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I would've liked you anyway.

Vacationing as a child included state parks and nature trails and yogurt filled coolers and cookies with sunflower seeds because it was the seventies. (Mom was Seventies Fabulous.)

Dad, a nature lover, preferred a more cost efficient family memory. We enjoyed breathtaking vistas from every elevation across the southern U.S.A.
Waterfalls? He knows 'em.
Colorful fall foliage? Just what the doctor ordered.
Roadside icons. Caves. Gigantic rock formations. Dad showed us the world through his folk artist lens.

Large crowds and $4 beverages render him a buzz kill so he's no longer allowed to go to amusement parks. Nowadays, we hand him a car mag and give him a beach view. Perhaps a couple of those seventies cookies. (Only ditch the seeds and add chocolate.)

More recent family road trips involve stops for every praline and fudge treat known to man, compliments of Lovin' Man. Fresh squeezed orange juice? Let them boys have a gallon. Talking shark heads. State shaped magnets. Enormous fake diamond. Sure enough, if the baby girl wants it. And he's a sucker for Stuckey's Indian headress.

He's outta control. Takes him days to turn off his hustle. But his star shines so bright, you can't help but believe it.

One is Lovin'Spoonful, sauntering along a back beat, humming softly to himself, while another is Crocodile Rock, marching the band down Main Street, baton in hand.

I'm so happy to have hitched a ride.


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