Thirty four years ago this month…amazing. I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.


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In June 1981 my wife and I and our 4 month old baby boy went on a cross country camping trip to California and back. I had just completed medical school and we were living off student loans and Karen’s teacher’s salary.

She was breast feeding and we pulled a Coleman pop up camper  with a two door 1.2 liter Toyota Corolla sedan with no air conditioning the entire trip without a mechanical hitch. She nor I had been any further west than Alabama. (My home town LaGrange, Georgia is on the Georgia-Alabama line.)  I remember crossing the Rockies with ease albeit at a slower speed than the other cars.

We spent the majority of one night in a Oklahoma state park restroom because of a tornado and my wife, I contend, was almost killed by investigating domestic violence with our son in her arms at a Motel 6 in Oakland, California.

In the picture you see the camper, the baby, my wife with a roller in her hair, the orange Sears propane gas grill and a fire, probably in a park in California.

The Grand Canyon was indeed grand, the air balloons at Red Rock fascinating, snow in Colorado scary, San Francisco and Fisherman’s “Dwarf” very cool,  the drive along the California coast gorgeous and Yosemite to vast to comprehend.

What I remember most while driving back home on I-20 outside of Augusta and listening to a tape of Bob James’ Touchdown, is how the trees on each side of the expressway seemed be closing in on us.

Today is Karen’s 60th birthday.

One Reply to “Thirty four years ago this month…amazing. I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

  1. You may not have any idea how much positive influence has come to many of your followers from your book, from your blog, and from your status updates. Thank you for all this over the years. It is much appreciated. Wayne Harrigan (writing from Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada)

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