My family used to drive every year from Philadelphia to Decatur, Georgia to visit my dad’s parents. I’ll never forget those 14 hour car trips, jockeying for seat-space in our un-air-conditioned station wagon. (No seat belts in those days.) Oh the joy of arrival, flinging open the doors, racing onto the lawn scented of our grandfather’s roses, running into my grandmother’s arms (Arpege perfume.)
I’m en route to Decatur today, for the Decatur Book Festival where thousands of book lovers close downtown for bookish pursuits. I look forward to a panel I’m doing tomorrow with Jackie Cooper and Lee Martin, and to getting to rub elbows with much-admired authors I’ve encountered only on the page.
But what I’m most excited about is seeing cousins who live there, and my remarkable aunt who, at age 90, still drives and plays a mean bridge game. If only getting there today didn’t involve LGA and ATL airports. I have a feeling the trip might be faster in the old Chevy Impala peeking out from behind my blue pleats.