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Road trips from a much different era

Dec 18 2013

by Kyle Mooty

I just returned from about a 1,750-mile hi-tech road trip. I think I liked the low-tech days better.

Neither Siri or my GPS helped me much. Siri apparently doesn’t understand my accent, and my GPS spent much of the last week trying to send me off deep into the Ozark Mountains to places only black bears and a wayward mountain lion should venture.

It made me kind of miss the old days when six of us would pile into an Oldsmobile built like a Sherman tank and travel six hours to grandma’s house. No one needed any kind of electronic device to help guide us or a monotone-speaking, no-personality woman’s voice telling us how far we had to go and how we needed to get there.

My sister and I played games to pass the time such as Mississippi Law Stop, or Count the Cows.

The latter one involved looking out your window and counting every cow you could see. However, when you came to a cemetery on your side you went back to zero.

I was quite good at finding 50 head of cattle in a two-acre pasture (wink wink).

Our music consisted of whatever station Daddy had it Tuned to. That usually meant a whole lot of Charley Pride, Hank Williams and Floyd Cramer. There were no MP3 players or iPods or iPads or Beats by Dre. That’s right, we had cows, and some of us could see a whole lot more than others.

I can still remember having to declare to the guards at the Mississippi River Bridge whether or not we had fruits or vegetables on us. I guess apples and snap beans were the terrorists of the day. I’m hoping the statute of limitations has passed, but I’m pretty sure we smuggled across a naval orange or two at some point.

After picking up the remaining boxes I had left behind at my last stop, I resembled something that Jed Clampit and his family could relate to on my drive back to Enterprise.

Each time I passed a big field with herds of Herefords or Angus, I smiled a bit thinking that I could beat my sister fair and square with those numbers.

Thanks to new highways and interstates, there was no chance to recall the Mississippi Law Stop game. That was played at each railroad crossing where, in Mississippi, it announced loud and clear with signs that you had to stop. If you were the first to see this sign you shouted Mississippi Law Stop out loud. That was it. Those were the rules of the game. Probably doesn’t sound like much fun to those with iPads and Kindles.

But, I promise you it was.

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