Greensburg where a tornado had hit a few months earlier. The devastation is total in the path of the twister, yet leaving other buildings totally untouched. The hospital is now housed in tents.

At Eureka (home to aprevious twister), I stoped at a liquor store to stock up and had this opening conversational gambit with the shopkeeper: "How you doin?".... "Er I am fine thank you. Are you well?"...."Can I weld?...what kinda question is that!!".

He was a nice man with the whitest teeth I have ever seen (something we will cover at the end of my trip in a "Mythbusters" section). A few miles later I was in a bar in Iola. A smallish town, population of around 6-7000. One radio station, a few bars and restaurants and according to the town website if I have done my maths correctly...27 churches!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex
Sounds like a Bill Bryson book........
How's the floosy count going???

Lewis Hamilton won the Indianapolis Grand Prix......Bet that you did not hear that on US Television......

\keep on truckin.....

Cheers

Les Batt

John Jarrold said...

Sounds like you're having fun, Alex! Pity you weren't in Texas to see Mike Moorcock! He'd have agreed with the Bible-belt comments...blow your horn for Jesus...so to speak...

Are you seeing New Orleans? A wonderful city...

joyce said...

Glad you are having such a good time Alex, but I am looking forward to your return to the best time of the day. It is not the same without you......

Andrew said...

Sounds like you are well on your way to finding small town america! Good for you!

judithollows said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
copter doctor said...

Just checked your map(well, found actually, BBC did a good job of hiding it). Moderator will probably exclude this on the basis of that comment!

Anyway, bloody long road you're travellin', and yes, I reckon you're a motorised Bill Bryson too. Keep up the reports, the 'fan club', including me, are hanging on your every whimsical observation.

I still reckon you should have gone to Delbert country tho - lol
(Mine's a Sam Adams, BTW)
CW

Anonymous said...

"How you doin?".... "Er I am fine thank you. Are you well?"...."Can I weld?...what kinda question is that!!".

Don't they understand a Black Country accent then? *tut*

A London Connection said...

Well said, Joyce.

Anonymous said...

Ros. Take care and come home safely. We miss you