Friday, 8 October 2010

Cedar City October 6th
It has been another pretty dreary day. The rain finally stopped at about 3.00 but that was too late to get anywhere near Bryce Canyon. I have finished a book. I have done a couple of crosswords from the compilation book given to me by Wellington Common Room. I browsed in a second hand bookshop. I took some video of Cedar City in the rain. I watched some baseball, in which Roy somebody-or-other achieved a no-hit perfect pitching performance for the Phillies. About which I have as much clue as the average American would about bowling a string of maidens in succession.
Now that the weather has cleared a bit, I think I am going to get up early tomorrow and make an attempt to get to the Grand Canyon. If it doesn’t work out, I can bypass it given the route I have in mind. It just seems a shame to be within 150 miles of it and not to give it a go.
There are two bars in Cedar City, population around 12,000 people. I visited one last night and met Scotty and Matt. Scotty was born on Islay and came over with his parents in 1950. He moved to California and came to Cedar City via Las Vegas. As you do. He still owns the house that belonged to his parents on Islay. He has three daughters aged 41, 39 and 10, having been married four times. I didn’t ask but it may explain his movements. He fancied himself as a bit of a wit which, if you like slapstick, he is. I am not a fan of slapstick. He could not have been more friendly, though, and I felt it was important that I indulged him. With his prominent gnashers, he might do a brilliant Ken Dodd impression but it wasn’t part of his repertoire and I didn’t want to offend him by suggesting he added it.
Matt is his lodger and is out of work. Just in parentheses, it is odd that I have met so many who are out of work in bars. Those who are gainfully employed don’t seem to want to spend their own money but the unemployed seem comfortable blowing their welfare. I had a very interesting conversation with him about gun laws. He told me that part of why it is so dear to Americans goes right back to the time when the British banned anyone else from having weapons in the 1770s. He owns an AK-47, if you please. So I was deferentially nice to him. He uses it for popping off at cans and bottles, when he can afford the ammunition. Again, as you do.
Both were coruscating about Obama. I have yet to meet anyone who supports him. I know that my political sources are the sort of useless people like me who hang around in bars, so it is not necessarily a representative sample. Even so, the depth of anti-feeling is extraordinary. An oft repeated allegation is that having come in on a ‘Mr Clean’ ticket, so many of his potential appointments have been scuppered by revelations of jiggery-pokery, either financial or moral.
I should have more to write about tomorrow. I think if the car survives the journey ( and there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t), I will feel that I have done the bulk of it. There will be no more very long drives.
There is a golf gag there but it is late and I’m up early, so I won’t even try.

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