By Pilar, a Trail Mix Contributor
I was at the mechanic when they opened; it was still dark outside. The mechanic had no desire to tell me when the car would be ready so I decided to walk the four miles back to the house. This became an awakening.
First, I stopped for a cup of coffee, then set off down Turkey Lake Road. I walked a few hundred yards and saw some people with hoodies; not good. According to the “news media,” people with hoodies can be trouble. Some called them “thugs,” a code word. I returned to the coffee place then realized the “thugs” were just kids with hoodies heading to school. The point is, I never would have had this thought if I was in my car.
So I took off walking down Turkey Lake Road and finished my coffee, there were no trash cans; what do people do with without trash cans coffee cups? We have them in our cars or just throw them in the back seat. I walked three miles before I found a trash can. That’s where all the trash comes from; people without cars have no place for trash other than carrying it. So, it winds up on the side of the road and people with cars complain about all the trash.
Along Turkey Lake I saw that Universal Studios had built an enormous fence around new construction; I thought maybe they could give Trump a hand with his wall.
After a couple of miles a bus stop beckoned and a bus happened along. Being a little tired of walking, I got on the bus and found out how people without cars are treated. I asked the driver if I could pay with paper money; the driver grunted and pointed at a cash machine then lurched the bus forward as I held on, held my coffee, and tried to get money out. The coffee spilled; the driver did not care. I asked how much and the driver grunted something again that sounded like “more.” It cost two dollars. I asked if the bus was going to turn onto Sand Lake Road toward my destination and the driver grunted and shook his head “no.” After a one-half mile ride, I got off the bus and thanked the driver who replied with another grunt. They don’t treat people without cars very nicely.
While walking down Sand Lake Road toward the Crawford’s, I got thirsty and needed a rest room for a little relief. Where do people without cars go for water and relief? Not to worry, with a car they will be somewhere very soon. I found a grocery store, went in to look for the men’s room thinking there should be a water fountain; there was. No one in the store paid any attention because I look like someone who would have a car. Otherwise, I would have been shown to the door. The people in the store were very nice to me. I was happy I had a car, although at the moment I was carless.
I got back on the road with another mile to go. I entered the Bay Hill enclave and after a few hundred feet the sidewalk ran out. Where do people without cars walk; in the street? Without a car, you walk in the street. It made me wonder if this was by design to keep people without cars out! This was not a pedestrian friendly place; wonder why?
Then there were the no trespassing/no solicitation signs for people without cars. The people who walk on Sand Lake Road might think the no solicitation signs have another meaning. No trespassing, hmmm; what if I was not an old white guy but was wearing a “thug” hoodie? How far would I have gotten into the no sidewalk community?
Up until now, no one paid a bit of attention to me, but now, in Bay Hill, they were waving as they passed in their cars. I have white hair and beard so I must have resembled someone who “belonged.” They just kept waving and smiling so I waved back and felt like I belonged. This is nice, but I thought I might not be so welcome with a “hoodie.”
Two women, on bicycles, on the other side of the street rode by waving and shouted “good morning.” I must have looked like someone from “around here,” nice treatment.
Note from Craig: Pilar is my cousin-in-law who was recently visiting our Southern Command in Orlando. He is a renaissance man I much admire, who can repair a faucet, cook a gourmet meal and build a boat — and submit a profound essay such as this. Hoping he’ll become a regular Trail Mixer.