Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Back Home Again

We drove all day yesterday and some of the day before. For reasons too complicated to explain but related to Landon and me going to the convention, Judy and I were in Pennsylvania with only one car but had both our cars in Virginia. We drove to Virginia on Tuesday and home yesterday, so for our trip home we had a two-car caravan with three grandsons taking turns at each stop riding in different configurations with each of us.

Rest stops for the old man and potty breaks for the kids turned a normally twelve hour trip into about fourteen, virtually all of it on I-95.

We slowed down to a crawl as we passed a wreck. A pickup truck towing a camper had jackknifed, and the camper was on its side. There was no sign of what caused it. I'm guessing he hit his brakes, and the momentum of the camper, which has no brakes and wants to keep on truckin', pulled the camper around and over. Flashing lights, ambulances, a firetruck, two old people standing around wringing their hands, cops with clipboards, and all that. Traffic was down to one lane on the Interstate, and that lane was half road and half median. People in the moving lane didn't want to share that treasured real estate with cars trying to get over, and they seemed bent on preventing the necessary merge. There's something about being in a car that brings out the worst in people.

We hit two huge thunderstorms, one in the Carolinas and another near Daytona. I was following Judy during both storms. Several times visibility dropped to ten or twenty feet.

I've been driving and riding with Judy for 46 years. But this is the first time I've observed her from another car as she drove for fourteen hours straight, through various conditions of traffic, weather, light and darkness. When we got home, I paid her what is probably the highest compliment a man can pay to a woman about her driving. And I meant it.

I gave her a big hug and said, "You drive like a man."

She just laughed.

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