A Johns Hopkins Vein Chart of an Alcoholic Gorilla

Personal Reflection: Gerald had an obsession for traveling by boat. This fictional letter from Karl to his friend George is meant to plant the seed of an idea about escaping trouble by water in the reader’s mind.

Gerald also wrote the brief editor’s note about the quirky title above.


Editor’s note: Our title was a quotation from that charming automobile reviewer Tom Mc Cahill, now long dead. He was describing modern road maps.

Our Amazing Waterways

Dear G.,

Ever see a disaster movie where the highways are full of unmoving cars and trucks? Horns are honking but no one is moving. Maybe there is a roadblock with a radio link to a national database you could be on. After your name it says, “Hold for Questioning”.

Anyway, that is my scenario to introduce an idea for alternative travel. Like the waterways of our great nation.

Man in Missouri said their state motto is “Where the rivers run.” I said, “Don’t the rivers run in every state.” He told me, “Sure they do,” but if you were to look at a hydro map of each state, you would see a network of water, rivers, creeks and lakes that could be a great way to get around without hitting the road. He said when he moved to Missouri he did an online search and found his hydro map, showing in blue–just the water, no roads–and it amazed him. Ever look out on a really neat river and wonder why you don’t see more people boating on it? True in lots of places I have seen.

Before I go on, I have a question for you: What large nation was explored and settled largely without the use of horses? Tell you later.

But, really, what if there was no gasoline, or you couldn’t get any but had to travel right away? Maybe a highway or bridge is out because of an earthquake but you had to get someplace and right now?

What if you had a lightweight inflatable, a kayak or canoe you could put to use? No motor or gas? Human power got a lot of people around for thousands of years and still does. Lewis and Clark didn’t have an outboard. There are useful inflatables that weigh less than thirty pounds. You could have one in your car trunk or at least your closet. I mean, do we always have to travel by car? Maybe that will end some day, G.? A little boat can take you places where cars can’t go, some really neat places, too. Just an idea.

Me? I’ve been talking to some people who speak of the boat culture, sometimes, generically, the “canoe culture”.

Did you figure the country out? It is Canada.


Author: Gerald Franz

Gerald Franz (1935-2014) was like a second father to me in the 27 years I knew him. Brilliant and eccentric, with a wide array of interests, he fit the definition of being gifted. He strove to shake people loose from their conventional thinking. As a Bible believing Christian, his favorite and most studied Bible subject was prophecy. Writing became a means of teaching in his later years. See more about Gerald here.