Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A long time ago, in my younger days, I would jump on any available soapbox and say my piece. I raged about the injustices, unfairness, inequality and prejudices in the world to anyone within earshot. Often encountered in the restaurant and bar business where I earned my living for so long, I fearlessly argued my case against any alcoholic bigot who dared to take me on. As Phil would say, I was a “bleeding heart liberal” in those days—which in my opinion was a good thing.

Here, in “The Heart of Dixie”, we have seen so much heartbreaking poverty. We’ve been on the road each day in our little red truck, the Lone Ranger traveling the highways and byways along the back roads of Alabama starting out from where Penny Pace is parked. Being Pacific Northwest natives, it has been an education for Phil and me. We were so moved, we spent all of one morning on the Internet researching the towns of Selma and Montgomery that we explored on Sunday, checking the economic and population data as well as how these towns were relevant to the civil rights movement.

For the first time in a long time, I found myself wanting to shout out about the lopsided economy here in this area of Alabama versus the booming growth we’ve seen elsewhere around the country. I wanted to put statistics on my blog to show everyone the disparity between the parts of Alabama we’ve seen and the rest of the country we’ve passed through. But ... I’ve had second thoughts and decided that the lessons learned will remain personal and I’ll not force them on you’all, my faithful blog readers.

There are two things I will share with you: If you are a Baptist Minister looking for work … come to Alabama. There is a Baptist church on every corner! And, if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to retire (and have no misgivings about thunderstorms in the winter and humid heat in the summer), this is the place! Everything is cheaper here but then we haven’t checked out Mississippi … yet.

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