Roadtrip Soundtrack

Years ago, I ripped a striking ad out of a magazine: an image fully superimposed with a continuous text. Someday, I thought, I'll do something like that. When my son Greg moved from CT to Silicon Valley for his post-college job in the summer of 2001, I drove across the country with him in a Honda Civic so loaded with his possessions we barely made it over the mountains in the West. Our journey gave me the opportunity to put the ad inspiration to work. We're both huge music fans – en route, we listed our CDs, combining album titles with travel dates, locations, mileage, and occasional milestones. I still have the notebook! Here's the final count of our trip: 5 days; 3,445.8 miles; 54 CDs. The map itself is simple: I delineated state boundaries and drew our driving route. More than some maps, this one really is a snapshot in time: our playlist and technology would be very different now. Music is a powerful memory probe – when I read the album title, the appropriate landscape from the trip appears before me.