Plotting, planning for pre-holiday pilgrimage

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The writer of the book of James discusses planning ahead. I forget if he’s fer it or agin it.  Anyway, we need to do some pretty fast planning for a very important event coming up – the annual pre-Christmas pilgrimmage to Frontier Country.

I’m happy to announce that Ms. Sasha Fras is managing the whole thing. You need to get in touch with her right away if you plan to make this wonderful trip.

I have been helping her by securing our transportation. So far, Dr. Whoopee and Fred have volunteered their pickups for the trip.

Dr. Whoopee has promised that this time, he will be sure to have everything cleaned up. You’ll remember that last year, he had just hauled a log of hogs to market, and there was a lot of complaining about the passengers assigned to us.

They both promised that there’d be a nice carpet of hay or virgin pine needles this time.

I have scouted the possible routes to see about rest stops and such. One thing’s for sure: we’ll want to stop by the Twixt ‘n’ Tween in Centerville for the best barbecue in the state. Then there’s a place, somewhere between Prattville and Tuscaloosa, where the scrub oaks  grow, reminding me of Ft. Jackson. There is ample covering on each side of the road.

In addition to the barbecue, we will of course need a good supply of RCs and Moon Pies and potted meat and Vienna sausage and parched peanuts.

Troops, we’ll have to go through Tuscaloosa, just no way around it. All I can say is, keep as low a profile as possible and don’t make eye contact with any of the natives.

After that, we have two choices: we can take the southerly route, but that means getting over the speed bump at Gordo. Or we can take the northerly route, which means having to cross Hell’s Creek. However, our relations with the war lords there are fairly good, so that shouldn’t be too much trouble. However, don’t make any sudden moves.

By the way, a few of the more affluent trekkers have decided to fly in to Lamar International. Cousin Tom has been contacted, and he can pick them up in his pick-up.

We’ll all eat supper that first night at the Sanitary Cafe – great blue plate special, and I heartily recommend the beef stew.  After  that, you’re on your own.

Oh, we will see the department stores in my hometown. Falkner’s, Thos. S Lollar’s, Clearman’s, and the Yellow Front Store. Shop away! Get anything from a living room suite to a mule collar, from a plow point for a Chattanooga steel-beamed turning plow, to a Sunday-go-to-meeting frock. Get the best milk shake in the world at the Rexall Drug Store, or a hot dog or hamburger at Wimpu’s Place.

We’ll tour our heavy industry, the gin and associated warehouses, two blacksmith shops, Turner’s Grist Mill and the pond that also serves as the city swimming hole.

The courthouse is, of course, the seat of government in the county capitol.

The streets around it will be all lit up with criss-crossing Christmas lights, and the water tank high on the hill at the edge of town will have its huge, blue-lit cross, which can be see all the way up to Mr. Dink Reeves’ place.

As an educational side trip, we will visit our neighboring/rival town ten miles to the north.

There, you’ll get to see the Ogden gin, the Ogden oil (cotton seed) mill, Ogden’s state-of-the-art blacksmith shop, Ogden’s general store, the Ogden bank … If we’re lucky, we might get to see a Frisco train come through. Wow!

All in all, this is shaping up to be a very entertaining and educational trip.

But remember, time is running out. Get in touch with Ms. Fras right away, and … Bon Voyage.

Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note.

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