Friday, July 31, 2009

A Sorry, Rye Confession

Beartooth Grasses
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
I just read this book that I should have read years ago. I don’t know how it happened like this. Did you ever find yourself wondering how you missed out on something that everyone else knows about? It makes you feel kind of sorry for yourself if you know what I mean. Here’s what’s really funny about it. The other day I heard somebody use this word that I’ve heard before. Even when I was a kid. But, afterwards I realized I didn’t know what it meant. Well, I sort of had an idea, but I didn’t know for sure. So I looked it up and felt like a goddam fool for not knowing all these years. And I’m 49-years-old. I can’t remember what the word is now, but everyone knows it but me. Well, not anymore, I know it now. Anyway, this book’s called The Catcher In The Rye. Maybe you heard about it, maybe you didn’t. It’s considered a literary classic, but if you want to know the truth, I thought it was OK and all. But some of it really did kill me, really did. You just need to read it yourself. There’s really some funny crap in there, but it sort of depressed me too. Honest to God, all these years, I always wondered what or who the catcher in the rye was when someone mentioned that book. I’d just nod my head like some goddam phony. Anyway, I won’t spoil it here and tell you, but it has nothing to do with baseball. You should read it, even if you already read it years ago.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Going Straight on Route 28

Straight on Hwy 28
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
There are other roads out there that are surely longer when it comes to being straight or flat, but Michigan’s State Route 28 has its own monotonous magic. Located in the Upper Peninsula, these observations are from an obscure 25-mile section between the towns of Seney and Shingleton.

The mostly-two-lane highway is lined with evergreens, paralleled by a railroad track to the south and occasionally widens for passing lanes. There are no communities or services to distract travellers except for a rest stop just beyond Seney. Most outstanding about Route 28 from its other homogeneous cousins is that even its surroundings consisting mostly of tall evergreens remain the same as one passes over the 25-mile stretch.

In my second traverse of this route—going from east to west this time—I noticed that besides being completely straight (between the two towns mentioned), there were times when I felt as if I was climbing or descending the asphalt. So bothersome was it, that when I felt confident that I was ascending a slight grade, I turned my truck around in the other direction only to find that it felt as if I was climbing in that direction too.

A couple travellers told me Route 28 is considered by some the most boring stretch of highway in Michigan; but really, how can it be? As one zens on its flatness and straightness travelling at 55 mph, the section is consumed before one has the opportunity to become truly bored.