Though Western America is now a Happy Meal collection of fast food franchises and big box stores there is still a lot of heart to be found in the Heartland if you know where to look.
You look in small towns away from major cities and highways, in out of the way places where ordinary people live extraordinary lives.
You look by just wanting to find American treasures of passion and goodness boiled down to old fashioned common sense in very uncommon people. And by not being in a hurry to get where you’re going. So much the better if you’re not going anywhere in particular.
My friend, Chuck Woodbury, has lived the life of a motor home vagabond for nigh on to 40 years and has managed to earn a living and buy gas writing about his adventures, the oddball places he has discovered and the people he has met. Inevitably, all of Chuck’s stories are wonderful in their uniqueness and astonishing in their consistency.
Americans everywhere are all the same. When you peel off the layers of anxiety, necessity and pretense we all just want to enjoy our lives with our families, our friends, and most importantly, ourselves.
My father, Don Williams, surely wasn’t the first person who ever said this but he was the first who said it to me:
“Until you learn to know and love yourself, you’ll never be worth a damn to anybody else.”
Like Dad, I found myself on the road.
Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal can be found and enjoyed here: http://roadsidejournal.rvtravel.com/