Our diverse group of pilgrims gathers outside of Hughes-Trigg at 4 p.m. for our 318 mile bus trip to Little Rock. Our group is mostly female. We range in age from 20 to 60. Never thought I would be the far righthand side of a bell curve. Ray Jordan, our tour leader, hands out the roommate assignments. Strange, there are three guys in my two-bed hotel room. My undergrad roommates inform me this is standard operating college student travel procedure. Bummer.
After a nice prayer from SMU Chaplain Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, we are off. You can spot the undergrads … they are curled up under blankets fast asleep. Dr. Dennis Simon, my professor for my MLS class and our faculty leader and travel guide, slips in a three-hour PBS Special video on the life and times of George Wallace titled “Setting the Woods on Fire.” As we rock on the bus back and forth on I-30 to Little Rock, I have plenty of time to think about what lies ahead. Little Rock, Jackson/Selma, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Oxford and Memphis … towns that I learned about as a middle and high school student on the nightly TV news in the 1960s.
I can’t wait.