Central PA USA divided – Patriotism vs Inclusivity

I drove a rental car from Asheville, North Carolina on the 14th and 15th of July to the central PA car drop off point. I went out of my way via Pittsburg, to drop off a guy who drove with me, who also was trying to book a one-way rental to Pennsylvania. We discovered the present dramatic shortage of vehicles in many car rental agencies. In order to make some sort of profit during the Covid-19 haunt in business. Rental car companies sold a lot of their cars. Apparently there’s also a shortage in production of the computer chips used in the manufacturing of the vehicles. The rider who accompanied me also drover and we had a lot of good conversation. We have a lot in common. After meeting in person prior to sharing this long 8 hour ride together, several hours later on that last evening, he spontaneously joined me and the local Asheville Haulers weekly bicycle ‘critical mass’ group ride. I was happy that he participated to not only have a great time himself among these people, but also to get a taste of this community of people I felt bitter sweet about leaving behind.

On the edge of Amish Country

After arriving to my hometown and fully packing my storage locker, I drove the vehicle to the Harrisburg International Airport drop off and kept just my bicycle, backpack and sleeping bag. There were two torrential downpours, after the first dry evening where I luxuriously slept 12 hours on a lawn next to trees. That first morning I eventually strolled over to where I saw people picking some kind of fruit. It was an elderly couple, Asian decent. I was really surprised at this woman’s jewelry, looking like she stepped out of two centuries ago. Her nose was obscured by two nickel-sized wooden disks and her ear lobes lined with about 15 holes with thin gold threaded through each. She had thin bangles on her wrist and inch thick. I asked where they’re from, she shook her head, no words, didn’t understand. She offered me some of the mulberries she had collected. I said, no thanks, I’ll pick them myself. Later when I asked again where they’re from, she answered Nepali. I have since seen a Nepali (Indian Nepal) restaurant in another town in this area. He sat and smoked while she picked. When she finished, she sat down to smoke. At one point he said something softly and she came over and insisted that I take mulberries from her bag. She Insisted. He was the one that now offered. I took some. We smiled with one another. The two of them walked away. Living in Middletown? How did they arrive there?

These are pics approaching and then in the town of Annville, PA that has a college LVC Lebanon Valley College

1 in 25 people are not Patriots with Trump 2020 signs
Annville, Pennsylvania

I had a conversation in Hummelstown with a man whose entire family have been in the military. Eventually it became clear that we were each approaching various subjects from entirely different perspectives, even though we never ‘identified’ with black and white Republican vs. Democrat values. He was talking about how immigrants are being taken care of better than those who served in the military. He therefore does not condone immigration and giving refugees a chance. He mentioned that an uncle who had served 30 years in the military was then billed for the bullet hole in his uniform. He also talked about the fact that there are no free services provided for people who served in the service for PTSD and emotional health. I agreed that this is a horrific way for the government to treat people who served them. I mentioned that I’d heard the amount of suicides by people who had served in military active duty exceeds the amount of people killed in combat. He mentioned a program that is dealing with this, Platoon 22, regarding the frequency of suicide. I stated that these two do not mutually exclude one another, that an individual or government can act humanely towards all individuals, both their own service members and people who are suffering the consequences of the circumstances of war or human driven climate change and mass extinction.

Not by far the only American Independence flags

I love these, of which I saw a few, among a zillion American flags

Love these messages. Gotta leave this cafe.