Archive for July, 2009

LEAVING I-95 AND LOVIN’ IT!…

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

A few blogs ago I began with the title: “I-95: Love It or Leave It….”  This time I’ll forgo any waffling and suggest you leave I-95 at one particular point along the final fifty miles of southern Georgia. At exit 49,  Route 251 crosses over over I-95 and you’ll exit facing a work of shopping center art – the Preferred Outlets at Darien. Walking from the parking area along the north row of shoppes, at #255, you’ll find the Darien Chamber And Visitors Center. Therein you will find a comely young woman, Scottie Lingerfelt, a resident of Darien, GA who loves her little town with a passion. She’ll ply you with maps and directions and places to go and see in that pleasant shrimping port. Her town lies hidden on Route 17, just 2 miles east  of the Interstate down Rte. 251. And, if pressed, Scottie will steer you to one the quaintest places a traveler might ever hope to spend a night – the Sailfish Inn (which Scottie happens to own and operate). Let me tell you how I came to meet Scottie Lingerfelt. (more…)

HARD TIMES, HELL – JAMMIN’ DOWN FREMONT STREET…

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

From a 9th floor window of Binion’s Golden Horseshoe tower my gaze fell upon a crowd of thousands, swaying and dancing to the pounding beat of California Dreamin’. Down there on old Fremont Street was a stageful of everything wild and crazy: two stolid, surging rock guitarists; an off the wall drummer; an intensely cool keyboardist; the almost hidden, busy light and sound technician; and, last but not least, two wonderfully frenetic and tireless female dancer/singers lighting up the bandstand and the crowd. The vibrations penetrating my room too much to resist, I flicked off my laptop, took the elevator down to the casino level and elbowed my way through the rows of slots and gaming tables. (more…)

I-95: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT…

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

For nine years, through the fall of 1997, I’d earned a living as a long haul trucker. A month ago I took a trip to Florida in my 1987 Dodge Diplomat and quickly observed I’d lost contact with today’s Interstate Highway System and the realities of everyday life alongside it.

It’s been 53 years since President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed the Federal-Aid Highway act through Congress.  Road construction started in 1956 but was impeded by scandals, corruption and funding shortfalls. President John F. Kennedy settled a permanent 4 cent tax on every gallon of gas sold to solve the funding crisis. Lady Bird Johnson later campaigned for a Highway Beautification Act, passed in 1965, eliminating unsightly billboards and junkyards along the new freeways. Not until 1972 was the system completed – 47,000 miles of uniform 4-lane concrete roadways furthering Interstate Commerce and National Defense. The system reshaped American transportation and blew giant bubbles of prosperity through the automobile plants of Detroit and, ultimately, those of the Far East. (more…)

 

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