in absentia, all next week, should he still be alive (passed away July 4, 1997).<p>
The foremost chronicler on the joy of the open road since John Steinbeck and his “Travels with Charley”, the Alumapalooza gathering in Jackson Center, Ohio, would be a Charles Kuralt must stop on a tour of America’s backroads.
unusual hobbyists to unusual families to the simple pleasures of unknown places
My dog, Jack, wife, Lynn, and I plan to attend, if only for the opportunity to interview a sample of travelers. Lynn will provide the charm, Jack will go one-on-one with all the canine attendees, and I’d like to meet the ‘non-celebrities’.Among the many celebrities:
- Corporate royalty, Bob and Kelly Wheeler
- The first family of Airstreaming, Rich Luhr and Eleanor O’Dea
- Foremost photographer, writer, and U.S. National Park authority, the widely published Bert Gildart
- Historians and vintage gurus, Fred Coldwell and Forrest McClure
- Our own 1959 “Out of Africa” icon, Dale ‘Peewee’ Schwamborn
- Rumored personal appearance by the Australian born, Geico gecko
My attention will be directed to the lesser known, e.g., William Bucher, perhaps the most enthusiastic and shameless provocateur of traveling in classic aluminum. Having logged nearly 300,000 miles on his shining, as new, aging red Suburban, Bill has towed his spotless trailer > 85,000 miles. Well known for impeccable maintenance, his combined unit is washed, dusted, and polished, not monthly, not weekly, but often hourly. If you’re fortunate enough to attend this gathering, be prepared to be dazzled. Warning: protective eyewear is necessary if you look at his polished wheels.
His wife, Joanie, the world’s foremost collector of all things Barbie, has gained fame as a baker of cookies and as an accomplished rock painter.
These are the stories I want to hear.
Our destination, Jackson Center, offers nothing. No beach, no mountains, no theme park, no franchised food, nothing but miles and miles of level farmland, corn and soybeans, a small midwestern town.
- nothing but the exquisite beauty of the American countryside.
A Charles Kuralt week, a time to arrive, on a blue highway, in anticipation of nothing or everything, in search of our national soul.
I hope to see you there.
“Interstate highways allow you to drive coast to coast, without seeing anything”, C. Kuralt (1934-1997).