Elder Mobile-ity

Just a quick howjadoo from Mobile. Spanish moss, mistletoe overhead; fireants and armadillo sign underfoot; the smell of salt spray, the faint aroma of papermill and wet marsh mud. Traffic of I-65 just outside our dirty fourth floor window that also has a scenic overlook (and direct acoustic connection) with the busy lobby complete with piped-in bass-enhanced rap music. Makes me miss Musak); a lobby full of so many people my age at this 40th reunion of hers that it is impossible to continue to believe I’m still the kid I feel inside; the feel the morning after a night of motel air; gas pumps that demand you add more to your credit cards or you go someplace else for gas–we went someplace else; the elderly man with a cane spending his disability check for 6 lotto tickets and two cartons of Salem menthols; the unavoidable excess of speed just to keep from being rear-ended at less than 80, the high cost in fuel efficiency from driving so fast that had us stopping every little bit to keep the tank no less than half-empty (an Ann obsession I don’t share.)

Sorry, that is the best I can come up with on short notice. I’m about to get out and see what I can find to occupy 10 hours til she comes home from the brunch with the girls, followed by other unspecified conviviality with folks she hasn’t seen in almost a half century. There will be stories to hear going home–if she’ll tell them. I think I’ll go out and make a few of my own. Left alone to shift for myself for dinner last night, I ended up at Hooters. Yeah, really. I needed to be around some young people–the token codger sitting alone nursing his Killians, making social commentary to himself. I’m blogging this, he muttered, but he never did.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Yeah, right. I’ll bet blogging was on your mind at the local Hooters. More likely, you were pondering important, earth-shaking questions like:

    “Do you think those are real?”

    Of course, a real blogger would have given us photos. Obviously, your mind is fried from too much exposure to old people (like us).

  2. Better watch it Fred, being back in the home state and amongst all those younguns might make you start thinking you is…

  3. i hear hooters has good wings- but i won’t let my hubby go there and try them! although i did give him permission to do them take-out! 🙂

  4. Hi Fred — are you still in Mobile? We’re just down the road, across the state line. Email me if you have time to drop by.

  5. I’m in North ‘Bama, Moulton which is west of Huntsville.
    Hope you find something to keep you entertained while you’re down there.
    Got here via “Time Goes Bye”

  6. Stop apologizing, dude! I read every post you make and am grateful for them. I’m not much for reunions myself, but I’ve been to a couple of my wife’s as well.

    Hope you’re back to blogging best soon.