November 22, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Travel Day

Today was a long day, but it ended with an excellent pint, a solid cheeseburger, and family time in our rented cabin. After celebrating an early Thanksgiving with Henry’s class, we loaded in the car and headed north. It was the first time we had been in a Montessori classroom since before the pandemic began. This time, it was not only full of the primary kids, but all the parents. They prepared a light buffet lunch, and we got to observe the kids being kids. His class is pretty diverse—yes, mostly white kids, but there’s a mixture of African-American and Korean children, too. And the best part is that Henry seems to be friends with everyone. Yes, he has his closer friends, but he knows and interacts with everyone. I still feel a bit elitist sending Henry to a private school, but education is so important. Especially today.

The drive up was long, but pretty uneventful. We stopped once for fuel in Baldwin, GA, north of Athens, and drove the rest of the way, over the mountains, and into Pigeon Forge. And what a contrast to this morning: this place really is a white mecca of reich-wing homogeneity where Jeebus is Lord, the ’Rump banners fly proudly, and the corporation is king. It’s always been that way, and driving over the mountain is about as pleasant as sitting in traffic. Of course, we joined in a parade with the lead truck doing about 30 and no way to pass. By the time we got over the mountain, he had collected at least twenty cars. Folks, if you see a collection of cars behind you, use one of the convenient pull-offs to let them pass, then you can continue on your slow-ass drive. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

Calhoun’s was the penultimate stop. We had a great dinner, and I had a couple of beers—well deserved—and their Kick-Back Burger. After, our cabin was a five-minute drive. We unpacked and got comfortable before getting to bed. The next morning, I was greeted with a lovely view from the back deck.