When East was West and North was South: Sending Warm Thoughts to Strangers, or My Confused Years as a College Youth

After graduation from high school in Virginia many years ago, I boarded a Greyhound bus and headed west to Arlington, Texas for college. Early in the morning hours of the next day while I slept, the bus bypassed Dallas and Arlington and continued on west. I woke up when we stopped in Fort Worth. After a brief stopover, the bus then headed back east toward Dallas to drop me off at Arlington. Only in my mind, we were still traveling west. It never occurred to me that the bus had doubled back east after arriving first in Fort Worth. So for those years in Texas, I assumed Arlington and Dallas were west of Fort Worth. This meant on those lonely nights when I went out to look up at the stars and think about home that I was not waving and throwing kisses at family and friends back east, but to the folks out in California.

I finally got east and west cleared up in my mind, but not north and south really until on the occasion of my first visit back to the college in Arlington ten or so years later. Flying into Dallas, I knew to drive west, not east, to Arlington, but was not prepared to find the college on the wrong side of the road.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 8I27
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