The New Englander

I was born and raised in Connecticut. Growing up in the town of Southington, my friends and I would complain on a daily, almost hourly basis that there was nothing for us to do. By the time we were all old enough to drive, we headed down to the coastal towns of Guilford or over to the beaches of Rhode Island, but those were summertime activities, so ten months out of the year, when we weren’t in school, we complained of boredom.
We did what most young people in the suburbs did—drank too much coffee at Denny’s, saw every movie at the second-run movie theater, and window-shopped at malls before dining in some chain restaurant.
For a few years of my youth, my father would take me, my sister Faith, and cousin Johnny to Maine; Old Orchard Beach, Maine—which most locals in the popped-collar, sockless-boat-shoe town of Kennebunkport would today call the “Jersey Shore of Maine.”

The back of the shops in downtown Kennebunkport, ME

I don’t recall Old Orchard  being trashy as a kid, but I don’t consider the likes of Snooki to be an exact model of the hard-working middle class who can save up enough money to enjoy a weekend at a beach resort town cheap enough for a family of 4+. Sure, it’s not nature preserve of Big Sur, but the fried dough at Kim’s Pizza is excellent, and there’ s still a row of skee-ball machines at Palace Playland, which is all a fun getaway for me. Continue reading

Ten Years on Route 66

My first trip down Route 66 started in July of 2001. I traveled the Mother Road with my friend Kyle — his fictional name—who was also looking for a classic cross-country adventure. We were two guys on the open road with a crappy minivan and limited amounts of dough leaving Philadelphia in the middle of a typical swampy summer to see the sun set over the ocean. Kyle and I planned this trip about a year in advance and spent much of our time preparing by reading books about Route 66 and studying maps—I even dove into Kerouac’s On The Road. 

Our adventure was not typical. In fact, Kyle and I hit town after dying town in a pre-9/11 America, each small town celebrating it’s last hurrah before the World Trade Towers disintegrated to the ground and thousands of people died, followed by hundreds more who now suffer with the health affects of all that debris and pollution.

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