A rainy night in Georgia

KNOXVILLE, TENN. — On the I-75 out of Atlanta and into Tennessee … trucks, trucks everywhere and not a cop in sight. Don’t do less than 85, or you’ll get run over. No wonder the stereotypical trucker is a southerner; half the people down here own a big rig.

And when people aren’t putting the hammer down, they’re eating. I’ve seen fewer sparrows in San Juan Capistrano than I’ve seen of restuarants around here. Knoxville is a literal smorgaboard of culinary treats — good old southern fixin’s, BBQ (of course), Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese … I don’t think I’ve seen a sushi bar yet, I’m sure there must be at least one in this town. Chow is Knoxvillian for “something to do.”

If people aren’t eating, they’re going to church.  And they like big churches. Full blown campuses cover acres. About 30 miles outside of Knoxville is the biggest cross I’ve ever seen. Fully illuminated and whiter than Julia Roberts’ teeth.

But you know you’re back in civilization when the hostess asks you, “Smoking or non-smoking.” God, how I’ve missed that question.  After I finish this bit of Kinkosblogging (Yes, Instaville is progressive enough to have a Kinko’s (five of them in fact), I’m going to hunt down a bar and have a cigar.  Well, let me rephrase that — I haven’t seen a bar yet in this town.  I hope to find one.  There are lots of bar/restaurant type places, and huge liquor store down the road, but I haven’t seen a good neighborhood bar — the kind of place Bukowski would call home, the kind of place you see on every corner in Los Angeles, and every other corner in Ventura or San Diego.

And why did I fly into Atlanta and rent a car and drive to Knoxville?  Because my original connection to Nashville was canceled and there was nothing else available until late at night, and nothing available directly to Knoxvegas. My best bet was to fly into Atlanta. What I didn’t count on what the difficulty in renting a one-way car this holiday weekend.  That kept me in Turner Town about an hour longer than I would have liked.

Dinner on the road last night — my first meal at a Cracker Barrel.  Um, good.  In fact, good meals all the way around here so far. Even Senor Taco wasn’t half bad (good tortilla chips, even though no salsa).  If all the food here is as good, I see why people eat out so much.

Meetings all day to day. Meetings all day tomorrow. There’s a good chance I won’t have a chance to post again until Monday.  But we’ll see.

(P.S. Please excuse typoes and spelling errors. I accept full responsiblity, but I’m not proof reading or spell checking — Kinko’s does charge by the minute. Pictures, I hope, if I get time to take some Saturday, when I return home.)

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