I adore Andra. Two days before she left for this 444-mile walk we had a surprise celebration for her at The Belmont in Charleston, the first time I had successfully surprised her since the day 10 years before when I made my proposal to her that she be my wife for life. These ten years have been my best years, so far.
How could I possibly let her wander of into the dangers of the Natchez Trace? Throughout history, the Trace has been a haunt of notorious highwaymen, robbers and murderers. Even Meriwether Lewis, who survived traversing the continent through hostile Native American lands and untamed bear-infested wilderness, even he was vanquished along the Trace.
Of course she has her traveling companion, her father Roy. Lewis had a companion as well on his trek up the Trace; those who lean towards the ‘Lewis was murdered’ theory of his demise often speculate that his agent and guide might well have been a conspirator of his murderer. I am confident that Roy’s only conspiracy is to divert Andra’s attention from her pains and puss by putting on his usual Roy Variety Show at various roadside stops and restaurants.
Here I am back in Charleston, keeping along like all of her faithful and freshly-hooked readers, Facetiming when possible, but also looking forward to our upcoming Embracetime. But still, the image of her walking along the side of the road as cars whizz by, of her stopping off in the woods for a little whizzing of a different sort, these are not images that this husband takes comfort in.
It might have been easier to question the sanity of this walk if her publisher or her publicist had cooked up this stunt. But it was not; it was Andra herself, and I am certain she is not crazy—just crazy-smart. And I know she has a great book to sell with a great story to tell. I believe in her, and her brilliance.
So I have been and will be her virtual wingman on this trek. When she needs a link made or a video uploaded, I’ll carry the load ; when she needs to feed a missive into social media, I’ll be the social misfit doing it; and when she is too worn out to write one out, I’ll hunt-and-peck the keys to come up with a post to keep you all up to date on her pilgrimage.
So as she finds herself in some cell-hole in the middle of Mississippi, here are the best photos from Day Five of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr
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And now, for today’s Reader Question………….