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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, August 2 2002 

First vacation as an adult, 2

After that meeting and spontaneous inclusion of Clem in our new "posse," Stub, Clem, and I hung together virtually daily from then until the first of us moved away. I believe it was I who was first, taking the job described a couple of weeks ago in the Jonal, in Collingswood and Cape May, New Jersey. But Stub also moved to New Jersey after a couple years, to the northern part of the state.

After I acquired my first new car, a '62 Ford Fairlane, we took trips constantly, normally sleeping in the car, which had reclining front seats. I gathered pillows and cushions from my folks' house to fill in the spaces and make the car interior more comfortable. At that time, the State of North Carolina was promoting tourism, and it wasn't long after I had read the Thomas Wolfe novel, Look Homeward Angel, which is set in his home town, Asheville. Also, at the Journal office, I was receiving press releases promoting the Caverns of Luray, Virginia, and I'd always wanted to tour caverns. I don't remember whether they just sent complimentary tickets or I asked for some, but that was arranged for the three of us. Our first major stop on the first major real vacation of my independent life was there. I greatly enjoyed my first tour of caverns.

The second day we drove down the slow-moving Skyline Drive that crosses western Virginia into the northwest quadrant of North Carolina, and Asheville. We spent our second night there and I recall we managed to get showers at the local Y the next morning, after sleeping in the car. We visited the famous mansions (the Vanderbilts are/were the most famous filty rich denisons of Asheville by way of New York) and the graves of Wolfe and O. Henry and probably others.

Then, as the radio commercials were touting, it was "from the mountains to the sea," as we drove east for the next couple of days, visiting Winston Salem, Raleigh, and Durham, home of Duke University, the most beautiful campus I'd ever seen. And eventually to Kitty Hawk and our most remote point from home, Cape Fear. The most "foreign" experience for us was driving through the tobacco and cotton fields of North Carolina, seeing the farm workers in the fields for the first time in our lives (not that we'd never seen farm workers in Pennsylvania or even spent some time doing it ourselves...but this was major multinational industry/agribusiness and it clearly showed vestiges of the Old South there in the heart of what was then being hailed as the New South). And none of us had seen tobacco or cotton as field crops before.

Then it was north, closer to the east coast, mostly via US Route 1, through Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware to New Jersey. Stub had worked in Wildwood with Dick Millward for the previous summer, and was keen on introducing it to us, who had also been primed by Bobby Rydell's popular song, "Wildwood Days." And Wildwood is only about six miles from Cape May, where I was already sending offering checks to support the development of my favorite Bible Conference, and that was pretty much the pilgrimage destination for me. We slept next to the beach in an unmetered parking space on the edge of Wildwood, and that was the only place that we were rousted by the police the next morning. But even there we got only a warning not to do it again.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things my mother taught me (series)

—"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning!"

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

We must learn to love goodness until we can drink death like water.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Sent by Bud Macfarlane, Catholicity

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