America is a trip.
That doesn't mean an over-the-road journey from The Port of New York to The Port of Los Angeles. Nor is it a north-south ride on The City of New Orleans with the sons of Pullman porters and the sons of engineers. You might get your kicks on Route 66, but those kicks aren't in the miles covered.
The speed you travel, the encounters you remember, and the moments you cherish? That's the trip. Because America is not a matter of geography. It's the kind of trip Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda take while bearing "The Weight" of The Band.
The title On the Road isn't Jack Keouac's location; it's his jazz-addled observations:
And before me was the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent; somewhat far across, gloomy, crazy New York was throwing up its cloud of dust and brown steam. There is something brown and holy about the East; and California is white like washlines and emptyheaded - at least that's what I thought then.
Huckleberry Finn's adventure is not just a journey on the Mississippi; it is a life on the Mississippi:
We catched fish, and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud, and it warn’t often that we laughed, only a kind of low chuckle. We had mighty good weather, as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all, that night, nor the next, nor the next.
I could go on with titles, quotes, and clips from cinematic and literary classics of The American Trip, but those three touchstones of Easy Rider, On the Road, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provide enough fodder to explain the trip that is America. It is all there: Its Native-American past, its colorful grifters, its unhinged wild men, its racial tensions, its addiction to violence, and, of course, its spacious skies. You don't need to drop psychedelics when the biggest mind bend of them all is to simply follow the advice of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild:"
Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
It just needs you to make it happen.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Dave Nemo Weekends heads out in search of Spacious Skies. We're looking for encounters and moments with people, places, and things that are uniquely American.
Give us the jaw dropping first view of a hidden canyon, the roadside attraction with no other value than the fact somebody took the time to build it, or the town oddball who turned out to be saner than any of her supposedly "normal" neighbors. Call in with offbeat historical reenactments, regional delicacies you can't wait to sample again, and fireworks for a festival with which few are familiar. We want it made in America, only in America, and distinctly your America.
Our three guests this weekend absolutely, positively fit that bill. We have a hard-scramble high seas entrepreneur turned reality television star, a heroic Navy Seal who speaks for man's best friend, and a spokeswoman for a shining example of Main Street America.
Saturday at 8am ET, Captain Dave Marciano returns to talk not only "Wicked Tuna" but also directly to you. The National Geographic star will be taking your calls for the full hour, along with telling us about the ones gotten and the ones that got away.
Sunday we're doubling down on guests. As part of the celebrated team responsible for the raid on Bin Laden's compound, Will Chesney needs no introduction. However, his dog Cairo does, so Chesney wrote a book to tell the tale of his extraordinary canine. No Ordinary Dog recounts a story of bonding that begins before a fateful mission and continues to this day with both man and animal saving each others lives. Tune in for that story at 8:30am ET.
Finally, we are pleased to welcome Lynn Berry back to the show. As Director of Communications for historic Branson, Missouri, Lynn will be sharing all the virtual offerings her community has to offer for Memorial Day and what's in store for tourists in the fall when the city is fully reopened for business.
It's probably clear that the topic of Spacious Skies is in honor of Memorial Day. When you call or write in to share your awe, wonder, silliness, and melancholy wistfulness of America, take the time to remember those who in making the ultimate sacrifice ensured generations of Americans to come would enjoy all that wonder out there. Look into the spacious skies. You can't see them, but they are there.
They're why the trip is worth taking.
Call in this weekend--615-292-6366. Jimmy Mac and Clare Marie are live on Dave Nemo Weekends from 7-11am ET on SiriusXM 146, Road Dog Trucking Radio.
Don't have a SiriusXM subscription? The channel is FREE to listen through May 31.
Cover photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash.