Two Greyhound Bus trips around the USA – half a century apart – is the topic of a new book by MJA old-timer and one-time deputy chair Tim Albert.
In 1969 he travelled 12,000 miles around the country, had his first job in journalism at the Pasadena Star-News and kept a copious diary. Last year he went back – creakier, less brave but still preferring to take shorthand notes rather than trust in new-fangled electronic gadgets.
His adventures included being mistaken for a homeless person, seeing Pasadena from a police car, hearing violently opposing views on the President (and on reality), defending(several times) Britain’s ‘socialist medicine’, getting a taste of pay-on-demand US medicine ( having tripped over at a Seniors’ Wellness Day) and being offered via his mobile phone a mail order AK-47.
The book has been well received:
– ‘A lovely evocation of heady times in America’ – BBC journalist James Naughtie
– ‘His battles with his older body and the frustrations and mores of modern technology are darkly funny’ – novelist Alice Allan
Tim says: ‘Looking back now from the middle of a pandemic, the summer of 2019 seems to have been a particularly precious year – and perhaps the last of its kind. Travelling on the buses gave me an unusual perspective. At times it felt that I was travelling through parallel universes with parallel truths. But I still experienced those flashes of unexpected kindness that I noted in my diary half a century ago’.
Two Summers: Nixon and Trump by Greyhound Bus, Tim Albert, Elbow Publishing, available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback from Amazon and local bookshops.