Road trips can often help keep you in touch and remind you of areas that you have not given much thought to. So on Labor Day weekend, Jason and I planned such a trip.
Our first stop was to visit his parents in Annapolis, Md. Among the lessons learned were how great it was to have a real home-cooked meal. Jason’s mother is an incredible cook and made Jason and me realize how we really need to learn to cook. It also made us realize that neither one of us has the time to learn to cook. Can you say seconds and thirds … We also realized that when you’re sitting with people you care about and having long discussions about their lives, as well as your own, you let your guard down, and that is when you learn a lot.
Next stop was Gettysburg. I’m an amateur American-history buff and have never visited the site of the great battlefields before. What amazed me and what is not recorded much in history is that Lincoln spent the night before his Gettysburg Address in David Wills’ house, which overlooks the town square. Today, you can stand in the room where Lincoln slept, with most of the same furniture, and gaze out the window upon the street where Lincoln, hearing the crowd call for him, went down and delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. Then there is the video on equality — emotional.
Our next stop was Lancaster for dinner at Millers restaurant. But on the way there, in the middle of what is considered redneck Pennsylvania, we found a farmers’ market with an antiques shop. While purchasing a few items, the cashier, after hearing that we were from Philly, stated, “The civilized part of the state.” One thing led to another and I discovered that the woman collects Rita Mae Brown books. There were other cashiers around so this conversation was said in whispers. It made me realize that this was as far as she could come to being out, and how lucky many of us are to live in places where it is easy to be out.
I admired her bravery, and her actions told me how far we have to travel before the battle is won.
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached at [email protected].