Diplowife and I just returned from a pleasant weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although many establishments remained on ChiCom virus "lock down," total or partial, or required face masks, enough functioned to give a taste of Charlotte's greatness. The three hour-plus drive from Wilmington runs though a lot of beautiful NC countryside and small towns. We still have no interstate all the way; I, selfishly, hope it remains that way. You, however, must watch your speed since dramatic drops in the posted limit occur as you approach some towns.
American flags and Trump/Pence signs greeted us all along the route: I have no doubt of how rural North Carolina will vote.
We went for the Saturday wedding of a good family friend; our three sons served as groomsmen. We stayed in downtown Charlotte, although the event itself took place in a vineyard some 30 miles away. Having arrived in the city the night before, we wanted a good nearby restaurant, and asked the receptionist for a recommendation. A Caribbean immigrant, judging from her accent (see disclaimer below), she urged us to exercise care; a few days prior the neighborhood had suffered BLM violence, with "protestors" erupting into the hotel. She hoped things would stay quiet; the "protestors" who stormed the lobby had frightened her a great deal.
Outside, indeed, we saw evidence of the "protests": broken and boarded windows, graffiti, and a portion of the street on one side of our hotel blocked. That blocked stretch of street displayed a bizarre BLM mural, and a four-foot, greenish, faux "Lady Liberty" statue standing on a two-foot pedestal, right fist raised, a noose holding the "scales of justice" dangling from her left hand, and an upside-down American flag draped over her back. About a dozen, maybe more, "protestors" milled about, including several obese white women, some wearing the standard SS-type black BLM/Antifa outfits. They left us two old reactionaries alone; the "activists" seemed more interested in taking pictures of themselves adopting faux "revolutionary" poses in front of faux "Lady Liberty." Clowns. Stupid ignorant clowns. Proud products of our faux universities.
We found a nice Brazilian restaurant and enjoyed an excellent dinner, even if the wait staff wore masks and gloves giving off a bit of an emergency room air. Our walk back to the hotel passed without incident, although a small number of bored-looking "protestors" still wandered around the BLM mural. They, again, ignored us . . . oh, in case you ask, and, ahem, just in case, I had my Springfield Armory 1911 EMP--a very good carry weapon.
The open-air wedding ceremony the next day had about 90 or so participants--no masks, no distancing, lots of handshakes, hugs, back slaps, and kisses. Nearly the entire group, including the groom, consisted of Venezuelans living in Florida. Officiating the nuptials, we had a pastor from a small town in Wales--one of my sons, a fanatic about and very accurate when it comes to accents, claimed the good Rev obviously had spent time in Northern Ireland because of how he pronounced certain vowels. I don't know what to say about that. I have little ear for accents--to my son's chagrin, I can't tell an Aussie from a Kiwi, or a Canadian from a Yank--but having watched a couple of Welsh police dramas on TV, at least I thought he sounded Welsh. I kept looking for subtitles to appear when he spoke, but dim.
All had a good time. Your humble correspondent filled the role for which God has him on earth: sitting at a table, watching over the purses and the shawls of the ladies cavorting on the dance floor.
The ENTIRE wedding crowd proved fanatically pro-Trump. One very smart young Venezuelan-American told me, "Do brown lives matter? Do Latin lives matter? I don't hear those protestors saying that!" He would vote Trump, needless to say, but said anyhow.
Back in Wilmington, my own presidential debate prep has begun: you know, buying popcorn and pizzas. I will head to Raleigh to watch that debate with two Diplosons. In the absence of decent stand-up comedy these days, the Trump-Biden rumble will have to do.