Travels with Vamper
A Graybeard's Journey
Biography / Memoir
December 13, 2017
A chronicle of a retired professor's roadtrip into America's heartland during the 2016 Presdidential campaign. The author fuses geography, culture, history, politics, and people into a cohesive story that informs, charms, and surprises.
A few folks, including my wife, Diane, lifted their eyebrows when I announced I was going to buy a used camper van and travel the country alone in celebration of my retirement. I knew I was no John Steinbeck, but my idea was to create a Travels with Charley road trip with a dash of Blue Highways. Donald Trump was pushing and shoving his way through the Republican primaries and Bernie Sanders was promising free college education for all. People were taking sides on the question of whether Black Lives Matter was racist (as if black lives matter only when the value of white lives is acknowledged). The generation forged in the 60s, my generation, people destined to make America more equitable, more environmentally sensitive, less violent, and more inclusive, now lived in a deeply divided society marked by permanent war, an increasing gap between rich and poor, climate change denial, resurgent racism, gun violence, and distrust of government. I wanted to get out into the American homeland at a street level to observe and ponder what was happening.