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Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

While Wills and Kate were enjoying a posh party with 300 of their closest friends, Eddie, the boys and I were on our way to the Vidalia Onion Festival, which included a rodeo.

Here’s a photo essay.

Jesus is in the market for a stuffed member of the Rat Pack?

Vidalia, the Sweet Onion City

The city’s bounty comes in regular and jumbo sizes, and in five-, 10- or 25-pound bags. I chose a 10-pounder.

The city's harvest dipped in batter and drowned in oil. Yum! Dominic is not so sure.

Paramedics at the rodeo. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

The boys enjoy an up-close-and-personal view of cow hide.

Nothing says "festival" quite like a funnel cake.

And nothing says "festival in the country" quite like boiled peanuts. Gideon likes them too!

Ridin' and ropin' with a generous helping of Toby Keith and Garth Brooks over the loudspeaker.

Where have all the cowgirls gone? Here, "cloverleafing" around barrels.

The rodeo was entertaining, even though the cowboys and cowgirls were high school students and not professionals.

Everyone we talked to kept inviting us to the “street dance.” I don’t know what that was, but we didn’t go. We had already been a little spooked by the first thing we heard upon arriving:

We need parents to help out with the goats, please.

That’s not something I’ll bet Wills and Kate heard at their soirée.

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One of the greatest parts of my job — and there are many great parts — is that I get to travel to different high schools to give workshops about writing. Today, I was at Idyllwild Arts Academy to talk about writing for the Web and new media.

The school reminds me of the Camp Fire Girl camp I used to attend: Camp Toccoa. They are both all woodsy and have log cabins and wooden signs. Idyllwild is sleepaway high school, otherwise known as boarding school.

Here’s a view toward the library where I gave my presentation.

I’ll bet you couldn’t tell that Idyllwild is in Southern California. It’s in the San Jacinto Mountains between Palm Springs and Los Angeles. That scenery is VERY different from the landscape I drove through to get there. What follows is my interior monologue as I made my way from I-10 to California 243:

Scrubby scrub tumbleweed dust dirt this place is so dry tumbleweed loofah scrubby scrub scrub hey now here are some boulders wow there are lots of boulders is that a joshua tree this is getting kind of high this road is curving what is the speed limit great now my radio station is gone but I’m not going to stop to fix it let’s shut it off who is texting me right now must focus on this expletive road and holy cow this road is steep and expletive there are no expletive guard rails why wouldn’t they put in guard rails oh my God it’s raining now too and this road goes on forever and I’m afraid I’m going to drive off the side there’s expletive fog expletive now fantastic where is this expletive place I don’t want to die holy expletive elevation 6,000!

There are no guard rails in places I think there should be guard rails:

And this part of the trek reminded me of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia, and the road to El Yunque in Puerto Rico:

It was a harrowing journey in the fog in a rental car. Clearly I made it alive, and the students in the workshop were worth the trek.

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