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This is CHAPTER 16 in our series offering gossip, novel backstory, and personal confessions about TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE. We’re working our way through a novel here. If you’re just now discovering us, you can jump in now or go back to the first entry and catch up. If you jump in now, I can’t promise you it won’t be confusing, but it might be interesting too.

Ok. Last we left off: Lucinda was about to spill the beans to her train friend Rahtz about the nature of her quest to confront Big Doodle. This is part of their on-going friendship bonding. Also, Lucinda needs Rahtz’s advice. 

In a somewhat random note, this chapter describes the mechanics of how modern-day interactions work between visitors and those in jail. I can describe this because I have been to 201 Poplar, the Memphis city jail. I was not a criminal. Neither was my friend. The case against him was dropped due to unbelievably faulty eyewitness testimony (don’t get me started on our totally misplaced belief in, “I saw it with my own two eyes!”). I went to see my friend because he was my friend, and he’d been put in jail, and Jesus said, “I was in prison and you visited me.” We ALL quote that bit about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. Visiting the jailed, not so much. I’m just saying.

The chapter also contains a major scene on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. (So, yes, minor plot point reveal: Lucinda does make it to San Fran). The Golden Gate Bridge has given me one of my recurring themes of life. Many years ago, when my dad was actively working and he and my mom gallivanted all over the country on business trips, they visited the bridge. They came home with a story about the guys who paint the bridge. The painters arrive at one end of the bridge, their painting job done, only to find it’s time to re-paint the bridge. So they turn around and paint the bridge again. I’ve never known exactly what this story says to me. Be proud of your work, no matter how seemingly meaningless? Process, not product? I don’t know. Now it will probably haunt you as well. 

Lucinda wears Mary Jane shoes in this chapter. I’ve put an image of Mary Janes in the Notes in case you’re wondering what they are. Also a perfect image of an A-line dress from the 1960s. I don’t want you to be fashion-confused. 

Okay. I think that’s enough preliminary information.

Helpful Train Hint: If your train leaves really early in the morning, be prepared to walk into a train full of sleeping people. Be quiet. Don’t plan on using your devices until the sun comes up. The light the device emits will likely embarrass you around these sleeping, snoring folks with blankets over their heads. Be polite on the train. 



Mary Janes:

A-Line Dress:

1960s A-line dress, Amtrak train tips, Mary Jane shoes, painting the Golden Gate Bridge, Tracking Happiness, Tracking Happiness chickens, Tracking Happiness: A Southern Chicken Adventure

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