Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ode to Chalres Kuralt ...sort of

Source: Tygrrr Express

Now here's a good story if for no other reason it brought back some fond memories of my previous readings of great books about America (see comments at the end of Eric's editorial) ~ Norman E. Hooben

Ode to Chalres Kuralt–10 Cities in 10 Days

One man I have always admired is Charles Kuralt.

I have said on many occasions that if I had unlimited money, I would get a Camper or an RV and just drive around America shaking hands, meeting people, and hearing their stories.

I even envy presidential candidates. They get to shake hands with Americans all across this country. The ones that sincerely enjoy it are more lucky than they realize.

I remember once reading about a town called Lazy Lake, Florida, that supposedly had 35 people, 33 adults and a pair of children. In determining the public official;s such as police chief, fire chief, and Mayor, they would supposedly get together and say, “This week, who wants to be what?”

I have no idea if this is true. I just know that I would have been happy to meet all of them.

I recently came back from four cities in four days.

On Saturday, October 3rd, I was in Yuba County, which is an hour North of Sacramento. I spoke to the Yuba County Republican Party at an event put on by Gun Owners of California.

For those who think that California is city life, California has many parts that are as rural and country as anywhere in Middle America. Most of the people I met had jeans and boots on. There was not a single necktie. They owned guns, and knew how to use them responsibly.

What they were not was hayseeds. They knew more about legislation coming before Congress on many issues than any other group of people I have ever met.

They were also not wild-eyed conspiracy nuts. They were as normal as normal can be.

I got to meet Terri and John Rutherford. The Rutherfords live on 23 acres of land. Yet they didn’t have to spend millions of dollars to buy a house. They simply got some tools, and built it.

This can do spirit was admirable.

I told John Rutherford that if I had to live there for more than a week, I would go out of my mind. He laughed. I told him that I knew why he lived there. It was peaceful and quiet. He agreed. I told him that I was a high stressed, high strung, stockbrokerage Type A personality. I need action. However, there are times when even people like me need to block it all out.

To spend even a few hours in his part of the world was pure paradise.

Besides, for those who don’t want it. He will do just fine if you don’t show up.

The Rutherfords showed me a slower pace, and I could even feel myself calming down.

They told me that I had a place to stay whenever I wanted. I told them that if they insisted on making that offer, I might take it. We all laughed. At some point, I will visit Yuba County again. I just need a truck to go on the gravel roads. Rental cars are not built for where I was.

On Sunday, October 4th, I was in Palm Springs. This was a different kind of beauty. The Palm trees were as beautiful as anything I had ever seen in South Florida. I spoke to the Palm Beach Lincoln Club. I was the opening act for Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack.

While the audience was right of center, this crowd was tilted heavily toward Log Cabin Republicans and American Indians.Congresswoman Bono Mack was engaging, funny, and warm.

I got to spend time with Bob and Elise Richmond. Elise has a radio show. She is on her way to stardom.

Like the Rutherfords, the Richmonds had their politics matched only by their hospitality and kindness toward me. Like me, they like their football. The sportsbar we went to was much quieter and more relaxing than anything I was used to. You could actually hear the games.

Monday, October 5th had me back in Los Angeles. I attended a Jewish football watching party for the holiday of Sukkos. Brett Favre and the Vikings defeated his old team, the Packers. I managed to experience my favorite sport and my religion in abundance.

Tuesday, October 6th had me in San Diego. The morning started with me attending a luncheon for a group called CALA, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. Hugh Hewitt was the featured speaker. He has treated me with much kindness since the first time I met him. After the luncheon, we all went to a carpet store, Coles Carpet.

Now spending hours in a carpet store is something I have never done before. However, Hugh Hewitt broadcast his show from there. After his show, there was a reception. So many people are passionate about abusive lawsuits. These people are not rich. I saw small business owners.

Yet what made it even nicer was that a friend I had made awhile back randomly walked in. Woody Woodrum runs the San Diego chapter of the Eagle Forum, a socially conservative group. I Emceed the kickoff event for his chapter.

We greeted each other warmly, and then I let him know that the kindness he had shown me was about to be repaid. I had to leave the CALA event for a totally different Republican experience, and I wanted him to join me. I am glad he did.

We drove to the UCSD Campus in La Jolla, San Diego. I spoke to the College Republicans. Alec Weisman set it up. After making them laugh, we all went to dinner and had a great time. Like typical college students, they had a bed for me to crash on. However, I decided to drive back to my own bed in Los Angeles.

Four cities in four days was tiring, but yet I was more mellow than I had been in years.

Yes, these were mainly Republican events, but the people were so different. Anybody thinking all Republicans or conservatives are the same simply has not met them.

Gun owners in Yuba County, Log Cabin and American Indian Republicans in Palm Springs, small business owners in San Diego, and college students in La Jolla had one thing in common. They all treated me with kindness, and gave me a rich experience that will one day lead to me being a more well rounded person.

I am not well rounded. I don’t know anything about most things. I tell people I know nothing about virtually everything. Yet after these four days, at least I scratched the surface of a few more things.

Yet this is not being done for leisure. I am not Charles Kuralt yet. I am not financially comfortable enough to be retired. I am on a speaking tour to promote my book, “Ideological Bigotry.”

Yet this really is about much more than capitalism. It is about making friends I will have for life.

If it was not politics, it would be something else. Those who think I only shake conservative hands simply don’t know me. My passion for football has allow me to meet total strangers living in Canton, Ohio, while enjoying the Hall of Fame Game. It has allowed me to meet the Jewish communities of Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, as well as Maui, while enjoying the Pro Bowl. The Draft was in New York City, but people came from all over America.

I am fairly convinced that many of the black and Hispanic people I was belly bumping with in Oakland while rooting for the Raiders did not share my politics. Sports has allowed me to meet more people.

Yet beyond sports and politics, there are too many people that impact us in ways they will never know.

My cab driver in Israel was named Faisal. He was an Arab. I had never met an Arab before in Israel. He was a nice guy. Yet the lady at the hotel in Indian Wells, California laughed because I did not know what county I was in. It turned out to be in Riverside County, not San Bernardino County. She was the very first person I had ever met in Riverside County. Who cares? I do.

I met Thaddeus McCotter, who lives in Inyo County, which is Central California. I can’t wait to go to Inyo County. Why? Because it’s there.

Yet four cities in four days was only California. Now it is time for 10 cities in 10 days.

October 15th is Orange County with Chuck DeVore, followed by Conejo Valley in Ventura County on the 16th. That night I take a redeye, where on the 17th I am in Duplin County, North Carolina. It is not a well known area, but I bet the BBQ will be fabulous. On the 18th I am in Maryland. The day has me opening for Senate candidate Jim Rutledge in Monkton, while the early evening has me in Montgomery County speaking to the ladies.

On the 19th I may spend the morning at Leisure World. A gentleman from Judicial Watch will be speaking to the senior citizens. Lunchtime has me in Washington, DC, since Ilan Berman is speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition about Israel and Iran. Later that night I head to Arlington Virginia to speak to the Young Republicans.

On the 20th I fly back to Los Angeles, get in just before midnight, sleep for a few hours, and then hit the road again for three straight days of the Republican Women’s Federated in three different Southern California counties. The 21st is Lakside in San Diego, the 22nd is Diamond Bar in LA County, and the 23rd is Palm Springs again. I do come home on the 24th, but there is a great event in Malibu. I might attend, if my eyes and body still work. They better. I have a football league I play in, and the game is in Venice on the 24th.

My exact itinerary is below, for those who wish to attend the events. Yet the events are secondary.

What matters to me is that there are so many good people in this world.

It may seem like a hectic pace, and it is. However, it beats cabin fever and driving myself crazy thinking about stuff I should not be thinking about anyway.

After years of being hot headed, I am trying to slow down, calm down, and dare I say it…relax.

Stress kills people. I want to stick around for awhile. I have the best friends a guy could possibly ask for.

Those are just the ones I have already met. The ones I haven’t met are just around the corner.

I hope I make Charles Kuralt proud. Even if I don’t meet as many people as he did, it will have been worth the trip. Who knows? One day I may have that Camper or RV and really get on the road.

Whether it’s Eastbound and Down from Texarkana to Atlanta, the Alabama Jubilee, or Blue Moon of Kentucky, adventure abounds.

So when you see me, shake my hand. It doesn’t matter what your politics are. We can agree to disagree over a hot meal and a ball game.

Shake my hand. We will both be glad you did.

“Time to board another plane…memories of you still remain…this is how my life unravels…as the carnival travels.”

“San Diego Gravel…Brooklyn New York Lower Level…South Beach Miami Revel…Hawaii’s Inner Navel…LA, Chicago, Hotlanta, off to swing life’s gavel…as the carnival travels.”

“Flying down the highway headed West. In a streak of black lightning, called the Tygrrrr Express.”

10 cities in 10 days.

The Tygrrrr Express is fully fueled and ready to go.

On to the next adventure.


Thursday, October 15—I will be speaking to the Lake Forest Chapter of the Republican Women’s Federated in Orange County. I will be the undercard for Chuck DeVore. 6:30pm at the Uncorked Wine Bar 22343 El Paseo, Suite A, Rancho Santa Margarita. Please contact Donna Delano for details.

Friday, October 16—I will be speaking to the Conejo Valley Republican Women’s Federated at an 11:30am luncheon at the Thousand Oaks Inn. Please contact Dianne Alexander for more details.

Saturday, October 17—I will be speaking at a Barbecue for the Duplin County Republican Party in North Carolina at 4pm. East Duplin Sr. Citizens Building - Hwy 241. Contact Judy Arnett for more details.

Sunday, October 18—I will be speaking as the undercard for U.S. Senate Candidate Jim Rutledge at a fundraiser in Monkton County, Maryland, at 2pm. The fundraiser takes place at Manor Tavern. Please contact Lisa Fitzhugh for details.

Sunday, October 18—I will be speaking to the Montgomery County Republican Women’s Federated in Maryland at 4:30pm at La Tasca Restaurant, which is located at 141 Gibbs Street in Rockville’s Town Center. Please contact Liz Rubin for details.

Monday, October 19—Tom Fitton is speaking to the Leisure World Republican Club in Silver Springs, Maryland at 10am. Please contact Mary Ann Johnston for details.

Monday, October 19—I will be attending a brown bag lunch at Noon with Ilan Berman, who will be addressing the Washington, DC chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Monday, October 19—I will be speaking to the Arlington, Virginia, Young Republicans. The event takes place at RiRa Irish Pub, Clarendon, 2915 Wilson Boulevard. Please contact Ian Meyeroff for details.

Wednesday, October 21—I will be speaking to the Lakeside Republican Women’s Federated in San Diego County at 10am at the Fire Station, 12365 Parkside 92040. 619-390-2350. Please contact Joan Buselt for details.

Thursday, October 22– I will be speaking to the Diamond Bar Republican Women’s Federated at an evening dinner party. The event will be at the Diamond Bar Country Club and Golf Course. Please contact Trisha Bowler for details.

Friday, October 23—I will be speaking to the Palm Springs Republican Women’s Federated at an evening dinner. Please contact Sharon McCabe for details.

Saturday, October 24–Play football in Venice, dinner in Malibu?

Sunday, October 25–Watch NFL football at home. Just let me relax. Please.



2 Responses to “Ode to Chalres Kuralt–10 Cities in 10 Days”

  1. Norm Says:

    Wonderful story…
    I loved Charles Kuralt but I think he got his idea for traveling around the country from Ernie Pyle. If you can find it, I highly suggest you read ‘Home Country’ by Ernie Pyle. It was first published in 1935…if you cannot find a copy I will gladly loan you mine. And probably the best book ever written about America’s homeland during World War II was ‘ The American Home Front’ by Alistair Cooke…you can learn a lot about this country from that one book alone! First published in 2007, the entire manuscript was found in a closet after his death…it was written in 1942! An amazing book! Wonderfully written!…almost as wonderful as yours (LOL)


  2. Norm Says:

    …Also check out John Steinbeck’s ‘Travels With Charlie’. Not near as good as Pyle or Cooke but has some interesting oddities like the one where he went to a motel (should say, “cabins”) in Vermont and no-one was around…he spent the night and checked out in the morning and still no-one was around!

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