Friday morning. February 12 2010. We pack up the WQED van with suitcases and our camera equipment, sound gear, blank tapes, release forms, and three carrot-cake cupcakes made by Jackie at the Katerbean Coffee Shop in Regent Square. Pittsburgh still hasn’t recovered from the recent snows, but we gotta go.
I think I have a good plan for the Southern Breakfast trip. Hoping to grab four stories at least, we have two days to get to Tybee Island Georgia. Mapquest says it’s just over 720 miles.
We have iPods and CDs. It’s a small crew again: Bob Lubomski on camera, Glenn Syska on audio, and me, Rick Sebak, on producing and interviewing. We set off about 1 o’clock, not knowing where we’ll stop for the night.
The weather is bleak. It’s a black and white world as we head down Interstate 79 into West Virginia. We take Route 19 to Beckley, then the West Virginia Turnpike to its $2 end just south of Princeton. We stop for the night in Wytheville at a Fairfield Inn. Nice accomodations. Good dinner at the old Log House in town.
I know this set of roads heading South out of Pittsburgh toward the Carolinas because I lived in Columbia SC for 11 years and I traveled back and forth at least once or twice a year. I don’t think I ever stopped in Wytheville before. For some obscure or maybe misguided reason, I usually think of the soul singer-songwriter couple known as Womack & Womack when I drive by this town. I always liked them very much. I suspect that I once read that they lived near Wytheville, but I can’t substantiate that on the internet. Maybe it was another Wytheville. Anyway, they made great music.
Our journey is off to a good start. The roads have been clear since we got out of downtown Pittsburgh. Womack & Womack are singing in my head.