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Leominster, MA



I was trying to come up with a witty entry about "Three Broads" I ran into in the past few days, but I've got to go pick up a new load in a few and can't stay on topic for any length of time. Okay, the first "broad" is my favorite: the French Broad River in Tennessee and North Carolina, mostly in TN though. It's the name. French Broad sounds so erotic, so Rita Hayworth or seductive like Ingrid Bergman. Makes me try to imagine Burt Lancaster or Humphrey Bogart, a baguette, a bottle of cheap wine, and a French broad across the table.


Then the other day I was driving up through North Carolina and crossed the Broad River. I've crossed that river so many times it's silly, but that time it finally clicked. French Broad and Broad? Could there be a coincidence? Looked up French Broad in Wikipedia. Seems there were two broad rivers back in the early days when people didn't get around too much and had a rather narrow view of the world around them, say twenty or so miles.


It was those people who named the rivers, which coincidentally mind you, start their separate journeys to the sea quite close to each other. One headed east into the English colonies and was called the English Broad. The other headed west in the French colonies. English was lopped off the first one and it is now known simply as the Broad River.


The French Broad River has one other interesting bit about it. When it joins the Holston River at Knoxville, TN, it is generally agreed that is the headwaters of the Tennessee River.


The other broad of this story is Broad Mountain, Pennsylvania. I slept there last night, right up there on top where Sara Lee, Wal-Mart, and a few other companies have distribution centers. My delivery was at Sara Lee. She was quite excited to see me, too. When you're in a state like Pennsylvania and have a choice between putting your facility in a valley or on a mountain, well, sometimes up is just and good as down. Broad Mountain helps because it is broad and not pointy. No narrow ridges, just lots of plateaus, good for building huge warehouses.


Well, it's about time to get ready to head up to Ayr to pick up my load. It'll be another night of driving as I head west toward Michigan. Deer time, again.


As far as the writing goes, I am working on Chapter 13. I can say that. I've also started working on what will become my next big story. It takes place in the distant future, but not the future of sci-fi with spaceships that travel as fast or faster than the speed of light. No, this story takes place in a country that's run out of oil, coal, and quite a bit more. All those 0.001% bacterias and viruses that aren't killed and build up resistances finally had their day and decimated a lot of the higher lifeforms on the planet. The story takes place a hundred or so years after that when the survivors, the ones who had the correct genetics to fight off the diseases, are running the show, such as it is.


Think of Kansas, Nebraska, and maybe Missouri around 1810 or so. You're not white, you're an Indian. My characters are not Indians, but their cultures seem to be going in that direction. This is an adventure/coming of age story about Jesse, who is different, not that that matters anymore, and yearns to be a warrior and hunter. He dreams of killing his first city feller and taking his head. You have to do it up close, so the feller's blood gets on you. The only problem is that the nearest city is a couple hundred miles away through hostile territory, he'll have to walk because horses were one of the species that became extinct, and he needs someone to guide him.


Okay, I'm going, be safe out there on the highway and remember the big truck isn't going to jump out in front of you so quit hanging on the corner of the trailer. Go on by, damn it! And, while going by, don't linger in my blind spot. I might have to do something and if I can't see you, you'd better be ready for defensive driving lesson number one, the median or the brakes.



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