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Monday, November 9, 2015


air bellows drive-thru museum of art
Driving home from a day at the races and the last quarters of multiple football games, North Carolina panthers stomped Green Bay, I was on Glade Valley Road, taking it easy in the dark, Sunday night, nearly no cars on the road, running between 25 and 35, taking the curves comfortably, a two-line verse came to mind,
     I like driving Glade Valley Road
     it's crooked as the back of a running blacksnake.
I could not think of a third line and left it there. It woke up appreciation in me for the road I know so well. The road is all curves. Not a good road to drive in a hurry unless it turns you on to take the curves at the edge of the possible keeping it in the road. Every winter, just about every other weekly paper has something about a car or pickup leaving Glade Valley Road "too fast for conditions." When you hit black ice, any motion is too fast for conditions. Take out a fencepost or two, slam into a tree, roll down a bank.
air bellows drive-thru museum of art
Glade Valley Road is a dangerous road to take lightly. You go over the top of a hill at 50mph and out of sight just beyond the top of the hill you face a bank that goes straight up with a big black arrow in a yellow rectangle pointing to the right. The road makes a right angle turn. If you don't know the turn is there, you'll stand up on the brake pedal when you see it.  I disliked the road for a long time for trying to over drive the road. I learned if I let 35 be my top speed, relax and flow with the road itself, hurry slowly, I like the road for its beautiful scenery both sides of the road, old farm houses, corn fields, pumpkin fields and a postcard picture view of Bullhead Mountain. The state road crews take good care of the road. The double yellow lines down the center have yellow reflectors every twenty feet. The white lines at both sides are fresh and articulate. It is important to keep the lines bright for frequent fogs. They help in the rain too.
air bellows drive-thru museum of art
I have grown weary of driving the road in rain after dark. It seemed like for months it rained every Sunday for my drive over Glade Valley Road. I don't like driving it in the dark during rain. The road is too unpredictable. No matter how many times I've driven it, it still has surprises. The worst at night in the rain is turning right onto Hwy 21, driving a short ways and having to turn left onto Dewitt Road. The road is not marked well and I can never see it until I'm up on it. If I approach it too fast I may miss it. In the dark I don't want to miss it, a ditch is on either side. The drive along Dewitt Road parallels Bullhead Mountain, another road of nice scenery from one end to the other. It meets Mahogany Rock Road I took around to the Parkway. I decided to take the last five miles of the way home on the Parkway. The night was clear, no chance of fog. I know these roads as well as I know the path to the mailbox. I drive over these roads enchanted that I know them so well, that they are a part of my everyday life.
air bellows drive-thru museum of art
I drove through the Air Bellows Drive-thru Museum of Art slowly, crept through it enjoying the splash of colors, a tunnel under the Parkway where Air Bellows Gap Road makes a sharp U-turn to meet the Parkway. Driving through the tunnel earlier, a couple of guys about my age, flatlanders in a gigantic SUV were far enough behind me I did not see them. In the daylight creeping through the tunnel, I stopped several times to snap a picture. They pulled up behind me and stopped outside the tunnel waiting for me to move on. I thought, what the hell, I'm not hurrying for them. I kept on like I was doing until I was done. They didn't seem to mind. I imagined them saying, "It's that TJ feller they say is an artist, lives down there with the donkeys." "I hear he don't have nothin to do with nobody that aint from these hills." "Yeah, I aint heard of nobody that likes him." "I hear he's an arrogant bastard." "I aint had nothin to do with him, myself. I'm just going by what people say." "I hear he's a liberal." "Yeah, I heard that myself." "Probably a atheist too." "No two ways about it." 

jimmy Johnson chases brad Keselowski

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