Ode to Charles Kuralt Part II

Last week I offered a tribute to Charles Kuralt after completing four cities in four days. Yet all of those were in California. I am now in the middle of 10 cities in 10 days. I have decided to offer a different twist.

My goal is to “compete” with Charles Kuralt, although he will always be the master of Americana. I am a humble imitator that would be honored to come anywhere close to what he brought to this country through his travels.

Therefore, I have decided to see if he has been where I have been, and compare and contrast our experiences.

On Saturday, October 17th, I spoke at a GOP BBQ in Duplin County, North Carolina. Pink Hill was the city.

For those who have never had Carolina BBQ, do it as quickly as you can. I was a very satiated man by the time I was done eating.

Also, check out the greenery of North Carolina. It is breathtaking.

Yet most importantly, meet the people. I keep hearing about red states and blue states. This is nonsense. People are people. No state in the union has a 90-10 registration differential. Most states that are considered red or blue have a 60-40 breakdown. Then within each state are counties and cities with their own personalities. North Carolina is considered a red state, but Duplin County is controlled by Democrats. Republicans have been in the minority for some time.

The people I met were quite religious. They expressed how much they loved their Christian faith. Yet like most Christians I have met, they did not see me as a heretic for being Jewish. They did not try to convert me. All they did was obey the basic Christian tenet of “love thy neighbor.”

My Duplin experience got off to a bizarre start. I arrived at the location, which was in the middle of nowhere, except less remote. The only thing near the building was a trailer. I parked near the trailer, and out of nowhere, a shirtless young man opened the door. I had heard of people living in trailers, but had never met one. Apparently I was on his property.

I explained that I was attending an event, and he said it was fine to park there. His name was Caleb, and I sat on the grass outside while he sat on his porch. He had long hair, and did kind of have a crazed look about him. At only 20 years old, he already had a wife and child. Yet while he called himself a redneck, he was not “trailer trash.” He had a job. He fixed cars, which I certainly can’t do.

I told him I was from California, and he asked me a very valid question in a quizzical tone of voice that was totally appropriate. He was not hostile, but his question was certainly expected.

“Why are you here?”

Apparently people do not voluntarily hang out near his trailer.

I saw he was not some backwoods hick, and he saw I was not some stuckup snob from a big city. People are people.

When I left Duplin County, I told him that I would never forget him. He was the last guy I spoke to in North Carolina. I would not have had it any other way. He was one of the strangest guy I had ever met, but he would probably say the same about me. Either way, Caleb was fun as all heck to chat with.

Yet if there is one memory I will take away from Duplin County, North Carolina, it was meeting Stevie Rivenbark, who is Miss Wilmington. She finished in the top 10 in the Miss North Carolina pageant. The eventual Miss North Carolina went on to become Miss USA.

Stevie Rivenbark is that rare combination of stunning beauty, fine mind, and inner warmth.In the coming weeks I will be interviewing her. If she has a Jewish twin sister, I will propose to that woman immediately.


I would like to thank Judy Arnett and Bob Pruett for introducing me to the lovely people of Duplin County. Yes, I would still be saying this if Ms. Wilmington was not there.

I drove six hours to Silver Springs Maryland. My friend Rachael, who does not share my politics, has a beautiful and kind heart. She also had a comfy couch for the weary to rest.

On Sunday, October 18th, I got to meet the people of Monkton, Maryland. I was the opening act for Jim Rutledge, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Jim is a great guy, and his wife Kim is just lovely. His staffer Lisa Fitzhugh took a complete stranger and made him feel like family. In fact, I think I showed the crowd that normal people can be from anywhere, even California.


Later that day, I got to speak to the Montgomery County, Maryland, Republican Women’s Federated. These women were passionate, and they were sharp as can be. One lady, 90 years of age, had energy that would make someone half her age envious.  Liz Rubin put the event together. Liz is a proud mother. Her daughter lost a shoe while competing in a race, yet finished the race with one foot shoeless.

On Monday, October 19th, I attended a luncheon put on by the Washington, DC, chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Rachael attended with me. Despite not sharing my politics, her thirst for learning is as admirable as it is extensive.

The speaker was Ilan Berman, who offered a very unique approach to stabilizing Iraq. He thinks we should spend more on Iraqi education. It was a very different stand than one I would expect from a man who calls himself a conservative, but it was a fascinating discussion. I am still surprised that a discussion about foreign policy and Iraq would become a discussion about education. This was not a warmonger’s council. It was a serious discussion that any think tank would have been proud to witness.

Later that night, I spoke to the Arlington, Virginia, Young Republicans. Ian Meyeroff not only introduced me to many young Republicans, but he showed me where in Virginia to find a great burger. The place is “Whitlows.” He even found a couch for me to sleep on, so I did not have to drive back to Silver Springs.

In attendance at that event was a woman I went on a date with on December 23rd, 2004. She is now happily married to a great guy, and they have triplets. I met him for the first time, and he started by saying, “You dated my wife.” He said it in a jocular way that had us all laughing. Apparently he made a much better impression on her than I did. She is a lovely woman, but my short attention span had me fawning over somebody else on December 24th, 2004, allowing her to meet him.

I expected Tuesday, October 20th, to just be a trip to the airport. Yet thanks to a conservative blogger that prefers anonymity, I found myself at a blogger conference at the Heritage Foundation. This blogger is a staffer for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

Just being inside the Heritage Foundation was a humbling experience. This is where sky high amounts of knowledge are unleashed and transmitted to America. I could picture Charles Krauthammer and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal sitting in chairs coming up with the next concept that would transform America for the better.

No, I did not get to see Michael Steele in Maryland or Sir Charles of Krauthammer in DC, but I did make many new friends. Oh yeah, and if I forgot to mention it, Ms. Wilmington is pretty hot.

I landed in Los Angeles in time to sleep for a few hours before driving to San Diego and back to LA last night. Today is Diamond Bar and tomorrow is Palm Springs.

Yet curiosity forced me to see how Mr. Kuralt fared in these places.

Mr. Kuralt was from North Carolina, so he gets a head start on that one. The playing field is tilted in his favor.

Yet he was everywhere. He simply was the king of American Adventures.


As for me, it is an honor to even attempt to follow in his footsteps.

On to the next adventure.


4 Responses to “Ode to Charles Kuralt Part II”

  1. Dav Lev says:

    There is the other side of the coin when it comes to berating liberals.

    Just listen to Ron Paul, a definite right wing conservative legislator from
    the great State of Texas.

    He has now come out with a book, and was interviewd on the Tavis
    Smiley TV show.

    Talk about outrageous policies..few can beat him. He is off the wall
    and makes Nancy Pelosi look good.

    I won’t go into detail.

    He is obviously not a blue-dog democrat or a George Bush
    Republican. But he does garner support, among the youth just
    as Obama had support among the youth.

    I mean going back on the silver and gold standard, leaving everything
    up to government, avoiding any responsibility on the other sides of both
    our oceans…come on.

  2. If you really want to compete with Charles Kuralt, you might want to try to do something non-partisan once in a while. ;)

    By the way, NC voted for Obama last election. So much for “Red State.” As people move from the Northeast to NC and Virginia (and Florida) – and they are, en masse – those states will become more and more Blue. That’s why Obama won those states.

    Sounds like Ilan Berman is a smart guy. Education would be a great place to focus more of our aide to Iraq. Healthcare too. But the major focus should be on reversing the currupt and counter-productive Bush contracting schemes and getting more and more Iraqis to rebuild their own institutional and physical infrastructure. Gee, wouldn’t that be smart?

    “…the Heritage Foundation… is where sky high amounts of knowledge are unleashed and transmitted to America.”


    If only there was a number that could represent the volume of lies spread by the HF (and AEI for that matter). I guess it would be that ol’ sideways eight! If you Google “heritage foundation lies,” you get 864,000 results! Amazing. I think “sky high amounts of lies” would be more apropos.


  3. Dav Lev says:

    The former leader of Signapore was interviewed on the Charlie Rose
    Show (PBS). I watch Mr. Rose..then switched to David Letterman who
    applauded the way President Obama is running thing.

    I would not have expected him to say anything different, considering
    how he demeaned the Republican candidates prior to the election,
    and still makes a fool out of Bush Jr.

    Anyway, the much heralded former leader, who is sought by
    present and former world leaders..in essence said the US is the
    laughing stock of the world, and is being bought up by China.

    He answered Rose’s question about Obama, by telling how inspirational
    he is. Duh!

    I learned today that China was asked to buy up enough of our paper
    to finance the stimulus package. The problemo is the threat of
    an inflation that will beat Germany’s inflation prior to WW2…and a run
    on the dollar if it continues to lower significantly, by those holding
    debt, ie, China.

    Regarding Afghanistan..he said that we are throwing good money
    after bad. We cannot win there…in a country rife with warlords whose
    families have fought one another for centuries. We should get out NOW while the getting is good. He related that by 2050, China, Brazil, India..and the Far East, will dominate the world..but China is 100 years behind the US militarily, etc.

    Soooo, why the heck are we in Afghanistan and Pakistan (drones) I ask?
    What are we achieving?

    We were not attacked by the Taliban..but by Al Qaeda..from bases
    in OUR US of A. They learned to fly here. They bought box cutters here.
    They boarded planes here. Base in Afghanistan were sparse and poorly
    defende (we destroyed them in a few days with B1 bombings).

    We cannot defeat 90 million Pashtun, the people that the Taliban belong to. A few thousand US deaths…and we will rue the day Obama said
    this is a just war. No wars are just or unjust…just wars to achieve
    a political objective folks. The exception is Hiter and his thugs, who wanted a “New World Order”, and were prepared to exterminate 100m people
    in the process.

    Ladies and gentlemen….going around the country and meeting the Volk is fine. But what counts is the count in Nov 2010. And so far, I don’t envision a Republican victory…unless there is a radical change in our mindset.
    Simply put, the Republicans (hear California) don’t have the votes.

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