Monday, August 18, 2008

my "vacation" trip to lake city!


Saturday Mornings with Lucy>HERE
Adventures in Undiscovered Florida

The other day, I had to make a trip to Lake City, Florida, a small city of 15,000, about 90 miles to the east of Tallahassee. I had to have a "consult" with a doctor about my "MAC" condition, at the veterans hospital there. The trip by van took all day, getting there and back.

[another career, the "second career", that most elderly begin to have, by the time they get to be over 65:
----the tests, the baseline scans, the consults, the followups, the checkups, and this is just for one condition! Some seniors have ten or more Conditions! Each of these can take a day!]

So I went to have this done. The consult only took an hour, I had all afternoon free, so I walked to the downtown of this Lake city. About five blocks from the hospital.

The Point is.....that one can make a "special event" of almost anything! But it takes imagination and an ability to "step off of the path" to do so. I talked to the other vets on the van, took that walk, sat for an hour in the cafeteria experiencing the staff and patients of the hospital.
Thus I treated this trip as a "vacation"!

I went to a forest ranger school, here in this city, in 1963, the school promptly burned down!
I am not a stranger to this city. Apparently a huge mall was built out next to the two interstate intersections and then in a month or two, the whole downtown utterly DIED! A wholesale feeling of every merchant, nearly, to the mall, in fact the city itself is stretched out ten miles to Embrace this new intersection; probably the Influences were to make this intersection the "Real" Lake City!

So ten years later I walk downtown to see a vital and thriving small city downtown! I saw happy people, lots of small home owned stores and not a single franchise in sight, they all were at the mall, probably, where home owned businesses are actually frowned upon as the mall managements love to only rent to other huge franchises, as "big business" Understands the accounting of other big businesses, the small local business would be too too "individual" to Compute correctly there!
There is a real Soda fountain with a marble counter that looks to be 80 years old! Red rotating stools too! In a real drug store also! And real milkshakes and sodas!
Oh that counter was nearly empty, at 1 PM, but all of the tables were packed with people.

Then I saw that Mural! It was only recently made, made to celebrate a small town reinventing itself, that there IS Life After Malls!

This mural is one of the most "3-dimensional" wall murals that I have ever seen! A photo of it does not do it justice