Day 54 (Four Oaks)

Miles Traveled: 318                                                                                                                             Total Miles traveled: 9,566                                                                                                 Location: Four Oaks, NC

Least We Forget: Essentially, we have a choice, to intervene or not to intervene. The choice is simple but the consequences are enormous. The best statistics I have seen are that the average women in prison has 2.43 kids and they have a 70 percent chance of going to prison. Often as not they have their first kid in the middle teens. Statistically, she will have a total of 5 kids and grandchildren of which 3 will end up in prison and two will go back for a second sentence. The incarceration cost for her kids will be about $720,000 and that does not include the social costs of taking care of them while she is in prison nor does it include the damages they may do that lead up to their incarceration. Now, there are maybe a quarter of a million women incarcerated at any given time. We may not want to have anything to do with this problem but what we can’t escape is the fact that it is going to be in our face in the very near future unless we choose to intervene.

By the dawns early light: The lady most certainly lights up in the dark but woe be to the person that tries to move her without giving her a chance to come alive slowly. Went out for breakfast and she just was not going to move at any pace other than her own. Choke or no choke she took her time warming up.  The red LED lights on the license plate flash while the brakes are on. It almost could be said to look like an emergency vehicle. Played around on the highway and when someone got closer than I though appropriate, lightly touched and held the brake and they backed off at least fifty feet day or night.

The sun comes up and the lady is packed and ready to go. The ride from New Haven to Spotsylania was long, the traffic challenging and had not KOA spotted. So, a motel it was and a hot shower with clean sheets most welcome. The only problem with the new bike is that the saddle bags are smaller which mean a couple of items had to be left in New Haven to be shipped home. Other than that the load remains mostly unchanged. The back bag is camping gear. The center roll is foul weather gear that includes long johns, heavy cloves and rain gear. The forward bag has clothes, cleaning gear and misc books and papers. Saddle bags is mostly tools, computer and electronics. As strong and awkward as the load my look, it handles well at highway speeds and I have never had the slightest problem with shifting loads or break aways.

A GPS is not a GPS: Found a Best Buy and turned in my 3rd GPS for a new 4th one. It would not hold a charge and was having a hard time slaving off of the power take off on the bike. Most embarrassing when moving down the east coast at highway speeds approaching places like Baltimore and Washington then your screen goes blank at highway speeds. Make no mistake, motorcycles vibrations are hard on electronics and riders alike. Got to say, Best Buy was good about the turn in and am operating with a new one that went blank about 30 minutes out from the camp site. It turned a 30 minute leg into a 90 minute last leg as I went back to the old question and answer period at the gas stations.

The old south: As I was driving through the country side trying to find the KOA camp ground, took a few photos and for sure, this was the first I could say that I actually saw what I would have called family farms. Don’t know much about plants but my guess is that they were growing tobacco. Then it hit me. This is the rural south I knew while both a soldier and marine from decades gone by but it also had great similarities to the Indian reservation I visited at wounded knee. I would call it abject poverty. Pulled up to a general store for directions and an old blue bird bus pulled with maybe 30 Latino laborers of which maybe 15 got out to go into the general store to buy who knows what.

Not less than a quarter of a mile from above: In a way, this church seemed a little out of place here as the town was small and poor. This was the same place I saw the bus of Latino laborers pull into the gas station so that they could get whatever they needed  for the evening. There is a lot here for me to process and am not sure where it will lead to or when but for now, am going to regulate it to the subconscious and go to bed.

In the background are huge container cranes that unload container cargo from Europe and Asia. Had a casual conversation in Maine about production, industry and balance of payments which was not unlike a conversation I had in Menlo Park. The bottom line on both sides of the country is that we can not produce the goods we need to sustain our on economy much less our standard of living. My fear is that we no longer even have the skills as a nation to engage in the manufacturing necessary for our own survival. I have run into more than one tradesman in KOA camps that have commented on this proposition. They have the skills but no one is interested in learning them.

Tomorrow, will be spending the day with Sita Lozoff at the Human Kindness Institute. Know I wish y’all well.

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2 Responses to Day 54 (Four Oaks)

  1. sandi says:

    The State of California bill to “unshackle” pregnant women in labor and during transportation has overwhelmingly passed both the Assembly and the Senate. It now waiting on the Governor’s desk to sign into law. A few prayer would help…..Governor Jerry Brown spent time as a Zen Monk and studied in a Catholic Seminary, too.
    I hope the rest of the Nation follows suit and passes new laws to end this rediculous practise and dangerous and traumatic to both Mother and infant. Let’s exercise a little humanity, too.
    Take Great Care,
    Sandi in Rough and Ready, CA

  2. sandi says:

    Arizonia prides it’s self on being tough on crime. Women are shackled to benches and left to bake in the sun. Ex Gov Janet Neopoli is ahead of the Home land Security in Washinton DC. She has been rewarded for being tough on crime….torture is acceptable at the top.
    The Tent City with male prisoners wearing balls and chains is without air conditioning and many incarcerated men do not make it through because of exposure to the heat.
    But, all treatment of prisoners is accepted and a model for the rest of the Nation…….hmmm?
    Call the White House with your opinions.

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