Friday, March 2, 2012

Chattanooga, day 5: Tornado Day

Well, things aren't working out as I expected.
I'm trying to go home to L.A., but I'm not doing do a very good job.
Tornados within Hamilton County (the greater Chattanooga area) closed the airport.
We had to go back to the hotel that we had checked out of, this morning, and get new rooms.
So I took a 4 mile walk while black clouds gathered overhead.  There aren't all that many Confederate flags around, these days.  And that's a good thing.
Actually, Tennessee has been rather cosmopolitan and sophisticated.  I have a couple of ideas as to why:
1) According to Wikipedia, 20% of Tennesssee's residents are from outside The South.
2) Whenever you get any group of people isolated from the outside, world, things get ugly.  Modern Southerners travel the country, and the world, and bring new ideas and viewpoints home.  The South isn't the same place it was in the 1980s when I was in the Army, down here. 
The only Cardinals I saw, today.
By the time I was getting close to my hotel, the lightning was shooting sideways, with one bolt that struck the ground not too far away.  This lady with her 2 little girls in the car offered me a ride to safety.  I thanked her, and asked how much further it was to my hotel.  She insisted that I hop in.  Her two kids sat in the back of what was some sort of over-sized American car from the 80s.  They were like my kids: one was the friendly, outgoing one, while the other eyed me suspiciously.  I explained to them that I was really unhappy about not being home in L.A. tonight, since it's my son's birthday.
So I hopped out of the car, and walked into the lobby.  I told Rebecca, the porter, that I had just walked the 4 miles I had planned with her.  She indignantly drawled, "No, ya'll didna!  Ya'll just got outtava cah!"
My eyes bulged, and I stuttered, "No! Really!"

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