Rediscovering America – The Prequel


Merriam Webster defines bucket list as:
Popularity: Bottom 50% of words
|Definition of bucket list
1:  a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying.

OK then. Kinda bleak and to the point. Which may explain why the term is in the “Bottom 50% of words.”  But, I have always laughed when thinking of the term, “kicking the bucket,” when I hear the term “bucket list.”

Dark? You want dark? How about this, from the Urban Dictionary?
Phrase used to say someone is dead or has deceased. Term is derived from when suicides were common by a person preparing to hang himself, and used a bucket to stand on, and then kicked the bucket when suicide was desired.
example: Ole’ Charlie kicked the bucket today, we better prepare for his funeral.

Ergh. Ok then. So, a “bucket list” should be some pretty cool stuff. And, I think mine is.

But recently, after a rash of deaths of friends and acquaintances of mine and Deb’s, who were all our age or younger, we decide to “do the trip.” Fueled by the constant repetition of the phrase, “there are no guarantees in this life,” we set about making plans.

“The Trip” has been on my “Bucket List” for decades. The reasons for this exact trip are far more complex than just being the contents of a bucket. I am looking for some answers…

We will be touching twenty states in a little over 29 days. Two old married people (one far older than the beautiful younger one) in a Toyota Highlander, crammed to the brim with stuff. Hotels, B&Bs, Friends and Family will all be supplying our rest stops along the way, with a variety of “must see sites” from Mt. Rushmore to the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, with about every sort of attraction in between.

Take a look…

Mt. Rushmore? Check. The Corn Palace? Check. The Spam Museum? Check. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Check. The Rhinebeck Aerodrome? Check. And this is all before we even get to Katie’s in New Jersey.

A trip this epic requires a real sense of purpose. And this one has several…

It started with the primary purpose of beginning an equally epic task of the “declutterization of the Miller house.”

With five daughters, three of whom are in various stages of pre-marriage/post-college lives, almost half of our home’s downstairs has served as a surrogate storage unit for their crap…er…uhm…”most prized possessions,” long past their departures.

We are loading the Highlander to the brim with a china hutch my Dad built Katie to celebrate her High School Graduation, and as many of her “valuables” as we can cram inside, including a dollhouse that my Dad made for her when she was young. Packing up its contents reminded us how creative Katie’s decorating sense has always been…including miniature family portraits, glued to the living room of the doll house.


But the “Rediscovering America” Theme covers a couple of things. This is an election year (have you noticed?) and I want to get a political pulse on the heartland of the country, along with trying to figure out the influence of different forms of media in Mid/Small-Size rural towns, far away from the cluttered options of larger cities. I work in the radio industry, providing internet services to loads of markets across the country. I will be visiting some of those clients, as well as monitoring the radio dial as we travel.

I am taking the pulse of the radio industry. My concern, is that the “patient” isn’t healthy…and may be in hospice mode, without admitting they need help. We’ll see.

We are also going to be doing some organizational work/meetings for our non-profit group, “Friends Of Buyijja.”  We are moving into a new phase of our work, and we are excited to meet some of our primary donors and supporters.

And finally…we are just going to have fun, visiting some of the places we have had on the list of sites and sounds for decades. Places and experiences that will make “the trip” a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

I’ll be posting as we go. We’d love to have you come along with us, but there just isn’t room.  So, you’ll have to settle for seeing/hearing the trip through my words, pics, and videos.

Buckle in…the “Rediscovering America” express leaves Wednesday morning…


About crankyoldguy067

I'm a very complex I am. It may seem like I only golf, watch TV, and listen to Randy Newman, Tom Waits and Little Feat...but I am a deep, deep deep that at times I just have to lay down. I love my family. I love my wife for putting up with me. I have held more jobs than a Pakastani immigrant...and have had three complete career cycles. 1. In my first life (rymes with first wife) I did almost every blue-collar job you can imagine...all with alarming ineptetude. 2. In my second cycle, I owned an ad agency, was an award winning music producer, and recording artist. And now, since the advent of the Internet... 3.I have been pretty much locked into providing services and marketing support to radio stations across 160 markets...while dablling with writing...continuing to write music...managing several blog sites, the country club web site, and being a grandpa...while working to pay for the weddings of my last three daughters. I will be working until I am 70...or 75...or 80. My advice to anyone who wants to emulate my life... DON"T!!!!! Stay in college. Have a good, long career in something with a decent retirement program and good benefits. You can't pay for your gallbladder operation with an Emmy Award. Really. I've asked.
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