Friday, July 22, 2011


I'm hunkering down for my second night at the lovely Days Inn in Rockford, Illinois. It's $45 a night. That tells you everything you need to know.

I have business in Chicago tomorrow, but Jen and the boys were visiting her parents in Prophetstown, so I came out early to meet them halfway for a day.

Last night I went to a Wal-Mart to buy a notebook so I could do some writing.

The cashier was complaining to the customer ahead of me: "He said he'd raise taxes, so I didn't vote for him. Folks have enough troubles right now without raising taxes. I have $17 held out of every paycheck, thanks to him."

The customer laughed in agreement, and the cashier rang up my notebook. It came to 22 cents.

I said, "22 cents? Are you sure?"

The woman behind me in line, who looked like a midwestern mom, said, "Yep, Back-to-School. It's not even August yet!"

Then I had dinner by myself at a Steak'n'Shake. I ordered cheeseburger sliders. They were $3.50--plus 39 cents for the cheese.

Basically, a dollar goes a long ways in Rockford, and folks are friendly. But you can't tell anyone you voted for Obama.

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