Drive-Thru Empire: Part 1, by Hardscrabble Farmer

Hardscrabble Farmer and his son take a road trip to look for America and don’t always like what they find. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

Last week my youngest son and I decided to take a trip to visit family in the midlands of Virginia. The intention was to convince my Aunt and Uncle to move up north to live with us, an idea we had been considering for some time now. We’d decided to make the trip an educational opportunity for our son, but it was, for me, a way to see that the decision I’d made ten years earlier to step away from the rat race had been the right one for our family.

I’d kept close tabs on the direction of our country over those passing years, but from a safe distance. There was a time when I’d lived on the roads of U.S, travelling the highways and the back roads of each state in order to make my living. I’d built a career on my ability to adjust to each region, to either speed up or slow down my delivery depending on whether I was performing in a remote location or a major urban center. I knew my way around not only the country, but the people as well.

I was aware that a decade, particularly the one we’d just come through, had wrought some changes not only on the landscape of America, but the population that inhabited it. We arranged it so that we would visit our old hometown and family in Princeton, New Jersey for the first leg of the trip and arrive in Washington D.C. on the day of the midterm elections. We had additional plans to visit some historical sites that had a family connection in order to better understand our own place in the fabric of the American experience.

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