Why America is Freedom-Savvy: A Tale of Two Denny’s

| October 8, 2020

The Great Awakening and Planet X or How I Found the Peace of QSeptember 10, 2020, was a bell-weather day for me.  On that day, I left California for a cross-country trek that took me from the West Coast’s horrendous firestorms to autumn’s magnificent leaf color changes on the East Coast.

The last thing I did the day I put California in the rearview mirror for good was to publish my article, Are Americans Savvy Enough to Stay Free?  After that, it’s been a long and challenging journey, and my eyes suffered the smoke of West Coast fires.

After my eyes stopped tearing 100 miles into Wyoming, I continued my drive searching for an answer to my poser.  Are Americans savvy enough to stay free?  This question was perpetually on my mind, and thanks to this coast-to-coast, boots on the ground experience, I was rewarded with a magnificent insight.

After driving thousands of miles through farmlands and towns, what I witnessed with my own eyes, and ears is that America’s silent majority is both awake and very much freedom-savvy.

Yes, I have witnessed a great a hopeful awakening of liberty, cloaked in the sense of terrible sadness. If you know what to look for and where you can see it too, and in this article, I will share that with you.

Here at my final destination, I have rested and reflected upon my journey and the factors which led me to this insight.

The two most notable of which were two Denny’s restaurant waitresses, one in Eastern Indiana, and another in Western New York State.  Hence this article is what I call a “Tale of Two Denny’s,” which may sound like a Pollyannaish quip given these perilous times.

In their late twenties and most likely single mothers, one was white, the other black, and both are good Americans through-and-through.  For you to understand how they inspired my conclusions, I must first share my other observations and impressions.  Then, you will have the context for all this so that you, too, can know as I do that we are going to be OK as a nation.

Win-Win Reconnaissance

When you’re pulling a 5×8 utility trailer on the open road, large national chains like Denny’s and McDonald’s are about the only places you know you can find on a Garmin with enough room to park your rig.  On rare occasions, I would find a local café or restaurant along the way with ample parking space and a promising menu.

When I visited these restaurants, I would begin by telling the waitress, “If I eat another Big Mac, I’m going to drop dead.  Please save me with real food.  I’ll even do meatloaf.”  Apparently, I was not the only traveler sick to death of what I call COVID cuisine, and I was always greeted with a menu and a bright and a sympathetic smile.

Oftentimes, the restaurant looked like a crime scene, and much of the interior was taped off; I couldn’t help but look to see if there were chalk lines for the victims.  This is when you look down at the ground below your feet to see if you’re the chalk line.

Why? Because real food is now a costly option for travelers as these restaurants must substantially increase their menu prices due to COVID seating restrictions.

Overall, I saw that locals and travelers alike respected that and had no complaints about the extra cost for something approaching a real meal; just humble gratitude that one can eat something more nourishing than fast food for a change.

Of course, a few restaurants use the COVID restrictions to jack up their prices, reduce their portions, and gouge customers without mercy. When I encountered those establishments, the only tip I ever left was, “get out of the business.”

However, the saddest thing I saw as I drove across the country was that local businesses were no longer displaying signs that said temporary closed for COVID as they did back in March of this year. Instead, what I saw was for-sale signs with the names and telephone numbers of local realtors, each one, a story of pain, suffering, uncertainty, and broken dreams.

These were places with signs that had been made in the 1950s.  You knew generations had owned and worked in them, and now, these people are adrift in a sea of financial abandonment.

Hotels and motels were also affected, and as they say on television, “but wait, there is more,” and the sad truth is that COVID cuisine has again invaded the hospitality domain.  Before the plandemic, you could count on a good basic breakfast with eggs and sausage and whatnot.  It would get you going – but that was then.

Now, the hospitality industry has its r own variant; I call the “COVID Continental Breakfast Ultra-Lite.”  It consists of stale Ding Dongs and coffee brewed with the same grinds they first used on April Fools’ Day.

It was so inspiring; you would Google, “Mc Donald’s near me” on your phone out of shear hunger and desperation.    Ergo, finding a Mc Donald’s was always as easy as spotting a Trump sign.  They were everywhere like a bad case of the measles, even in born-hard blue states.

As for Biden signs, I didn’t see a one until New York State, and overall, I could count the number of Biden signs I saw on my journey on one hand.

Just as there were two kinds of signs, Trump or Biden, the Americans I met on my journey were also divided into two camps: defiant and fearful.

The Defiant and the Fearful

Overall, I found what could think of as financially and politically insulated Progressive power corridors running along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.  Between these Progressive corridors is everyone else, and where I had the most interesting encounters.

I remember La Punta, Colorado.  I had detoured to do a documentary interview with Shepard Ambellas of Intellihub.  It was an excellent interview that left me drained so I stayed a second day for rest and while searching for a good lunch.

While on my way to another Google restaurant, I spotted three Highway Patrol cruisers parked in front of a BBQ restaurant.

“Oh yah baby, to heck with Google,” I said to myself, knowing I’d hit the search result motherlode.  I whipped my rig around and parked on the street, then strolled on in and walked straight up to the table with the officers having lunch.

I told them that I am traveling and that I knew this was the place to have lunch thanks to them.  The younger officers appreciated the compliment and smiled.  However, it was the sergeant who caught my eye.  He smiled at me wistfully, as though to say, “Given the unchecked violence of these times, you might want to re-evaluate your logic.”

I pondered that wistful smile as I ate one of the best BBQ sandwiches I’ve had in years.

La Punta is a pleasant farming community in the middle of farm country, far away from the violence in Portland and elsewhere.  Yet, even here, a town so detached and far away from the defund the police hysteria and unchecked violence, there was a haunting Antifa concern.

And so, I found that COVID has divided our nation into two camps: defiance and fear.   It is not a Red State or Blue State division per se; it is a jagged quilt that covers the entire country and is sewn together by powerful threads of sadness.

This quilt draws people from all persuasions and walks of life with a single sense of dread.  ALL good people fear the possibility that the present COVID status quo could somehow morph into a new normal where lawless gangsters will come to rule the country – in other words, the end of life as we Americans cherish it.

This now takes us the most brutal leg of my journey.  I call it The Gauntlet, and it was the launching point for my Tale of Two Denny’s.

Defiance in Indiana

Folks living in the West think of the four seasons as being somewhat relative.  For example, if you live in Phoenix, there are only two seasons, kinda hot and kinda not. Likewise, in the East, there are just two seasons as well, snow and road repair.

It wasn’t until I drove through Illinois and Indiana that I came to appreciate the road repair season in a single leg.  There were five hundred miles of repair hell and speed traps, and my Garmin said it would take seven or so hours to complete. Bollocks. It took twice as long thanks to what turned into a 500 mile-long stretch of non-stop repair zones.

I call this leg of the journey, “The Gauntlet,” and somewhere East of Indianapolis, the clock struck midnight, and I was bone-tired, and so I queried the magic search engine “Denny’s near me?”  Fortune smiled on me.  It was off the next exit, smack in the middle of a defiance zone.

How could I tell?

Go into a defiance zone gas station to buy a cup of coffee while filing up and see what happens when you forget to wear your mask.  Everyone sees the masking signs, and the clerks behind the Plexiglas often do not issue it.

Is it a personal decision, or are they’re tired of arguing with defiant customers?  Either way, the odds are in your favor that nobody will say anything, and you’ll get your coffee.  Just the same, I’d wear my red bandanna anyway.

However, in fear zones, it’s a whole different ball of wax.

You know it by the look in people’s eyes and the ever-present stench of fear that hangs in the air.  Here, social distancing has become the mother of all Star Trek-like red alert zones.

If you are wearing a mask and get closer than 3 feet, folks become feverous.  Oddly enough, the twenty-somethings are the most likely to freak out.

Of course, if you are not wearing a mask, expect a severe snowflake scolding if not very the wrath of God. Consequently, in fear zones, I kept to myself for the most part.

However, I would always ask two acid test defiance questions in the defiance zones, wherever I could.

This time, it was a Denny’s in God knows where Indiana, and after a durable meal, I stood up and asked my first defiance question loudly enough to be heard by all the tables about me.

I donned my bandanna, faced the other tables, and then pointed at it as I openly asked, “Are these bullshit?”   I received agreeing nods all around, including our waitress.

Then I asked my second defiance question, “Do you think COVID will be over after the election?”

Surprisingly, many were happy to hear the question, and this time more agreeing nodes and even a few thumbs up.  Again, I received another positive response from our waitress, a kind white girl in her late twenties, most likely a single worming mom.

That experience in Denny’s stuck in my mind – especially the waitress, for some reason.  It would not be until Buffalo, New York, that I’d see the other half of the story and at another Denny’s no less.

Fear in Buffalo

When you’re traveling, sometimes you get a bucket list idea, and as I was headed in the direction of Buffalo, New York, I decided to take an extra day in the journey to visit Niagara Falls.

I checked with my booking site and got a fantastic deal on a room in Buffalo in a very large and prestigious nine-story hotel.  Little did I know that Buffalo would be the most disturbing fear zone I encountered during my journey; in fact, it was Orwellian in the 1984 sense.  Google doesn’t bother to tell you that, even though they have a direct hand in it.

I arrived at the hotel around eight that evening, and it was just off the freeway. When I booked the room, they said that everything was open, including the restaurant, and that seemed convenient to me.  That was a bait-and-switch ploy of a hotel on the verge of bankruptcy.

I will not name the hotel but suffice it to say it is nine stories and very large, and when I checked in, and they told me that they had run out of the room I had booked and that they were going to put me into a different room.

Getting to that room was most interesting because everything in the hotel was shut down, including the guests’ escalators and elevators. This massive nine-story hotel had only one operational elevator, and it was in the housekeeping area.

In order to go to our rooms, we had to pass through the employee area, past the laundry to ride on one elevator with everyone else – so much for social distancing.

When I got to my room, I looked out the window just as a Harley-Davidson club was coming off the freeway.  No way would I stay there all night with this traffic noise. I didn’t care if the room was non-refundable; I’d find another hotel and fight about it later

As I dragged my bags back into the hallway, I bumped into an assistant manager and expressed those same feelings, and for good measure, I said I would file a chargeback complaint with my credit card company, but I would demand arbitration as well because I did not get what I purchased.

He seemed sympathetic and asked me to follow him to the front desk. I did, and he checked into everything and then made a change, and next thing I knew, I was back in the service elevator up to the ninth floor for a very nice quiet room.

That being done, I decided to have a delicious seafood dinner, and Google told me that 11 miles north of Buffalo, there was a small restaurant with a five-star rating on a municipal wharf and that it was open.  Given that it was a Saturday night, why doubt it?  Besides, I knew there would be parking for my rig, so off I went.

When I got there, I found a sign on the front of the building saying the restaurant had just gone out of business and I was not the only one to be disappointed.  I found a young black couple from Alabama searching on Google for another restaurant hoping that they wouldn’t be disappointed again.

I spoke with them briefly and wished them well.  For me, it was about getting a hot meal and going to bed.  For them, it was their honeymoon, and I felt terrible for these newlyweds.

Long after I’ve forgotten this, they’ll still remember that night with every anniversary, and that’s just not right.

They were doing their best to find something else, and I just left them there, and once again, I queried the magic search engine.  “Denny’s near me?”  It showed the nearest one to be about five miles away, and off I went.

Google did not tell me was that this Denny’s is situated in a poor neighborhood, and after parking my rig, I heard what sounded like fireworks. At least that’s what one would presume, or hope to.

As it turned out, it was a multiethnic neighborhood, and there were only three white people in the restaurant. Me and the two managers, everyone else was of color, including my waitress, who was black and like the one in Indiana, was in her late 20s and most likely a single working mom.

She was very kind and attentive and guided me to a seat in an area of the restaurant that was completely packed, while other areas of the restaurant had been taped off like crime scenes.

After she took my order for a dinner salad and a chicken skillet, I pulled out my smartphone to start checking on news and other things to keep me entertained, and as luck would have it, the smartphone battery died.  With that, the only way to stay entertained was to keep reading the menu, but of course, as we all know, the butler did it.  Boring!!!

So, I decided to close my eyes and to listen to the sounds around me.

What I heard were four distinct languages from four different cultures.  Then I began looking as well, and here’s what I observed. It does not matter what language you speak with; sadness sounds like sadness, and worry sounds like worry.

All about me were people who came together; with family and friends for a Saturday night were meal.  Yet, none evidenced any joy or happiness at all.  They were there to commiserate their shared pain, and the only person who ever sported a smile was my waitress.  Even her two white managers were glum and robotic.

Mindy you, this is not a plug for Denny’s, but I must admit that the meal this restaurant served me was the best value of my entire journey.   The salad was large, cool, and crisp, the chicken skilled was well prepared, and the portions were more than filling.

But what stayed with me most was how the waitress treated me and everyone else she served that night.  It was unforgettable, and so it tasked me to understand why eventually.

The next morning, I decided to pass up on the hotel’s COVID Continental Breakfast Ultra-Lite breakfast bonanza.  Somewhere on the road, I’d find the sustenance of a gas station breakfast burrito.

However, having taken a wrong turn, getting to the freeway became a complex maze of twists and turns, and everyone in the city, all speed limits had been reduced to 30 mph.

Some could say for safety, but being a geek, it’s obvious.  30 mph is the ideal road capture speed for surveillance cameras.  What they would capture mystified me because there were few people or cars to be seen.

However, what unnerved me what was I saw on so many overpasses throughout the city.  Portable electronic signs everywhere with the same repeating message:

  • COVID-19 is real
  • Mask up
  • Phone down
  • Social distance

It reminded me of that cult classic film, They Live (1988) starring Roddy Piper, except this time, it was real.  It was so disturbing that all I wanted was to see Buffalo in the rear view mirror, so I drove 30 miles out of town before stopping for breakfast.

This brings me to the crux of this cross country adventure and the moral of the story, Tale of Two Denny’s. What do we care about?

What We Care About

The left’s main constituencies are primarily dominated by the very rich and the very poor, and what Progressive/socialist/communist elites in government, media, and technology care about is regaining power.

These elites are typically situated in the financially insulated economic corridors along the East Coast and West Coast and in colleges that have become socialist-style re-education camps.  Consequently, they have largely escaped the financial pain and hardships of the COVID lockdowns experienced by the rest of the country.

Nonetheless, these elites talk-the-talk about caring as though they alone own the moral high ground, but how are they walking the walk?

Ask any American who could benefit from another $1,200 stimulus check, and they’ll tell you its political lip service. Instead of a second check, they see Pelosi eating expensive gourmet ice cream from her sub-zero refrigerators as she uses them as pawns for a Blue State bad governance bailout that has absolutely nothing to do with the COVID plandemic.

What is the effect of all this?

In countries where socialism has failed, those silent majorities learned to suffer in silence because they have been taught to lie by those who no longer recognize the truth.  Now, honest, hardworking Americans are learning about the communist ideal firsthand instead of observing it at a distance as before.  This is why the polls no longer reflect an accurate picture of the nation’s silent majority and what they care about.  So what is it?  The pain!

The Pain

This election will be about one thing; pain: Those who feel it, those who care about those who feel it, and those who give it lip service: Namely, the pain of losing businesses, jobs, careers, and the worry about foreclosures and evictions and so forth.

As I drove across the nation, I encountered people outside of the Progressive enclaves.  Here is where folks feel the pain of this plandemic and the fortunate ones who live amongst them and care about the plight of those less fortunate.

Hence, what I saw is that the Progressive narrative is falling on deaf ears with seventy-five percent of hardworking Americans living outside of the Progressive enclaves who either feel the pain or who genuinely care for those who do.

This brings me to the moral of my Tale of Two Denny’s story and these two waitresses who gave me clarity.

  • One was white, the other black
  • One was in a zone of defiance, the other in a zone of fear
  • Both in their twenties
  • Both likely single working mothers
  • Both obviously happy to have a job.

All of the above points would be grist for the media to grind into divisive and hateful spin, and yet, each one is irrelevant.  So what is?

What is relevant is that each day, both of these good women see the same fear in the eyes of those they greet.  Instead of the usual ‘what are you having today,’ both of their own volition, chose to step up as ambassadors of goodwill.

In response to the gum faces, they see time-and-again, both greet their customers with warm, cheerful smiles and make every effort to help them feel welcome.  They each took it upon themselves to become goodwill ambassadors.

This is not a management directive.  No.  These two women each made a personal choice to go above and beyond, and together, they offer a binocular view of what makes us human.  If we zoom out, what will we see?  Good men and women everywhere, stepping up to share a bit of sunshine and hope for the future.

These two magnificent women and the countless man who are like them are for all intents and purpose, an existential measure of America’s core values, and the pain of politicized plandemic many must now endure.

 Expressing Core Values

The moral of this story is core values.  They define who we are and our rightful place in history.  In the Soviet Union, the communist narrative’s core values failed in 1991, and the government could no longer offer a rightful place in history.  It was out of touch.

Given that two-thirds of the world has seen some 25 different failed socialist/communist governments, the Soviet Union was the capstone on a zero to 25 losing streak.

Yet, there is a vocal and angry population of Americans who feel we can be a magical 26th effort that will somehow be the one that succeeds.  It reminds you of the definition of insanity.  You keep repeating the same mistake expecting a different outcome.

I operated a travel business to Russia for many years after perestroika, and I’ll never forget one of my Russian partners’ pithy comments.  Communism is like any other religion.  To get to paradise, you have to die first,” which is why core values are so critical.

Core values define us, and while America is the new kid on the block in terms of world history, it’s been around long enough to give its citizens a generational taste of freedom, and that means.  Our core values as a nation are what we hunger for – it is why we fight – it is why we sacrifice.

This coming election, unlike those in the past, will not be about voting our wallets.  It will be more existential as we see in the compassion of the two Denny’s waitresses who, together, impressed upon me the most crucial decision about our future.

Will we keep our rightful place in history or abandon it for the communist ideal; a decision that is certain to impact all future generations of Americans directly.

You may wonder. Are we up to it, or are we sheeple?

The silent majority is often mocked as sheeple because they always seem to arrive at the right conclusion, but a day late and a dollar short.  Mind you; this is fallacious thinking.

The silent majority is silent because it is observant, and they hear others talk-the-talk all the time.  However, they have learned that the best way to see the truth of the matter is to observe how folks walk-the-walk.  A process that can take years, decades, or ever generations depending on the extent of the deception.

But one thing you can depend on is that when the silent majority feels pain, it trusts its own eyes and instincts, and here is the dilemma they face.

Most of us can no longer reconcile what we see with our own eyes, with that which those who profess to know better and who instruct us on what we see with our own eyes.  Herein is the narrative dissonance of today.

Simply put, the narrative of the left is dissonant and failing more each day. Where does this lead?

When the silent majority goes to vote next month, it will be about pain and perception.

For them, it will not be about the left regaining power and their profuse denials and accusations.  Nor will it be a landslide.

It will be a silent majority reckoning.


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Category: Humanity, Qx

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