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See the U.S.A. !!!!

I never know how to answer the inevitable question, "Where are you from?" If I have uttered a single word before that inquiry, the country of my origin must surely be evident. I guess I could be Canadian, but let's assume the inquirer knows I'm American by the accent I cannot and don't wish to disguise. So then, what exactly are they asking me? I left my home state of Pennsylvania for wild and wonderful West Virginia before heading to Kentucky, back to Pennsylvania, onto Africa, to England, Arizona, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia again, Massachusetts, and finally back to Virginia before settling in England. I possess a twinge of pride for having visited (the rule is: it has to be at least an over-nightere and not just in an airport) forty-seven of our fifty states. A visit to Maine, North Dakota, and Alaska remains on my bucket list. America is huge and many of us enjoy seeing it all! State-hopping used to be a national pastime. A 1952 commercial decreed, "See the USA in your Chevrolet!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ5tKj0aBDc . So we did! Well, in our case it was in a Dodge. Five of us crammed into that un-air conditioned car and in 1958, we followed the route of the old wagon trains to California. My Mom managed the sick bags and a confusing assortment of AAA guides that rated the sparse motels dotted across the map. My Dad, trip-planning master and the only licensed driver, smoked a pipe while navigating a spaghetti dish of bumpy back roads that connected one dusty town to the next in the pre-Interstate Highway era. And my U.K. readers should find it amusing that it was WW II General Dwight D. Eisenhower's experiences and frustrations with England's narrow, twisting, unmarked roads that induced him to champion probably the most important legislation of his presidential career - the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956. On, I do thank you, Mr. President! No more sick bags, no more peeing in the bushes, brown bag picnics along the prickly roadside, or staying at a Bate's Hotel. Don't you think if Americans once again hit the road and hop on over to another state, they would get to know their neighbors and find out they have more in common than the contentious rhetoric from Washington D.C. would lead us to believe? America is still asking you to call!
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