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July 21, 2022

July 23, 2022

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I ended my Eastern Journey in Cleveland after being on the road for 83 nights. It did get tiring at the end, and I partook in more tourist things as time went on, such as visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the highlight of my time in Cleveland came on the last night. I cooked my signature dish, jambalaya, for my Airbnb host, Jay, and a few friends. We stayed up late conversing about various topics, such as Margaret’s leaving Mississippi for Ohio to seek a better life. I probably had too much of that Brazilian booze that Jay kept sending my way. It was a great night.

Now that my first journey is over, it is time to assess my performance. Here are the stats as of this writing.

• 25 completed interviews
• 19 published mini stories
• 2 mini-stories awaiting approval for publication
• 2 mini-stories to write
• 2 mini stories for which the subject did not authorize publication
• 3-5 more people whom I will likely interview in the coming days on Zoom
• Perhaps most importantly, I interviewed a professor in Canada who pointed me to one of his contacts in the publishing/promotion business, originally from my adopted hometown, Chicago. Go figure. I will definitely be reaching out to her in the coming days.

Overall, a B grade. I know some things that I will do differently next time.

It was an incredible journey with a lot of experiences and conversations. It was analogous to what John Steinbeck wrote (Travels with Charley: In Search of America) following his 75-day, 34-state journey in 1960 in his camper truck Rocinante, so named after Don Quixote’s horse.

EAST: 6,521 miles

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