Delta Moon has a new van, and, after many interesting suggestions from our Facebook fans, we’ve decided to name it the Moon Pie. The deciding factor for me was that the spare tire cover on the back door (see photo) looks very much like a giant banana Moon Pie, a childhood staple of mine. Franher thinks it looks like the A-Team’s van, even though ours, a low-mileage 2000 Dodge, is white, and theirs, a 1983 GMC, was black. Franher was excited to realize Delta Moon has the same demographic as the A-Team.
We enjoyed traveling in comfort on the van’s maiden trip last week across Alabama and Mississippi. When we get to a town we like to park the vehicle and go afoot, the same as the A-Team. You’d think that would be easy, and it often is. Much of downtown Birmingham, including the Lakeview area where we played, is a delight to walk around in. But I’ve got to say Highway 280 on the south side is as pedestrian-unfriendly a place as I’ve ever seen.
Once a few years ago we stopped at this exit for lunch at a soup-and-sandwich chain restaurant. A security guard at the strip mall told us we couldn’t park there because our Ford van was not a passenger car. We were to park in another lot out of sight, and a shuttle bus would bring us back to the restaurant. I’m not making this up. Of course we left, which is probably what the guard and his employers wanted anyway. No riffraff allowed.
This time I wanted to walk from our hotel to the shopping center next door and buy some toothpaste. There was no sidewalk, really no place to walk at all. To get there, first I had to cut through the hedge behind the Chick-fil-A dumpster:
Then I had to climb this:
Then I had to walk around this corner into oncoming traffic:
Then I had to cross this:
On my travels I ran into two other pedestrians — Mark and Darren.
Landscapes like this make me despair for our nation. Once we build them we’ve got to live with them, even though it means surrendering our fortunes to countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Maybe I’m a hypocrite for writing this after buying a vehicle like the Moon Pie with its big V8 engine. But the van is pretty efficient for moving four guys and a load of gear from city to city. I should never have to use it to go next door for a tube of toothpaste.