I guess I lose the race. You beat me here, Tess, and I only drove 1640 miles. That feels like plenty!
I had planned to go straight from Michigan to Indianapolis on my way here. But once again, we heard from a listener with an interesting story to tell. So I switched gears and drove to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I met Morton McArthur. He tells me he normally doesn't have a goatee, but the recent windstorms left him without power for 12 days. (That doesn't quite explain why it's not a full beard, but I didn't press the issue.)
Anyway, Morton runs a small used car dealership, Mort's Imports. (I swear he went into business just for the name.) He started the business about four years ago, and it was doing great until the economic downturn and credit crunch hit. He says people who can afford to buy cars are holding tight to their money right now...and those who can't are having trouble getting loans. He hasn't paid himself a salary in several months and may have to close the business.
Like you mentioned, Tess, Morton is also very optimistic about this country and its ability to ride this out. And even if he has to close the business, he figures he'll hold onto his dealer's license until he can open a new lot. Will that kind of spirit get us through?
Off to bed now, but I look forward to swapping stories from the road.
We met in St. Louis!