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The Great American School Bus Conversion: Part 1

One of my favorite movies of all time is Road Trip. It's not exactly the pinnacle of cinematography, and the acting isn't going to win any awards, but it does include a couple of my favorite themes:

1. Ditching school
2. Road tripping

My first experience road tripping was when I graduated from high school. Five friends and I took one of those cool vans ("a REAL van.. this was before all that minivan crap") from Texas to Florida, and then all the way up to Maine. I got off in Massachusetts, but the rest of the crew continued on to Chicago and then back South.

The Farmington Canyon Story, where the moral is to slow down and wear your seatbelt

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Farmington Canyon, Utah, around 10 years ago.

One of the first semi-serious girlfriends I ever had - let's call her Alice - had a really wonderful family, and we all got along famously.

They were work-hard, play-hard, really good people. They were Catholic, and there's sort of a Catholic solidarity in Utah, especially out in the suburbs.

Utah is overwhelmingly of the Mormon religion, and most non-Mormons feel stifled by it.

Now, as I get older, I come to appreciate the Mormon religion more. They're big believers in family, self-discipline, good habits, service, hard work and lots of reflection. But some of the rules are rather stifling to non-Mormons - no drinking, no smoking, no caffeine, no R-rated movies. Also, they're incredibly warm and friendly people, but at least in Utah, there's an undercurrent of being wary about associating too closely with non-Mormons outside of trying to convert them.

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