Joe’s Journal: Day 36 – Ever-Present Junk Food

The fact that junk food is ever-present doesn’t make it easy for those of us who are trying to break our food addictions. All you have to do is stop for gas and go inside to pay: you are inevitably assaulted (or tempted) by the sight and smell of grilling hot dogs, freshly baked doughnuts, and, of course, pizza. Sugar, salt, and fat pushers employ food technicians who use their wizardry to ensure you stay addicted via a concoction of additives, colorings, combinations, and other top-secret tricks. They guard their recipes with the same zeal a jeweler guards his diamonds. Just as tobacco executives were finally forced to admit they were putting substances into their products that were purely aimed at creating addicts, I wonder how long it will be before the CEOs of the major food companies have to offer similar confessions. Just remember: when you eat food made by people in white coats, you can eventually expect to be treated by a team of white coated professionals.

I had put Columbus, Georgia on our itinerary because I’d attended school there for a year as a boy while my father was doing a medical residency. Columbus is located on the Chattahoochee River amid rolling hills and plains, and being there gave me an immediate sense of familiarity.

After checking into the hotel, I got in the car and drove to the place where my family had lived. I walked up and knocked on the front door. The family who now lived there greeted me warmly and invited me in, along with the camera crew. The father of the family had just returned from Iraq. I told them why I was there, and they asked me a few questions and wished me luck.  Being there reminded me of when I was just seven years old and receiving my First Holy Communion, an occasion my grandmother, who has since passed away, traveled all the way from Sydney to celebrate with us.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the historic downtown, and then packed it in for the night.