Monday, October 27, 2008

The whole crazy ride

So I'm sitting here by the fire, watching a presidential biography on TV, thinking about life.

More specifically, I'm thinking about the last 10 years, and its crazy twists and turns.

Went out to Halls historian Hubert LaRue's house this afternoon to look at old pictures with David Sharp for an article he's writing. Saw one photo of Black Oak Ridge from years ago. Where car dealerships and gas stations sit today was once sheer wilderness. Maynardville Pike was a two-lane gravel road.

On the way back to the office, David told me stories about growing up. His family's farm sat where the Halls Plaza shopping center is today. David said his dad would lay $2 on the table for him to take on dates. If it didn't show up one day, he never said a word. David said he eventually had to take a job in addition to working the farm in order to make the $5 or $6 he needed to take a girl out on the town and put some gas in the car.

I felt glad to be where I am today.

Around suppertime, I headed town to UT to grab a burger with some favorite UT profs, Steve Ash, Lorri Glover and Bruce Wheeler. We talked politics and books, movies and music. I thought back to the guy I used to be, and how I figured then that I'd grow up one day to be just like my history department heroes.

After dinner, I drove down to McKay's to browse books. Bought John Updike's memoirs, a Hemingway biography I've never come across before and an examination of Reagan's second term. Didn't linger though -- it was getting chilly and a warm drink by the fire was sounding better and better.

So I drove home, thought about history and growing up in Halls. Somehow, I thought, as the light began to dim on a Monday, the whole crazy ride seems to make sense.

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