Forks in a Wayward Road

During my travel writing days, I headed down many roads with two of the best friends I ever had, Photographer J Gerald Crawford, left, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram travel writer Jerry Flemmons.

In the daily grind of life, you often find yourself facing a fork in the road you didn’t expect to find. What do you do about it?

A year ends.

And I look back.

We all do.

I don’t focus on 2020.

It was not a good year.

But someday, it will be the fodder for a lot of good stores, most of them sad.

I focus on all the years that have passed, and, thank the Good Lord, there have been a lot of years.

We have all faced the same dilemma. You wake up some morning, you amble around a bend, you receive a phone call, life loses its meaning, somebody makes you angry, and suddenly there is a fork in the road you didn’t expect to find.

What should you do?

Which road should you take?

What if I hadn’t left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram mad as hell and gone to Austin to become Governor John Connally’s first travel flack at the Texas Tourist Development Agency?

What would my life have been?

What if I hadn’t left the Texas Tourist Development agency mad as hell and gone to Alabama to become travel editor for Southern Living Magazine?

What would my life have been?

What if I hadn’t left Southern Living mad as hell and come back to Texas to write free-lance articles for travel magazines, knock out some advertising copy, and wind up as editorial director for a Dallas publishing company?

What would my life have been?

Caleb Pirtle III

Life is all about roads.

The ones we take.

The ones we don’t.

I have lived on the forks in the road I chose.

I write about the roads I didn’t take.

Those are the roads filled with stories, and they were the most memorable roads of all.

They were fraught with suspense.

They were a broken puzzle of mysteries.

They were filled with heartbreak.

With women in love.

With men who were afraid of love.

With tension.

With war.

With conflict.

And scattered with tombstones.

I didn’t mean for some of them to die.

But what do I know?

I think a lot about the roads I didn’t take.

And I don’t think they existed at all.

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