Headed out of Wet-Pampers-smelling Perry after a breakfast of local cuisine in a "family restaurant called Pouncey's and you can try and guess the pronunciation. Here it is: Smoked Ribs and Cheese Grits and Hush Puppies and Dump Cake, with a big Mason jar full of iced tea. They claimed to "butcher their own meat", but I cant say I really liked the ribs... smoked... nice taste, but too chewy.
Ouyt across the neck of Florida, and boy, is it ever the Heart of Dixie. Very serious church-goers for the most part,... but also a lot of very opionated... I'd have to say uneducated... folks as well. Really, I must say again that almost everyne I met in the South was simply kind and friendly... but for sake oif that I kept my Yankee Tongue toi myself.
|WAAAY DOWN UPON THE SWANNEE RIVER|
Lots of Southern Povery apparent, and the economic problems in this nation hit the Poor the hardest. All the "little", foo-foo businesses dry up as people begin to save for Basics.. so hobby shops and nail salons and Special Bar B Q places foild and disintegrate,.
|HOLY BAND HEALING AND DELIVERANCE CENTER|
Across the flatlands... pretty countryside ... tree-lined and green... ruural, agricultural. Churches and anti-government messages all over. Numerous police cars... sheriffs and State Patrol and a few times I found mysel;f being tailed for a while. But I was being extra cautious with my spoed; 75 was no problem with cruisers on my ass. in a 70 zone (most of Florida).. I generally kept a careful control because they certainly poipped up unexpectedly at times. Generally though , trasffic controls were lax and Florida people kept up 80 mph most of the time.
I rolled over the bridges into Daytona Beach proper, and from the beginning I noticed and felt the run-down edginess oif the place. Daytona ois obviously in the same straits as say, Virginia Beach and other places where reduced tourist revenues have resulted in urban decay and an up-swelling in the minal element. I rolled aorund the road closest to the beach until I found a motel just across the street, (there were many) that advertised $35 rooms... bought one from the young ((yes) Indian woman. No Wifi... dark, well-used room... tattered carpet and squeaky bathroom faucets... another grim, drug-dealer's motel. But it looked safe enoiugh, and I went out of the bike, eager to explore what Biker Mecca Daytona had to offer. I left my helmet home for a change..s Florida doesn;t require one, and I knew I;d be just gouing to Main Street eight bloicks away. I did need to weasr sunglasses though (eye protection rule) and the dakr shades made it somewhat difficult for my eyes to adjust eadh time at night.
Down to Main Street and I found there were half a dozen bars with numerous motorcycles out front... not all Harleys, but a majority anyway. I went to the famous Boot Hill Saloon... nothing so imposing as coloirful. The whole inside looked like someone had beaten it with a ball-peen hammer... then painted it black and covered it with clever bumper stickers. A few dozen biker types present... and some wannabees. I had a couple of beers there and a shot... then over to Froggies where I chatted wit a couople of large-bodied local Florida women in too much make-up... then one open aor place where a band was starting up. I probably had a handful of beers and three shots or so.
Decided to take a quick spin back to my roiom for a moment to make soime adjustments. On the way back I was looking half-heartedly for somewhere to eat and saw an interesting Barbecue place. I turned in quickly and came to a stoip in the empty parking lot... saw that the place was closed, unfortunastely, started to put the bike in gear when WWWWEEEEEEEEE-WWWWWWWWW!!!! A white Daytona Beach police car comes screaming in and stutters to a stop just inches from my bike. WHAT THE.....
Cop jumps out.
"LICENSE AND REGISTRATION PLEASE!" he commands;
What the HELL...
"I was just SITIING here!" I blurted out.
The young officer looked a little confused for a moment.
"Do you knoiw why I'm pullling you?" he asks. "You ran that red light when you pulled into this lot."
I peered backwards and didn't see anything. But he still had his hand out so I fished in my wallet for my license. I had no registration paperwork (left it home) so instead just gave him a copyt oi my insurance card. This is it, I thought grmly. He's going to ask iof I've had anything to drink and I'll be screwed. I had no choice but to stand tall and breathlessly waited for the Wave.
Officer clicks his shoulder mike and radios me in. "New Yawk Alpha Mary Alpha One.
That curious plate again... AMA1.... in a serious AMA motorcycle racing town.
He looks at my license card and flips it around in his fingers.
'i like the way New York makes these lecenses flexible like this," he says distractedly.
"Heh heh... yeah,... uhh they arte kind of nice... err ehh" I stuttered.
long pregnant pause ensues. Bullets of sweat are springing from my head
"Well I can see that your from out oif town," he says quietly. "We get a lot of problems around here.. and well, you ARE on a black bike."
"Oh, ahh.... really? I mumble.
He looks thoughtful for a second, sees the short distance between my bike and his strobing patrol car.. looks suddenly sheepish. Hands my liucesne back.
"uhh... sorry I came in so fast... uhh, lots of black bikes around here... umm. Well, you be careful and have a good night".
He got into his cruiser and pulled back onto the beach road.
I simply coul;dn;t believe it. The break was unbelieveable... but truly kept in keeping with the absolute Divine Intervention that I have felt so celarly ever since I took off on this highkly risky adeventure. As soon as I started breathing again I dredged up one of the most profound THANK YOU GODs that I've ever uttered. Did so repeatedly during the night... especially as I was parking the bike at my motel and heading out on foot.