“How are you?” a perky, young female clerk asked me as I walked through the front door of the odds and ends shop in Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.
I was taken aback by her forthright question. I hadn’t been back to the US for a dozen years and had just arrived the night before from Denmark, where one is not ordinarily asked such an intimate question by strangers. I had come to visit my friend Dave and partake in a reunion of the 1970s alternative weekly, the Los Angeles Vanguard, and the new online newspaper, This Cant Be Happening!.
“Not so well; kinda sad,” I ventured timidly.
The questioner’s jaw dropped. The three women customers stopped talking and looked at me inquisitively.
“Why’s that?” asked the clerk.
“Do you really want to know?” I asked incredulously.
The clerk nodded her head. “Yes, I do.”
“Well, I’m sad about this country killing so many people in the world through their wars of aggression.”
The three customers immediately rushed out the door, one waving her gloved hand to the clerk while averting her eyes from my perplexed face. ...
Read more of Mr. Ridenour's surprising visit to America at This Can't Be Happening! The new on-line newspaper.