February 12, 2010


It's in full swing down here. From the first day I rolled in, its been thick in the air around us. The first couple of days we were in Mobile, we were cruising around on Dauphin St. taking in the sites. A couple doors down from the Tattoo Shop with the Gallery above it is the A&M Peanut Shop, this place has been around for more than 50 years and hasn't changed a thing when it comes to roasting and preparing their goods. While we were stopped that first day talking to Nadine, Ms. Debbie the proprietor of this fine shop brought us out some fresh roasted nuts and popcorn, and with a smile said "welcome to Mobile". Over the next couple of days while riding down town I would stop in to say hello and get her take on this great city and the Mardi Gras action that was to be going on. Every time we would sit out front the shop and chat she would bring out a little sample bag of goodies for me to munch on. One day she asked if we needed any dog food because she had just switched her dogs and had half a bag left over. She lugged out half a 30 lbs bag to give to us. I couldn't thank her enough.

Last weekend I went to the Music Box, to see The Super Nice Bros. Really fun rocking band, they have a Facebook Page so check them out. Anyway while I was taking in this great sound I started chatting with a young guy there by the name of Miles. I shared with Miles my adventure on the road and he was very interested in hearing all about it. He asked if I would be interested in a home cooked meal. Never passing up on such a thing I said 'sure thing bub'. We exchanged info and got back to rockin. A couple days later I get a call from Miles asking when would be a good day. 'Any day is a good day to eat a home cooked meal!' was my response. So we made plans for a Thursday night dinner out at his Ma and Pa house. Miles and his friend Shannon picked me up that night and drove out to 8 mile where his folks live. On the way out there Miles let me in on the menu for the evening; Chicken and Rice, Collard Greens with a pepper sauce, Black eyed Peas with a squash relish, Corned Beef Hash and homemade Biscuits!!! I was drooling like Cooper after hearing what we were about to shove in our faces!! When we arrived, my nose was filled with rich smells of good food and my eyes were filled with a sweet smile from his Mama. Mrs. Phillips had out done herself. We said our hellos and got to filling our plates. During the meal not a whole lot was said due to the fact that none of us youngens where breathing! But after our bellies where full and the table cleared we started in on a chat. I explained to Mrs. Phillips of our journey and I kept noticing her glancing over at Miles when I would say how great it is to live on the road. She noticed this and said that Miles has the same dream and idea of getting out there and living in it. But I could tell that if he were to do such a thing that she would be beside herself with worry. Just a mom being a mom. My mom was and still is the same. But me being 6 years older than Miles and me being just me she has gotten used to the idea that I can't sit still. My family really didn't agree with this whole idea of mine, I had told them about it 6 months or so before I left. They said things like; "what are you running away from? You can't just cop out on reality. There are a lot of crazy people out there." But two days after I left all I heard from all of them is "This is the greatest thing ever!! We are all behind you!!" No matter what people think you gotta do whats right for you and only you. They'll get it sooner or later. But anyway it was nice of Miles to offer up his moms good cooking to feed me and make me feel welcome. Thanks Miles and thank you very much Mrs. Phillips.

It's not just in Mobile that this Hospitality thing happens. I started to notice it once I got south of VA. Its the small things; a wave as you pass on by, a hello from a stranger, Please and Thank You is heard more, and Yes Sir/Ma'am are heard from the young ones. But it is a lot more present down here in Mobile. In everything in everyday life. You just feel good walking around this place, looking people in the eye, smiling and saying hello. I remember when I first moved to NYC and rode the subway for the first time. I sat down next to a lady and said "hello how are you?" She shot me a look of shock and asked "where are you from." I informed her "I just moved here from Iowa!" She grinned and said "lesson #1 don't say hello or even talk to anyone on the train keep to yourself!" I was blown away. It's really not that bad and have learned who to talk to on the trains but for the most part she was right. That's the Northern Mentality that you can find in NYC.

I still haven't come across any other "pedal tramps"(people who travel by way of cycling) but have come into contact with a couple that are on the road. Now I'm gonna tell you about them and give you their website but please don't throw me aside when you see what they got going on. I almost threw myself aside. These two know what they are doing in all respects of living like this. That's all I'm gonna say. Check it out for yourself. http://www.pathlesspedaled.com/ I should be meeting up with them in Texas.

And for my closing remarks I'm going to repost from April of '09. I hope you read it and know anything is possible..

I received this the other day. It makes me feel great that I have inspired someone like this. I hope I have inspired all of you in one way or another. Everyone should have an adventure no matter how big or small. You have to have love to do what you want. Go out and get it no matter what, I am.

I wanted to write and say thanks.

Back in March you were at Piper's Kilt for St. Patrick's Day
The bar was packed
We were three, drinking some Guinness
As we were talking a hand nudged it's way into our conversation, slowly pushing a piece of paper.
We took the paper and read it.
Rickshaw what?
America huh?
Then we met you. When we asked you why you said,
"In this economy, might as well have some fun."

What you may not have realized was 5 minutes prior to your marketing campaign I had been crying. Stupidly... uncontrollably..embarrassingly in a bar...over a beer. I was planning a big change in my life and I was confused and scared. Your comment, in that moment, fit so perfectly with what my friends and I were talking about that a part of my decision crystallized and came clear...a sign I guess...that my decisions were good.

It's funny the way our lives work. We make decisions and go with them and trust and pray that they are good and hopefully beautiful. But I think it's important to thank the people that help us along the way. Our friends, our families, our students, and teachers, and even strangers.

So thanks Sean - for sharing a bit of your light in a bar over a beer


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