Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

The Long Road Home

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/06/05

There’s a saying: “You can’t go home again.” Yorkshire wrote about the emotionalist without convictions from the Old Country who found she couldn’t go home again. The resident fifty-dollar-wordsmith (he’s very good with his fifty dollar words) wrote about how the emotionalist emotionalizer tried to rationalize her rationalizations (I’ll leave the big words to the one who is so good with them, heh). Well, my daughter went home again, after 5.5 years in the Army and 15 months in Iraq. And she agrees, you can never really go home again. Everything has changed. Or, like she said, it’s not that everything has changed necessarily, especially in hick-town fly-over country. Sometimes everything has, indeed, changed. Sometimes, it’s that nothing has changed, except for the one who is trying to return. In my daughter’s case, she had changed dramatically and she returned to find everyone she knew from home to be in their same ruts. Floyd still sat in front of the barber shop with next to no customers. Barney still kept his lone bullet in his shirt pocket. Otis was still a drunk. But Laura… Laura had life experiences that forced her to be a different person and made her Rockwell portrait of our hometown completely out of place with reality.

I’m home again. More accurately, I’m in my daughter’s house, having no home of my own. I pay her rent to be able to claim this as my home. But don’t feel too bad for me. I live in my truck. And I’m satisfied with that, for now. See, I have a plan, and that plan requires me to be on the road as much as is possible.

Since March 15, 2013, I had spent a total of 62 hours in my hometown: 30 hours once, 20 hours another time, and 12 hours the third time home. That is, until yesterday. I’m spending yesterday, today, tomorrow at home, leaving out Saturday morning. And I’m really only home now in order to complete an application for a US Passport. I’m just extending my stay, and losing money while doing it.

It costs me about 800 dollars a week to keep up with my truck, if I don’t turn the key to the ignition. So, it’s best that I keep my truck rolling. And my plans of owning a fleet and semi-retiring early require that I keep rolling and maximizing my earnings potential. And that’s what I have been doing.

I leased my truck on June 1, 2013. Since then, I have traveled just over 260,000 miles in my truck and purchased just under 34,000 gallons of fuel, all while training tomorrow’s truck drivers today. I voluntarily stayed on the road for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, etc, etc. More miles, longer trips, quicker re-loads mean maximized profitability. And means a better opportunity to quit driving altogether more quickly, which is my ultimate goal: I sit at the house and let other drivers make me money. How anti-socialist of me. How American Dream of me. How “corporate shill” (something some clown socialist on Hot Air called me) of this “corporate owner”.

Truth be told, I’m one of the laziest people you will ever meet. And constantly running, constantly rolling, never going home is the ultimate in lazy. It means I can sooner quit working and still living the good life.

But yeah, this retirement community masquerading as a small city is more undesirable that I’ve been gone so much and so long. It feels dreary, too tightly squeezed (after driving across west Texas, west Nebraska, Wyoming, etc), too je ne sais quoi. I spent over 44 years in this town, but it doesn’t feel like home.

It may be emotionalist, and I’m much more into logical than emotionalist, but there it is. I came back, but I’m not home. It just doesn’t have the home feel. The cab and sleeper of my truck has more of a home feel than this place.

4 Responses to “The Long Road Home”

  1. Foxfier said

    In my daughter’s case, she had changed dramatically and she returned to find everyone she knew from home to be in their same ruts.

    Wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t expect you to fit into their memory of your rut.

    Gave a high school girl-bully a big shock when she tried to bull me over and I eviscerated her. And the attempted follow-up nuke.


  2. Yorkshire said

    From My Post on 1st Street.

    I grew up in SE Baltimore in a section called Highlandtown. Before it was “sucked” into Baltimore City (a separate entity from Baltimore County) it was called Highlandtown and was in Baltimore County. The area was mostly settled by German immigrants right down to an authentic German Restaurant across the street with its own little Biergarten and Ooompa Bands in the summer. Eastern Ave, a block to the north was the commercial hub of the area with a lot of decent shops of every variety. It was it’s own “It’s a Wonderful Life” setting.

    Growing up in the 50′s and 60′s there had everything you needed from supermarkets, clothing and autos within a five block walk. We had our own foot patrol cops and everybody knew everybody. Even had an uncle who was a Fire Fighter at the local station. Generally all the churches were centered on the majority ethnic group in the neighborhoods. By the time I left there in 1972, it had slipped just a little, but still a good place to raise a family.

    My parents never left. Actually my father moved in the house when he was 7 in 1928 and stayed until he died there in 2009. As we visited there constantly from 1972 to 2009 you could see little change here and there. The Biergarten was paved over to be a parking lot, the auto dealer left, the department stores became junk shops, the good little store selling everything changed to junk, the corner bars wewr still there, but the corner grocery stores and candy stores were gone. The two supermarkets closed, and on and on.

    All the Churches had schools with them, they all closed. Some of the churches closed. The German ethnic Church I went to, is not partiall Hispanic. The Country/Western Bar we had is Mexican. The Shopping are is all junk now with closed stores and no department store. All that went to the suburbs. Every so often, you would see the jump of the Hispanics moving to the area.

    So, what I see there now, just back there a few weeks ago, is just poverty and everything going downhill. Section 8 Housing was nearby, that didn’t help. The bottom line was I was a stranger in my younger life home town. Proving, You Can Never Go Home Again. And I see little progress since the industry that was there and nearby supporting a blue collar middle class life is GONE. And as long as that continues with the disintegration of families, cities will be the dumping grounds. Baltimore had nearly 1 million popuation in the mid 50′s, and now it’s near 625,000 with a flip in ratio of ethnicity. However, we haven’t ceded it like the video to …………….


  3. […] last, but not least, John Hitchcock writes about the Long Road Home on Truth Before […]


  4. Eric said

    There is no “Home” for me, since we moved around a lot as a kid. Born in West Berlin, Dad was in the Army and was sent there right after the Wall went up. Then to New Mexico (more Army stuff), Michigan (Dad gets MBA), Pittsburgh, England, Reston VA (the family’s favorite), Pittsburgh again, Tucson (my college), Pensacola (US Navy), Huntington Beach CA (one of MY favorites!), Minnesota, Wichita (for a job), MN again, and now planning to move back to Southern California permanently. Summer here in MN (which just begun) is nice but lasts about 3 months. Then you might as well live in Antarctica.


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