September 30, 2007

One Way Or Another, You'll Get Bit

Today, it's the road less-traveled--unless you're a trucker or a motorcycle enthusiast. I even saw a guy on a bicycle outside Lee, Florida on highway 90. But in 1970, Interstate-10 hadn't been built and traffic must've been a thick bramble on the North Florida passage.

A snip from the Walkin' Notes, on highway 90 between Monticello and Madison.

Had a few distractions today. First, there was a close call when a car passing another one almost clipped me and a boy walking with me. I was telling Mrs. Yarborough, who runs a store about midway between Greenville and Madison about how difficult it was walking in the grass after we decided to get further down the road. It had been raining, the grass was tall. She told me that in the last few days four rattlesnakes had been seen right by her place and suggested that out in the grass wasn't too good a place to be walking. I told her I'd seen a few snake skins but no live snakes, and I'd kept telling myself that people must be throwing snake skins out of their car windows. Well, I'm afraid I hadn't convinced myself and after talking with Mrs. Yarborough, I hunted snakes the rest of the way into Madison. The choices are kind of tough: getting hit by a car or bit by snake!

I think that's just it. Chiles got the money problem by the tail. In small-money (or no money) politics, the dangers are in-your-face and some come with rattles. But if you step in the right places and watch the way in front of you, you'll get to Madison or Greenville or wherever you're going. You might even lost 20 pounds when the walk is all over.

It's nothing compared to the slow-working poison of lost independence in big-money politics. To a proud politician, the hours on the phone with donors asking how their day is, trying to find out their "tell"--they make a mark. Repeated requests for "ten minutes alone" to talk golf. You could be dead for years and not even realize it.

It's like he said, you keep telling yourself that people are throwing snake skins out of windows, even though you know it's not true.

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