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50 States Day 187

  50 States Day 187 Las Vegas to San Diego, 357 miles
“Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.”
˜Mark Twain

Because we're off of the Adventure (technically), off course and visiting the fam, today seemed a good day for a
Uncle Tom's Cabin
By Harriet Beecher Stowe
Imagine you decide to make money as a cab driver. You buy a new cab, the interior treats you to that new car smell, and the floor mats are pristine. A hundred thousand miles later the car is showing signs of age; the seats are getting soft and broken down, the transmission shifts funny and the radio has been mute for a few thousand miles. You sell it to a low budget cabbie, and he takes it and drives it another hundred thousand miles more, and since the doors are falling off of it, the seats are all torn up and the engine is belching out smoke and leaking at a great rate, he takes it to a recyclers and crushes it up.

The cab is the life of a slave. Suppose a benevolent owner takes good care of his slaves and offers them freedom upon his death. However, he fails to take care of the paperwork, so the man is sold at auction. Think wholesaler. Someone picks him up. A few setbacks and this owner sells him, but he's older now and worth less; his back is bad, teeth not too good, and his hands are calloused and arthritic.  A lowlife picks him up- a bargain- and will use him up.

Ms. Stowe writes of a story like this, of Tom, whose life continues to deteriorate with each successive owner. While we cannot imagine this scenario, it was entirely possible in the 1800s, and people either actively participated or passively ignored slavery. Another scenario she illuminates is husbands and children being sold away from wives and mothers, the owners claiming, "She's not really a person. Besides, she can marry someone else."

Stowe injects a relative from the North, who doesn't believe in slavery, yet has no use for the Negroes. Neither North or South seems to come up with viable answers to this terrible problem.

Tom manages to retain his integrity throughout the book, loving God and his fellow man-even his owners-no matter how well or badly they treat him. The book, written with an obvious agenda, accomplishes Stowe's goal, of highlighting the problem of slavery while captivating the reader. Just like our inability to ease past a car wreck without slowing and staring, the reader cannot believe the horrors of slavery while engrossed in the story.
Stowe received a firestorm of criticism for her tome at the time of its printing, yet the massive sales of the book told the critics that it engaged the reading public. Scores of decades later, one reads this story with amazement and befuddlement. How did we get that way, where slavery was considered at best a good business decision?

I have read quite a few classics lately, and many have been a struggle to get through, whether from their tedious prose or difficult use of the language. Yet Uncle Tom's Cabin is a good read, without the exhaustion. Finally, it made me wonder: What is our society doing now, that generations later, the public would say, "What were they thinking?"

You've been waiting and wondering, so let's give it up for Quilter girl!

It has been almost two weeks since I have written.  It has been an eventful time full of family and friends.  What a blessing to have the opportunity to get to know our newest grandchildren, Sara and Samuel who are a wonderful addition to our family.  Amy and Issouf are quickly adjusting to their new family, when you consider that one year ago Amy was single and Issouf was in Niger.  

So now we are on our way back to the adventure, back to Newark to see what waits for us there.  Is there power at the hotel?  Are the bike and trailer okay? Is gasoline available?  Are the roads okay?  What is the weather going to be?  It will be interesting!  
CORRECTION: Hats off to Mark Cline, who graciously mentioned that the Yaris may be a Toyota, not a Hyundai, in the blog yesterday. Duh! And apologies to Hyundai, and/or Toyota, whoever would be offended. It's still a great little car.

 Love those desert sunsets. 

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