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Way Off the Road
Way Off the Road: Discovering the Peculiar Charms of Small Town America | Bill Geist
3 posts | 3 read | 1 to read
Celebrated roving correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning and bestselling author Bill Geist serves up a rollicking look at some small-town Americans and their offbeat ways of life. In rural Kansas, I asked our motel desk clerk for the name of the best restaurant in the area. After mulling it over, he answered: I'd have to say the Texaco, 'cuz the Shell don't have no microwave. Throughout his career, Bill Geists most popular stories have been about slightly odd but loveable individuals. Coming on the heels of his 5,600-mile RV trip across our fair land is Way Off the Road, a hilarious and compelling mix of stories about the folks featured in Geists segments, along with observations on his twenty years of life on the road. Written in the deadpan style that has endeared him to millions, Geist shares tales of eccentric individuals, such as the ninety-three-year-old pilot-paperboy who delivers to his far-flung subscribers by plane; the Arizona mailman who delivers mail via horseback down the walls of the Grand Canyon; the Muleshoe, Texas, anchorwoman who delivers the news from her bedroom (occasionally wearing her bathrobe); and the struggling Colorado entrepreneur who finds success employing a sewer vacuum to rid Western ranchers of problematic prairie dogs. Geist also takes us to events such as the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival (celebrating an inspiring bird that survived decapitation, hired an agent, and went on the road for eighteen months) and Sundown Days in Hanlontown, Iowa, where the town marks the one day a year when the sun sets directly between the railroad tracks Along the wacky and wonderful way, Geist shows us firsthand how life in fly-over America can be odd, strangely fascinating, hysterical, and anything but boring. To say it very simply, freezer burn may very well have set in. neighbor on the frozen dead guy kept on ice in a backyard shed in Nederland, Colorado. Everybody loves a parade; we were just geographically challenged. David Harrenstein, organizer of a parade in tiny Whalan, Minnesota, where viewers are in motion and the marchers stand still. We havent lost anyone off these switchbacks in at least ten days Mailman Charlie Chamberlain, leading us on horseback 2,500 feet down the sheer walls of the Grand Canyon. Ours are the finest cow chips in the world today, Kirk Fisher, enthusiast, in Beaver, Oklahoma, world cow-chip capital and cow- chip exporter. We live out in the middle of the corn and bean fields, and theres not a whole lot to get excited about, you know? Dan Moretz, on celebrating the day the sun sets in the middle of the railroad tracks in Hanlontown, Iowa. Its like drilling for oil; sometimes you come up dry. Gay Balfour, who sucks problematic prairie dogs out of the ground with a sewer vacuum in Cortez, Colorado. All you have to do is beat the flies to it, Michael Roadkill Coffman on the secrets of cooking with roadkill outside Lawrence, Kansas. I aint gonna brake til I see God! driver named Red Dog, taking the track at a figure-eight school bus race in Bithlo, Florida. Its a gift; you either got it or you dont. Lee Wheelis, world watermelon-seed-spitting champion, Luling, Texas. I am the mayor, the board, the secretary-treasurer, the librarian, the bartender thats my most important title the cook, the floor sweeper, the police chief, and I have the books for the cemetery, if someone wants to buy a plot. Elsie Eiler, the sole citizen of Monowi, Nebraska.
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Kaye
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Read this before, but thought it‘d make a good listen on a walk ..
The Yakkers were using the bikes and the treadmills were busy so I just walked today. A bit nippy out but I‘m sweating now. It warms you up if you walk far enough.
A few sites on my Small Town Walk. @wanderinglynn #BFC

TheSpineView Way to go! 7mo
wanderinglynn Looks like you had a lovely walk! 🙌🏻 Great job. 7mo
PurpleyPumpkin Looks like you had a lovely walk. ☀️ 7mo
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Kaye Thanks @TheSpineView @wanderinglynn @PurpleyPumpkin Good day for walking. Wind blowing and a bit cold, but once you start walking, you warm up. Better than back in the winter when I walked in snow, and better than a day when it‘s really hot. Just right. 7mo
Bookwormjillk Beautiful clouds! 7mo
DivineDiana Great job! Yes, it‘s great how the body warms up once you get walking! 👏🏻🚶‍♀️👏🏻 7mo
Kaye They are pretty, aren‘t they Jill ? ⛅️ /. Thanks @DivineDiana ✨✨ 7mo
squirrelbrain Lovely pics! Much better than being in the gym with the Yakkers! 7mo
Kaye @squirrelbrain True ...those bunch of gabby old men... Never let them tell you that females are the biggest talkers and gossips. These old men have any woman beat. Sounds like an Auctioneer Convention. I‘d much rather be outside. 🤔 7mo
squirrelbrain 🤣🤣🤣 7mo
BookwormAHN Good job 👏🏻 7mo
kspenmoll Such a lovely walk!!! 7mo
guinsgirlreads Love seeing the pics ! 7mo
Kaye Thanks @guinsgirlreads I‘ll see what else I can hunt up. I‘ve lived here 61 years , so you tend to overlook things after seeing it everyday. I‘ll get out and take some other photos. 7mo
Megabooks Beautiful pictures! 7mo
tdrosebud Looks like it was a beautiful day! Keep it up! 7mo
Kaye Thanks @Megabooks @tdrosebud 💕💕 7mo
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blurb
Kaye
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I read this before but don‘t remember a lot about it. A travel book that was funny. Anyhow the Hubster brought his camera and we went in search of some good photos today to match book covers.

ValerieAndBooks I thought this one was very funny! 2y
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ValerieAndBooks
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I read this a few years ago and some of the small town rituals are really weird! Not only that, Geist is really funny. I laughed so hard at the secret tricks the cow photographer employs to make cows more attractive and also laughed in disbelief at the story about Mike the Headless Chicken. Truth is weirder than fiction! #COMEONEILEEN

LauraBrook I know about Mike the Headless Chicken, but not about the cow photographer in my own state! #stacked 3y
BB1958 The author's son is Willie Geist of MSNBC's Morning Joe and a frequent substitute host on NBC's Today Show. One of Bill Geist's other books is Little League Confidential, a very funny take on youth sports and their parents. 3y
ValerieAndBooks @LauraBrook it's definitely a fun book. The cow photographer was probably pre-photoshop, but still funny! 3y
ValerieAndBooks @BB1958 I didn't know any of that. Guess humor runs in that family! 3y
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