KING COLUMN: Backroads, bargains, beauty, beings and Floyd

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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One of the wonderful inventions during my lifetime Is the interstate-highway system. It is a quick and easy way to get from point A to point B, unless there is a pile-up on the highway. Then we begin searching for an alternate route on backroads. Sometimes, I prefer to start out on one of those alternate backroad routes. After all, often, there is not much to see on an interstate except mile-after-mile of boring highway.

Last week, I wrote about traveling down The World’s Longest Yard Sale. I used up my weekly-word count as I talked about the states we traveled through and the stuff we saw and bought. The stuff was secondary to the sights along the road and the people we met. I’m talking about real people. The yard sale route was intentionally designed to get us off the interstates and on the scenic highways down through the heartland of our great country. The real beauty of this nation is not always seen from the interstates, but on the off-the-beaten-path of the back roads. The World’s Longest Yard Sale is not allowed alongside the interstates. U.S. Highway 127, took us through towns that have been forgotten by many.

One of things I enjoyed most about traveling down the highway of the yard sale was the people we met. Have you ever noticed that no one lives on an interstate? It’s illegal. But when we get on those lonely little backroad highways and streets, well, we discover they really aren’t lonely at all. That’s where the people are … that’s where the real people live. When we slowed down enough to examine what they were hawking, we got to hear their stories. They told about the things they had for sale, how they were used, and how their parents and grandparents had taught them to use them. I could see the twinkle in their eyes as they shared those stories about long-gone days and sometimes long-gone loved ones. I realized that while the loved ones may be gone, for many, the love was not.

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We also met Floyd. Floyd didn’t seem to care much for me, but he sure took a liking to Jean. I could understand because I took a liking to her a long time ago, and I still think she something special. I could have been jealous or had my feelings hurt, but I wasn’t, and I didn’t. Most dogs take a liking to me right off the bat, but Floyd’s human said Floyd didn’t like my cap. I’m not sure what kind of dog Floyd was, other than the kind that loved to be petted by pretty ladies. Floyd wasn’t for sale, but had he been, I think he might have gone home with us … at least with Jean.