We Forget

ROME, GA — We have our own prejudices. I, for one, didn’t stop making allusions to “Deliverance” from the day we pulled out of Atlanta, to the day we arrived in Athens, where, to my great relief the visitors’ center was staffed by a man with a Brooklyn accent (actually it was Queens, I found out, when I elicited his credentials for credibility, but whatever — it was, in spite of being the land of Howard Beach, it wasn’t associated with inbred toothless banjo-playing sodomizing-rapist woods-dwelling strangers. The whole point of Deliverance after all is to tap into the universal fear of being set upon by hostile strangers. And while I probably would have made it out of Howard Beach alive back in the ’80s I also had the added insurance of having no interest in driving through there.

Whereas Rome was quaint and pretty, and on the way to Cave Springs where the woman who pointed us in that direction used to bring jugs to fill with the fresh water that bursts from the ground there, and as it turned out the setting for a comfortable and well decorated bed and breakfast. But first we had a stop in a convenience story where the tooth-compromised clerk complimented me by saying I had hair like Farrah Fawcett, and used that as a segue into a “joke” that I think she left something out of to make it even hold together, about hoping for our president’s death.  Accompanied by a tooth-compromised grin and no apparent thought that I would differ from her thinking in the least.

Which led me to think how isolated a place we were in. Pleasant, pastoral, but so little linked to the outside world as to take in no difference of opinion. You have to wonder, from Queens, New York to Rome, Ga, how many places like that there must be.


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