There really is no place like home

Published 8:43 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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Well, I finally made it out there to Hollyweird, California and took a look around. It’s good to be home now.

Those Philistines have that recreational marijuana, and I think everything out there that breathes smokes that stuff. The entire town smells like a herd of run-over skunks on the highway.

We held our noses and enjoyed the sights from the hop on hop off bus. For those that don’t know, most big towns have a bus called a hop on hop off that will take you to all the tourist destinations and you can hop off and view whatever you want to see.

We went by Beverly Hills because the buses are not allowed to go through there so I didn’t get to see where Uncle Jed lived, but we saw most of the sights. We almost froze to death that first day because we left better weather than we arrived at. No sunny California for us until later in the week.

I finally got to see and actually walk the streets of Bakersfield that Thursday though. It wasn’t all I had high hopes of it being, but of course nothing ever is.

The Kern County Museum is actually a neat place to visit. They have recreated a early 1900’s town with old buildings moved to the site and erected in proper order. They have Merle Haggard’s old home place that was very nostalgic to visit.

We visited Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace and spent a good bit of time studying all the artifacts they had on display and I had my picture taken in front of the Bakersfield sign.

We had an Uber to take us to Venice Beach on Sunday. While there, I hired a guy with a three wheeled rickshaw like vehicle for an embarrassing amount of money I will not reveal. 

He took us all through Venice Beach all the way to Marina Del Ray, then all the way to the end of Santa Monica beach and dropped us off at the boardwalk pier where Forest Gump ran to on his running spree.

We walked to the end of the pier as tourists usually do and then we set out walking to Venice Beach. I could see it ahead but I didn’t think I had enough steps in me to reach it, but I trudged on.

I had an old uncle once that wasn’t much on labor and was accused of being so lazy that he wouldn’t even take a job at a bank counting money on the halves. It was said he always looked as if he was searching for a place to sit down.

I was that way that day. I walked until I picked out a place up ahead to sit down. These old dogs were barking trying to not only hold up my oversized frame but being unmercifully pushed step by step.

Finally, 3 1/2 miles later, we reached our destination. The little wife who takes almost daily exercise walks says “Would you like me to call Uber?” I replied yes, but what I was really thinking was call an ambulance or even a hearse if I’ve got to walk another mile. A most horrible experience for me and my sore feet.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit but I never want to go there again. Hollyweird and Bakersfield are two scratches off my bucket list and forever in my rear-view mirror.

Take care of yourself folks. No matter where I travel to, after all is said and done, home will always be my greatest destination.

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