Above: The host of this blog on the right, Chris Kostman, with 1986 RAAM champion Elaine Mariolle at Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills in 1991.
A special guest post today by one of America's most beloved radio commentators, Paul Harvey (1918-2009):
What's mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.
There's not a problem in America today - crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency - that wouldn't be remedied if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.
People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride.
That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it's worth it, if at the end is home...a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.
We wouldn't have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along.
There was less crime in our streets before they were paved.
Criminals didn't walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they'd be welcomed by 5 barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun.
And there were no drive by shootings.
Our values were better when our roads were worse!
People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, they didn't tailgate by riding the bumper...or the guy in front would choke you with dust and bust your windshield with rocks.
Dirt Roads taught patience.
Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn't hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk.
For your mail, you walked to the mail box.
What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out? That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on Daddy's shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.
At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap.
Most paved roads lead to trouble. Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole.
At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.
At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you'd have to hitch up a team and pull them out.
Usually you got a dollar...always you got a new friend...at the end of a Dirt Road!
By Paul Harvey