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Warning: ‘Real Men Love Jesus’ !

Real Men Love Jesus:  Bumper sticker on spiffy baby blue SUV parked in the lot at the Gastonia, North Carolina – get this: Executive Plus Best Western.

Ya’ll  know you’re in the South now.  Civil war stuff,  many jesus stations, crosses gracing necks.  Should have taken the sticker as a Sign.  A motel from hell.  Well not really.  But pretty bad, and by far the priciest – because it was an Executive Plus version.   After 3 years of this trail between VT and FL we now reserve rooms with exterior entrances.    Dog motels tend to isolate the dogs and their people in a section far away from petless travelers.  If one dog in one room barks in the middle of the night….  The first night we made this journey, three yrs ago, we stayed in a Howard Johnson’s motel on top of a hill, overlooking the worst part of Lexington, VA.   We were in a room on the ground floor, and many dogs regaled us in a night long bark frenzy.  The next morning at the ‘free continental breakfast’ and in the parking lot with leashed German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman, Lab, and Pepper and Radar, all primate heads were down, all eyes averted.  Never knew who started it, but it wasn’t ours.

In the Executive Plus canine suite.  The outdoor entrance rooms were about 75 feet from I77.  Quite the roar.  Chilly temps, and the heater was one of those types that had no thermostat so if it was On it blasted heat forever.  No middle road.  One window looking out on grim parking lot with weird smoking man wandering around and leering at me – or perhaps the dogs?  Watched the Florida primaries on CNN.  Took the dogs on a walk around the premises which included a grassy hill above a Cracker Barrel establishment – what is Cracker Barrel?  From the outside it appears to be a hokey fake country store, but it acts like a restaurant in ways.  Wouldn’t dare actually go in one.  Good dog stuff, these places always provide good scents for those amazing noses – the noses are magnetized by the surface of every parking lot, grassy strip, car tire, sad tree or shrub .  Major kicks out of what we consider to be ordinary, rather boring objects and failed attempts at landscape design.   About 3 A.M. the television jolted us awake.  It was the weather channel, not CNN.  They were doing a story about these dogs who were chasing Canada geese across a frozen lake, and how one fell through the ice and was rescued.   About 4 A.m.  Pepper barked, rather frantically, at something outside. Later we figured out what it was (see next post)

The best stopping places are the official Rest Areas which are virtual archeological sites – strata of dog excrement dating back to traveling dogs of yesteryear, now long gone.  Our dogs are so mesmerized and stoned on these odiferous offerings they momentarily forget to add their own contributions to history.

and the very best rest stops are the Welcome Centers.  This one emulated a Greek temple – well, sort of.

Inside the Greek Temple – don’t ask.

yep, and this too.

they sure like water.

Ate our sandwiches here at the Georgia welcome center.  Listened to a radio program from the South Carolina Natural Resources Dept.  Talk about Wild Hogs – Feral hogs whose ancestors escaped from local farms are fairly prevalent in this part of the world.  And like the Burmese pythons in S. Florida, they’ve been successful breeders.  According to the radio program, the population is decreased with frequent forays into the woods  of men with dogs and hand guns.  The wild wild south east.

The last night on the road in still another Best Western in Macon (pronounced like bacon) Georgia.  This place made up for the previous night in comfort,  quality, and quiet, at half the price.  Ate in again – the last of the sardines, stilton, almonds, coleslaw, and smoked salmon.  Old Grandad for us, water for tha dogs.  Good night’s sleep.   Only bad thing was the ubiquitous continental breakfast.  But it was free.


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A Studio Interview

In Anna Dibble's studio: Kimberly Wang of Eardog Productions
Studio shots, & Pepper, Radar and Theo

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Dogs, cats, and other animals as metaphors for our nonsensical human condition.
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