Your Ideas en On the Road: Acceptance and Reflection <p><strong>Tampico - Aspen&nbsp;</strong></p><p>320 miles from Tampico, roughly 40 to the US border. All that stands between me and it is one of the most dangerous stretches of tarmac in all the Americas. Carjackings, drug cartels, grenade attacks, mass murder, and general treachery. Along the way a multitude of police checkpoints, serving as both vanguards of security and targets of terror line the route. Each stop halts my progress, I become a sitting duck. The police, eager to demonstrate their militaristic bonafides don full tactical gear, head to toe camo, bulletproof vests, night vision equipment, massive assault rifles, everything designed for utmost intimidation. Yet, as public servants visibility is paramount, so, rather inexplicably, they layer high visibility jackets over their camo, neon yellow with orange vests with reflective stripes, the sheer lunacy of it makes me nearly double over in laughter. The irony of it, at least the giggle relieves tension. Sun, 22 Jun 2014 14:54:00 +0000 Skippy Mesirow 20085 at On the Road: Acceptance and Reflection On the Road: Big Jumps and War Zones <p><strong>Tampico through Tamaulipas</strong></p><p>2100 hours. A soldier eats his last MRE for the day. He huddles with his platoon mates for what may be the last time. They look each other in the eyes, man their perimeter and tuck in for an uneasy last night sleep before a sunrise assault tomorrow. They know some won’t make it, they are fearful, but together, they are strong. This is what hell week, all the training, all the battles to this point has lead up to. They think of their children, families, loved ones. In the morning, the fear will subside, they will be trained and ready, tomorrow is their day. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:44:00 +0000 Skippy Mesirow 20084 at On the Road: Big Jumps and War Zones On the Road: U.S. Bank of F. Y** <p><strong>Cancun – Villahermosa</strong></p><p>You always expect the unexpected, but sometimes, regardless of your preparation, you get absolutely blindsided. Something happens by no fault of your own but the impact is irreversible and changes your path in an unforeseen and unwelcomed manner. There is nothing you can do, the change is irreconcilable and all you can do it bury your apprehensions, emotions and resentments and push forward, making the best of what you have.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:37:00 +0000 Skippy Mesirow 20083 at On the Road: U.S. Bank of F. Y** On the Road: Authenticity <p><strong>Havana – Mexico</strong></p><p>Gatito sits on a plastic covered couch. She’s back in Cancun looking through the glass outer wall of an Elektra, a one-stop shop for bank loans, cheap credit, home décor, motorbikes, and electronics. Outside looks so different after the last few weeks. People move faster, they wear fewer smiles; pure joys are supplanted by hurried desires.&nbsp; Cars are everywhere, big and new. Storefronts house things and OXXO’s sell food and snacks on almost every corner. Passing by the window so fleetingly, so flippantly, are all the things desired of the average Cubans she met. Work, freedom of opportunity, and a car are available along with cheap food. Yet, it all feels so hollow, so cold and callous. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 14:29:55 +0000 Skippy Mesirow 20082 at On the Road: Authenticity On the Road: Bay of Pigs <p><strong>Havana – Playa Largo</strong></p><p>Birds chirp, wheels turn and the city comes to life. Gatito awakens and looks over her Havana Balcony at a black and white 1953 Chevrolet. It’s a beautiful sight, swollen haunches, chrome detailing, leather interior, circular indicators protruding from the trunk and hood, imposing and stately like a bulldog perched atop an island atoll protecting an English manor. She carries her bags down the stairs and jumps high as she can. Nope, smash, face to running board. Again, nope. She tries to shimmy up the tire but again she fails. Covered in dust and hot tire residue she begins to tear up, perhaps she will never reach Playa Largo in the Bay of Pigs. But then, just as despair sets in, a nice little Cuban dog, Charlie, one of hundreds of cute well-mannered pups on the island, walks up, barks spritely, picks her up and slings her into the car. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:27:00 +0000 Skippy Mesirow 19429 at On the Road: Bay of Pigs