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Before the superhighways

I grew up before the Interstate Highways transformed how Americans experience travel.  Each time we drove south from Ohio in the wastes of winter, the route would take us along county two-lanes that are now mostly overgrown backroads.  It took us countless extra hours, with red lights and tractors pulling out in front of us – but we were able to see facets of American life that were revealing, naked, exposed -- the Colored Only drinking fountains that were dry rust, a poverty and desolation that transcended race, the motels and jukeboxes that our high-speed McDonalds cloverleafs would maroon in silence in the backwater of our national awareness.  But in the backwater of our dreams, sometimes half-remembered, half-elaborated images break the surface. 

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