We’ll get to that in a moment. We remain alive and well in our snug little Airstream campground in the Georgia mountains on the banks of the singing Chattahoochee River. We are well, but this state is becoming a hotspot for C-19, thanks to our governor who reopened everything a day after Trump told him to. This is the same guy who had his staff mix up the dates so that the New Cases and Deaths charts for his state show a nice steady decline. Georgia: where else does March 28 follow April 11, and the 11th precede April 4?
Governor Brian Kemp re-opened the state April 15 after an official shutdown of less than three weeks. Everyone was supposed to continue social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear masks … if that feels right. On weekends our little tourist hotspot is booming, but no one stays 6’ apart or wears a mask. Even the miniature golf course is packed, and we saw half a dozen (stereotypically smart) Asians posing together on the 18th hole. (Kat and I observed them from the safety of our truck as we slowly rolled through town). Slowly is the operative word: there was bumper to bumper traffic coming in the direction of Atlanta for all three miles leading into Helen, GA.
The groceries in nearby Cleveland are not packed, but only 50% or so of the shoppers are masked. Still, you gotta eat, and since I love to cook, we gotta eat well. We tryin’ to hold it to one trip a week, but for a guy who normally hits the groceries six days a week, that ain’t easy.
I think I mentioned our campground cat, Wally. He loves people, and birds (for food), but hates other cats. We now seem to have another camp animal, a grown but still young black bear. He fears people and hates their BBQ grills (if you don’t hose it out after each use, he is gonna lick your grill after opening it the hard way, by brute force). I jokingly suggested to our camp host that the bear deserves a name too. “What do you suggest?” “If he keeps coming into camp, I figure the Forest Service will shoot him. So name him after the dumbest guy in this state: Brian”. That poor old fella was either too kind or so wool-gathered he didn’t get the joke.
And here’s the source of our title. A lot of people in Houston and Minneapolis loved George Floyd. He was something of a preacher, described by many as ‘a gentle giant’. There is a police chief in Tennessee who got half a million or so re-Tweets for telling all the cops in this nation “Watch that video and listen to it. We don’t need to wait for all the facts to come out, just watch the video, and if you don’t think that’s just wrong, turn in your badge.”
I say, if we want black and brown people to behave like law-abiding whites (we got some baddies, too, you know) you, me, our governors, and our next president have to start treating them like whites. I thought things were bad in the Vietnam era, and in the time of our Sandbox Wars. But of all the years in my life we have never needed an in-person visit from Jesus as badly as today.
Here’s that Little Ol’ Band from Texas, ZZ Top, tellin’ it like it is, well, like I wish it was.