Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

April 4, 2015

CROSSIN' THE HEART OF DIXIE

... we drove into montgomery to see alabama's capitol building ... across the street from where we parked the car we saw a sign marking a building as jefferson davis' "first white house" ... a tour was leaving as we walked by, and i noticed something i immediately thought to be—well, "ironic" was the word that first popped into my head ... today, in 2015, it is a black woman who serves as a tour guide for those visiting the house of the president of the confederacy ...

... we had a very nice conversation, during which we learned that it was her great-aunt, amelia boynton robinson, who was beaten unconscious on the edmund pettus bridge during the "bloody sunday" march in the spring of 1965 ...

... i remember this, as i also recall "white only" and "colored only" signs on water fountains and rest room doors, and will to the end of my days make a point of never forgetting the ignominy of attending a segregated junior high school in baton rouge .. i know it'll be a long time before the "dream" of which dr. king preached becomes a reality, but on this day, no matter how small and halting the steps may sometimes feel, i like to think we're getting closer to that day ... (i couldn't find who took this photograph) ...

... i was impressed with alabama's understanding of children, on the huge 3d bronze map of the state a plaque said, "feel free to walk on the map, but remember that it gets hot in the sun" ... how nice ...

... of course, a statue of jefferson davis graces the front steps of the capitol ...

... we found trees which sprouted from seeds taken to the moon on one of the apollo missions ...

... and a monument to all those who died for "the glorious cause" ... (the chapter in my louisiana history textbook was titled "the war of northern aggression") ...

... we visited selma to stroll across the pettus bridge ...

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable ... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

... in tupelo we stopped to pay homage to another king ... here, sitting on the porch of a house that is smaller than my apartment, adrien contemplates the simple truth that "humble beginnings" need be only that, beginnings ...

... we had great fun, of course, but it was also quite bittersweet the thoughts of ma and how she so loved her elvis ...

... still, we hear her sing ...

There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can't my dream come true

There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away
All the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won't that sun appear.

WALTER EARL BROWN

WALKING DEAD WANDERING

... in senoia, georgia, we visited one of our little wanderabout's planned "highlights," the shooting locations of the walking dead, including the walled city of "alexandria" ...

... it was actually quite fascinating ... the production company rented (or leased or purchased, i'm not sure) a still unoccupied platt of houses within a few hundred yards of the town's main street ... in a few weeks they'll start filming all of the scenes for next season's episodes that take place in this setting ... without credentials, this is as close as you can get ... 

... adrien met with one of the cast members ...

... i've no clue, of course, but adrien assures me that fans'll recognize these settings ...

... down the road we stopped to see the locations in grantsville, a town which even as we walked the streets was up for sale ... in the tv show there was writing on the wall that said, "away with you," but the set people seem quite good at removing that sort of stuff once they've finished filming ...

... a woman from tennessee is building a nice little gift shop/museum/tourist trap at one of the locations used in the show ... here we found some delightful walking dead artifacts ...

... adrien snapped a picture of me peeking through a hole in the brick wall ...

... i found some interesting non-walking dead details ...

... in grantsville we visit becky campbell's little shop ... although it was supposed to be closed, she locked up her store and took us for a nice tour of "morgan's apartment" ... 

... she and adrien started talking movie star gossip ... once again clueless, i just listened ...

... south of atlanta, we finally found spring ...

... tired, time-worn, neglected and seemingly left behind by modern culture, but with its history and character still showing, if i had the cash i'd gladly purchase this little town ...

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.” 
WILLIAM FAULKNER