Painting ©2018 John Clark III
Many, many moons ago, I drove straight through from Houston, Texas to Rockford, Illinois, to pick up my sister and her little boy -- roughly an 18-hour drive. It was early in the morning when I got there, and we loaded the back of my Chevy pickup with stuff and immediately took off back for Texas. By the time we hit St. Louis, on the freeway in heavy traffic, I started hallucinating. I was sober as a judge ... sober as a deacon ... sober as a minister's wife ... OK, well, I was completely sober, but after nearly two days without sleep at that point, my eyes started playing tricks on me.
I pulled over and told my sister she was going to have to drive.
Cross-country driving ain't as easy as it used to be, but I made it today it to the outskirts of Chicago -- 1,100 or so miles -- in two days. Not too bad for an older guy ...
Things got a little interesting the closer I got to the city. I'm on a bit of a budget, as I prepare to traverse Route 66 from start to finish, so I'm trying to stay in cheap but decent motels along the way, even though my dear wife has spoiled me forever with high-end suites and other luxurious-type accommodations.
Well, my GPS directed me to the south side of Chicago, and believe it or not, Obama Avenue, or Obama Street, or Obama something. I think it was 169th Street. Whatever it was, it was not a comfortable neighborhood. I went into a Walgreens, bought some stuff, and asked the very nice girl at the checkout about the motels up the road to which my GPS had directed me. She shook her head. I asked someone else there, and she suggested I 'google' someplace else.
So I headed back south on I-57, away from the city, and found myself a nice Holiday Inn about five miles away. As I suspected, it was beyond my budget for lodgings for this trip, but if a clerk at Walgreens shakes her head when you ask about the hotels just up the street, well, you gotta pay attention.
Right now, I'm on the third floor of a beautiful Holiday Inn that is very much like the places Katie and I are accustomed to staying when we travel. It's more than I wanted to spend, but would I rather be staying in the Armpit Motel? Of course, not. I am fortunate to have the means to stay in such a place. I know this.
Tomorrow, it's on to Lou Mitchell's Restaurant, downtown Chicago on Jackson Boulevard, at the beginning of Route 66. Then, I'll be headed west ...
A few reviews of John's books
The 30-Day Optimism Solution:
“Part memoir, part informative text. You get both when reading 'Depression Blues' by John H. Clark III. Mr. Clark shares his struggles with depression in an honest and real way, and as the book progresses, so does his hope. Woven into the story as jumping off points are bits of information about depression and ways to "conquer" the sadness, loneliness, and despair that comes with it.
Mr. Clark becomes more than an author in this book; he becomes a friend who understands the pain of depression and provides light. I recommend this book to anyone looking for light or to anyone who knows someone with depression and wants to learn more.”
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