Sitting here reflecting on friends and people I’ve known in the past. As usual, a song comes to mind that matches my thoughts in a small way. However, this song reflects what I’m thinking better than I can come up with myself. The song is ‘In My Life.’ Written by John Lennon and recorded on the ‘Rubber Soul’ album, released on December 3, 1965. So, it’s no surprise I was excited for my trip to Virginia to see one of the last surviving friends of that small circle of friends I was part of for so many years. For my purposes, the use of ‘you’ in this song, refers to those friends who are gone on before me. You are missed.

[Verse 1]

There are places I’ll remember

All my life though some have changed

Some forever not for better

Some have gone, and some remain

All these places had their moments

With lovers and friends, I still can recall

Some are dead, and some are living

In my life, I’ve loved them all


Though I know, I’ll never lose affection

For people and things that went before

I know I’ll often stop and think about them

In my life, I love you more

– The Beatles

Looking forward to a long ride to Virginia to see my friend, I slowly back BJ out of the garage feeling the cold February morning for the first time. It was 29 degrees, but I wasn’t deterred to begin my 6-hour ride. Actually, I was quite excited! I love long rides, and I knew my freezeouts, chaps, electric gloves, and my leather coat would keep me comfortable.

Choosing Interstate 20 east to highway 601 into highway number 1 as the beginning route of my journey, BJ and I cruised dead on the speed limit. I usually cut through the middle of NC but being in somewhat of a hurry to beat the weather expected in VA, I went hwy 1 until I got to Rockingham. There I picked up the great, but lightly traveled, interstate 74 into Greensboro. It’s a very scenic ride through NC, and my only eyebrow raiser was an NC state trooper passing me what would appear to be more than 100 MPH. (75 MPH was my speed and left me in his dust) to stop a speeder.

Traveling through Greensboro on highway 29 north, I noticed the considerably colder temperature and darkening skies. So, it was time to put on the rain suit in anticipation of wet and cold weather.

Rain suit on, I continued on highway 29 north crossing the NC / VA state line into Danville 45 minutes later. Nostalgia sets in as I ride under the South Main Street bridge to my old Alma Mata Danville Community College. Highway 58 now in site, I knew I was only 35 minutes away from my friend’s house and a fireplace, hot Brunswick stew and Dona’s smiling face!

Motorcycle on a gravel road Arriving at Whippoorwill Hill, I turn down Donna’s graveled driveway, carefully riding down the least graveled sections to avoid, well you know, that dreaded dropping the bike. Donna’s house in site, I could see her standing on the porch waving at me and laughing. I knew what she was laughing at as I had become the Michelin Tire Man due to wind getting into my rain suit! As predicted a warm fire, hot Brunswick stew and Donna and I catching up on things going on in our lives concluded our Friday night.

Rick HoodThe next morning, Donna and I enjoyed a country style breakfast and headed to her mom’s house for a visit. Returning home in the afternoon, we were both excited to attend an adult comedy show at ‘The Prizery’ that night. It was a great time in a venue that I would describe as a ‘Godsend’ for the small town of South Boston. However, the emcee indulged a little too much at the cash bar and lost the filter to his mouth as the night went on.

Springfield DistilleryA trip to Springfield Distillery late Sunday afternoon was the perfect prelude to the Super Bowl LIII! After tasting a flight of Scratch Bourbon recipes, I purchase my favorite Scratch Bourbon to take home. What a great place in a secluded country setting. Definitely going back here during my next visit!

Frost on the Motorcycle Seat As the Virginia weekend wound down, I was thinking of how to thank Donna for her generous hospitality! Good times spent with such a good friend I’ve known forever, priceless! Good stories told in front of the fireplace and The Prizery Saturday night. Priceless! Seeing Liz’s new baby, and Maggie and Will pure joy! Having frost on my seat to begin the ride home, thankful I live in SC!





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