I’ve been reading Unchained America, by Dave Gorman – which I found at the library the other day. We watched the film of this last year, but because the book allows for more detail it’s more enjoyable than the documentary.
The book is the story of Dave’s journey from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast of America. He travels by car, and sets himself a rule that he will only buy food and petrol from independent retailers (no chains) and only stay in independent motels/B&Bs. Like me, he is vegetarian – which can be rather tricky in certain parts of the US. I found it reassuring that he seemed to spend days at a time eating nothing but carbohydrates while on the road.
He visits a soda fountain/diner in Oregon on its last day of trading. It sounded like a wonderful, family-run business, and somewhere I’d love to have had the chance to visit. It’s certainly unsettling to read about a small business closing its doors for the last time – on our local high street, a few shops have closed recently, and it makes me wonder how bad the situation with the economy is going to get before things start to improve.