The Long & Winding Road


  • First Kiss Ahead
  • First Camping Trip—Next Exit
  • Approaching First Trip To The Principal’s Office
  • Spanish Club Hay Ride—Whoa, Pardner! You Missed Your Chance!

Back in that First-Coming-Of-Age, these metaphorical signs held such promise and excitement, fraught with adventure. Sort of like the real roadside signs on those early family vacations:

  • Real Indian Mocassins
  • Live Rattlesnakes
  • Fudge
  • Velvet Paintings
  • Fireworks!

Now in this Second-Coming-Of-Age, the signs are more ominous:

  • Last Exit
  • Bridge Out—Turn Back Now
  • Last Chance

If I were going to write a country song right now it might go something like this:

All the Stuckey’s are now Cracker Barrels
Cause all we need are grits and a rocking chair
Sitting and rocking, contemplatin’ life’s perils
No more Pecan Rolls and it don’t seem fair.
La la la, my dog and pick up truck, la la la
My ol’ lady tellin’ me to shut up.

Something else I’ve noticed about the highway these days, it seems like whatever this vehicle I’m in is, it's going faster and faster, and I’m not the one driving. Maybe I never was.

This is all David Lettermen’s fault. We have grown up together, he and I. His deadpan, self-deprecating sense of humor is to my taste. I love those comedians like Letterman: Seinfeld, Mitch Hedberg, and George Carlin who do life-observation comedy.

Letterman is a great interviewer, somehow managing to stay fresh after 30 some years at this gig. Sure he has his flaws, but he has never flaunted his celebrity.

I will say emphatically that his dealing with heart bypass surgery was inspiration to me. I drew courage and determination from him.

Watching his last few shows before signing off is bittersweet. On the one hand, these shows are featuring some of the best comic minds of our time, people like: Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Tina Fey; night after night.

And then there are the musicians: The Avett Brothers WITH BRANDI CARLILE! OMG (as the kids say). Mumford and Sons. And the performance of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” by First Aid Kit was amazing.

But, on the other hand, May 20, 2015, David Letterman will take the Last Exit as host of the Late Show. And once again the landscape changes and races by. It is less familiar to me now; like  a road I’ve never traveled.