Wednesday, June 30, 2010


FIRST, THEY MAKE YOU PAY TO PARK, which is really okay because the parking fees support really fine restroom facilities in the Chamber of Commerce/Amtrak Depot. However, one can either pay in coin or with credit card. Lacking pocket change I inserted my Visa to discover I’ll be tagged for a two-hour minimum at a buck an hour. The good news is that I got credit until noon even though I slipped the card in at 9:40. Very liberal meter, I’m thinking in a very liberal town.

So I hiked across the street to the bakery and find one of those white oval shaped stickers in the window of the door. You know, the ones often seen on cars and SUVs with black lettering that brags of the owner’s travel exploits saying “LT” for Lake Tahoe, or “JH” for Jackson Hole – and you feel like an idiot for sneaking a peek at the small print because you’re not hip enough to know what the initials stand for. This one had “NRA” on it and I was just about to settle in for a cup of Joe and a cinnamon roll, when my curiosity got the better of me. In this berg, NRA must mean something hip. It can’t be that NRA. Well I looked. I was wrong.

THE OTHER DAY, I received a letter from Wayne LaPierre telling me that forces were afoot trying to restrict my second amendment right to bear an arm and they were comprised of the Hollywood elites (who have spent the last eighty years glorifying the use of firearms, Wayn-oh), the liberals in Congress and the current administration. Coincidentally, that same day, five folks standing in their driveway in Del Paso Heights after the recent Lakers victory were cut down in a hail of bullets from a passing car. Two died. One still may. No additional number of guns in that or many other situations would have reduced the mayhem. Quite the opposite.

The waitress may have had a “What the hell?” moment as I left without ordering. An ethical thing for me to do would have been to stop by the owner/manager and say:

“I will respect to my dying breath your right to hold a point of view and your courage for putting it out there for all to see and, in some cases, like this one, risking some small loss of business because of it. Good for you, sister! However, because individual gun ownership is constitutionally reserved only for those members of a well-regulated militia, and because of the NRA’s wanton disregard for this and their constant fear-mongering, I shall be seeking my cinnamon roll elsewhere.”

But I didn’t man-up and say this. I just marched on out.

DOWN THE SIDEWALK I strolled, finding coffee and pastry just a few doors away. Eight bucks later, after having what must have been yesterday’s brew and what appeared to be a grocery store variety Entenmanns’s bear claw (bad) smothered in butter (good!), I headed back for the bike a little lighter of pocket than seemed reasonable.

Two hours remained on my two-hour parking pass. A livin’-the-dream twenty-something pulled up in an older Toyota Highlander. A well-worn river kayak strapped to the roof. He looked like he could use some free parking this day.

“Dude,” he said, as I handed the pass his way, “that’s very kind of you.”

“Hope you’re not in the market for a pastry this morning,” I replied, hoping to alert him to the seriousness of the current circumstance.

His quizzical look was not lost on me as I mounted the motorcycle and drove off.

© 2010
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. None of which is to suggest that I think we should outlaw gun ownership - abhorrent though I may think the practice is. We should, however, amend the second amendment to strike the following: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." Let's be honest. It is certainly a portion of the Constitution so-called constitutionalists choose to ignore. Probably because it's so damned inconvenient to be a member of a"well organized militia."

  2. Damn. I was looking forward to a cinnamon roll and a good cup of coffee in Truckee. Good thing it wasn't the end of a long day on the road and the NRA advocate did not own a bar with a good selection of scotch. Now that there would have been a real dilemma.

    BTW, Someone please tell me why every time I try to post a comment I get a message telling me that my open ID could not be verified. I am a subscriber to this blog. I have a Wordpress blog and try to use that ID.

    I have profoundly witty comments and always have to post anonymously because system will not accept otherwise. WTF???


  3. Eight bucks is too much for a less than stellar cinnamon roll and coffee. I think a good cinnamon roll might be too complex for a lot of bakeries and cafes, too many textures and flavors that have to be balanced, when they have other items to look after... Bummer.
    Randy-that would bug me too. I am a subscriber and I don't have a blog, but I get to comment as myself.