Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Atlanta and the Busted Bumpers

It should have been an easy drive into Atlanta and it was. We got into Alabama, the wildflowers and smooth pavement returned. Alabama shares a similarity with many other areas in the American South, it's closed on Mondays. We'd planned a stop in Birmingham to see the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church, pronounced ('Babatist' by most southerners)where those four young girls were blown up by that peckerwood Kluxer. That bombing was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s, turning a lot of people who had no particular commitment either way toward the slow and stumbling march toward racial equality. I was a kid then, I still remember some neighbors who, for the life of them, couldn't refer to black Americans in words used in polite company who were so revolted by that bombing that they turned against Jim Crow. Since the place was closed we bypassed Birmingham.

Alabama is strange country, red dirt and scrub pine is about all one can see from the freeway. We saw almost no farming, previous generations had, in their ignorance, cottoned the land plumb out. Hardly anything grew except those scrub pines.

We had lunch near one of the Shrines of Southern Religion, the Talladega Super-Speedway. We didn't tour the Motorsports Museum because we didn't want to leave Captain Fatbob in the car that long. It's not so hot yet that it's dangerous to leave our vicious killer attack Pug in the car but he still cries. Loudly.

We got into Georgia, the pavement is still good, the roadside wildflowers seem to be a county affair here. Cross one county line and the wildflowers are profuse, the next county just scrub weeds on the roadside, then back to the riot of springtime colors.

We got into Atlanta just in time for the rush hour traffic, in the start and stop action on the freeway I managed to space out just enough to miss the brake lights of the car in front of me. Turns out that I met a nice fellow from Indiana who was delivering an older Jeep Cherokee to his son as a graduation gift. Seems that we both need some bumper repair now. Nobody hurt but my pride took a real beating. The only damage to his car was that the brackets holding the bumper on the car got badly bent, our car, only the plastic bumper cover is a little torn up. The insurance will cover it. Oddly, Georgia still requires a police report for minor accidents, even with both drivers insured. The Clayton County Police Officers were polite and professional. I think they were relieved that nobody was yelling at each other. They weren't the stereotypical big-bellied white southern lawmen and nobody said anything like 'you in a heap o' trouble, boy'. Both Officers were black, if that matters, fairly young and in great physical shape. Good guys. It took a little longer than it might have, it takes a little longer to run wants and warrants for out of state types, still they handled that little chore as well as any department in the country. One can tell how a department's Officers will handle a big job by the way they handle the little jobs. Somehow I believe that if that guy that took Deputy Granny's gun up in Atlanta and blew away that judge and three other people had been in the Clayton County lockup instead of Fulton County it would have been a different outcome.

Fortunately neither car had broken lights, dragging parts or anything else that needs immediate attention so everyone went on their way with minimum hassle.

Today Linda Lou wants to visit the Gone With The Wind Museum, we'll fool around here today and then on to Charlotte in the morning.

Later...Atlanta doesn't seem to understand Tex-Mex food very well. I should have known better but Linda Lou wanted Mexican. We passed a big shiny soul food restaurant and a big shiny southren cookin' restaurant, but, noooo. I'm not trying anymore Tex-Mex 'til we're back home. There is supposed to be a difference betwixt Salsa and pureed tomatos.

I stayed in the room with Captain Fatbob while Linda Lou toured the Road to Tara Museum. We're going to have to put him in a doggie day-care when we go visit our money in Washington. He's just going to love that. Probably as much as he's going to love visiting a four year old and a two year old. Our poor old Pug isn't used to young children.

It's a real short drive into Charlotte, only 250 miles or so. I like to see the country but I sure miss my Select Comfort bed. I REALLY miss being on my little three house, dead-end street. I dunno how people manage to sleep, day in and day out in the noise of the city.

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