POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - My wife Sylvia and I arrived safely here in California a little over a week ago, after driving our Toyota Tundra pickup, heavily ladened with boxes of precious cargo, (ok, a lot of it was junk) from the home we sold in Watkins Glen. That was Part I of the trip. Part II starts in early September when I fly back to New York and grab my other pickup truck - a 1990 Nissan that I will drive slowly across the U.S. back here to California. Which brings us to John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. I purchased a copy at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore (an hour ago) using a portion of the gift card you all gave me recently. Perhaps I'll use the balance of that gift card at some Barnes & Noble in some other state. My driving/camping trip will not be a zip and zoom, cross-country sojourn. Instead, I plan to take a largely blue-highway tour, stopping whenever I feel like it, checking the pulse of communities in several states - a la Travels with Charley. I won't be retracing Steinbeck's trip. Instead, I will retrace (more or less) my own Travels taken in 1970 in a battered VW bus I bought in Jamestown. That bus would only go 45 mph. My Nissan can do 65 in a pinch. In 1970, I followed Interstate 80 from New York, diverting often from the four-lane highway once west of Chicago. And I'll do that again, I hope. Thanks again for the gift card, classmates. I'm putting it to good use.
Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.