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Excerpts from a Sullivan posting . . .

Anywhere, USA

As the Travelers drove the long haul from Dallas to New Orleans, passing through hundreds of nameless towns melding into nothingness dotted with the necessary evil of gas stations, I wonder again what could possibly make these towns different from all the other towns that line the byways.

When we stopped for dinner at a greasy spoon called Cafe Texan, I found what may be different -- the people. Our waitress was a pistol. Her name was Lola, at least that was the name on the purple bowling shirt she wore. Lola must have been at least 65 years old but she waited on us well in spite of the fact she had broken both ankles recently and now had all sorts of pins and gears where it used to be bones and tendons. I liked Lola. She called me "Sweetheart" at the end of every sentence. Lola was forthcoming with all sorts of information, too much actually. In fact Lola shared with us things better kept to herself.

There aren't any characters or originals anymore, no peculiars that are not to be found anywhere else. We are all cast from the same stuff. I think I actually met Lola somewhere in Vermont a few years back. I am meeting recycled personalities. I guess there just aren't enough personalities to go around these days.

Perhaps the reason the United States exists is because we are all similar people with similar lives. I worry that similarities are overwhelming the few distinctions that make life interesting, the non-conformists who make us think by their antics, the features that make us distinct as independent people.