Thursday, September 22, 2011
I finished Americana this week. Interesting collection of "dispatches" over a 15-20 year span of time. It lacked any cohesiveness, but Hampton Sides touched on some interesting themes. I liked his description of the Airstream conventions held every year, in which thousands gather at pre-selected sites to create a gleaming "silver city" and swap road stories and engage in various activities. They name their club after Wally Byam, who launched the first Airstream caravan back in 1936. More important, he set an ethos in caravaning that lives to this day, with events held all around the world. Sides notes one particular road trip that stretched from Cape Town to Cairo, taking in the immense reach of Africa in 1959.