by Walter Redden
When our four year old granddaughter’s birthday rolled around, my wife Annette and I had to decide if we were going to drive from Jackson to Largo, Florida, or if we were going to fly.
Driving the 700 miles to Largo takes sixteen hours non-stop. If we drove, we’d stay overnight about half-way, close to Tallahassee.
We made our decision, coming up with an even better plan. Our itinerary was to include a drive to New Orleans, then a flight from New Orleans non-stop to Tampa.
The flight from New Orleans to Tampa is only an hour and 15 minutes. As we were flying to Tampa to meet our grandaughter, Alexandria, she and her mother Terri were driving from Largo to the Tampa airport to meet us.
Largo is sandwiched between Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The route to Tampa from Largo is a stretch called Ulmerton Road. This road is a straight shot to Tampa, but there are a jillion traffic lights to encounter and heavy traffic day and night. Drivers really have to be alert and time the lights perfectly to make good time on Ulmerton.
Terri, who was watching the traffic, spoke slowly to Alexandria, saying, “We are going to the Tampa airport to pick up Maw Maw and Pa Pa -- your grandparents.
Alexandria very quickly responded, “Mommy, we can’t pick them up -- Pa Pa is too big!”
Now retired from teaching and the book business, Mississippi Delta native Walter Redden enjoys volunteer work for his church and other civic organizations.
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