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Christmas getaway was almost a bomb

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

Howdy, friends!

So, there I was on the Holiest day of the year – Christmas Day – standing smack dab in the middle of Sin City, Las Vegas, Nevada.

As I have written in previous publications, my wife and I have our annual Christmas celebration with our kids and Grand Heathens on Dec. 23 every year. After that, Christmas is over for us two empty nesters. So we decided to put on our traveling shoes.

We have been just like everyone else and sticking close to home this year. The only place we visited was Nashville back in February to see the singer songwriter Tyler Childers perform at The Ryman.

We were forced to cancel our New York tour in June for pandemic reasons.

My better half was getting sort of road hungry because we have never not been to destination spots during a year span, but the Covid has changed many travelers’ plans this year.

Her first destination choice for us was Nashville again, as it is only a four hour drive. I shot that down because I believed all the strict Covid rules would make that stay unpleasant. I knew we would not be able to go and do as we usually participate in that town.

Watching the news from our hotel room Christmas morning, I applauded my decision not to travel to Music City, USA after the bomb exploded on 2nd street. We always stay at The Hilton on 3rd street.

The entire downtown was evacuated to the football stadium.

With a bomb going off, it would have been difficult for the officials in charge to direct and herd me to a stadium, as I would be more inclined to hop in my Hemi Ram and retreat to I-40 West at an exorbitant rate of speed consisting mostly of all that fuel injected motor and drivetrain could muster.

So, Vegas it was.

Things are not only different here at home folks, but it is also a whole lot different out there. There may have been 20 percent of the number of people visiting as there was last year.

Unbelievable. You could walk anywhere with some streets resembling a ghost town.

I can tell you this, every merchant, casino worker, cab driver or restaurant employee was glad to see us. That town makes its living on tourists and this pandemic has seemed to humble them greatly. They will go out of their way to serve you and are happy for the opportunity.

We took all safety precautions on our excursion with sanitizer, social distancing and masks.

John Howell has written columns in this paper referring to “damncats” even so far as his late Mother Miz Annie Glen had one “damncat” named Ricky Swindle.

I am borrowing John’s take on that word to describe masks. They will be forever known as “damnmasks” to me. I hate those things with all my hate-ability, but I will do my part to comply to a certain degree.

My spouse and I discussed in great detail how we are ever going to return to a comfortable everyday normal. I don’t know folks if we will ever be normal again after this mess.

Well, anyway we did get to fly down in the Grand Canyon on a helicopter while we were there. It is a great experience and I will testify to the fact that is something everyone would enjoy.

Take care of yourself folks. 2021 is here. A new year with new possibilities. We will have highs and lows along with ups and downs, but let’s make sure we keep our eyes open and enjoy the scenery on this rollercoaster we call life.