The Pop Culture Road Trip

So begins our journey together, in search of pop culture, entertainment, fads, trends, landmarks–a cross country adventure discovering things we all love to talk, think and dream about. The Brady Bunch House? We’ll go there. Coffee with Eve Plumb? It’ll happen here. Trivia, insights and tons of useless information including the place where the hamburger was invented? Done.

My name is Chris Epting, I’ve written a boxful of books about driving around and finding the best parts of America, and I’ll bring those places to you on this blog. You’ll meet interesting people, some you know, some I think you’ll like meeting. I’ll do my best to sneak you in to places for backstage peaks and behind-the-scenes experiences. If you need road trip suggestions for the family, just say the word. If I’m doing a book signing nearby, please come say hi.
More on all of that stuff in the coming days. For today, it’s about Father’s Day. Being a dad is for me, pretty much the entire point of being on this planet. Every day feels like Father’s Day to me, and so it seems only right to start this blog on this weekend. (That photo is me with my kids and the MythBusters)
Back in 2004, I was asked to write a piece about Father’s Day and travel. I re-read it today and thankfully, not too much has changed. You can read it here if you’d like–as you’ll see my family and I are on a long-term pop culture adventure.
Also, did you know that today is the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day? The history behind it is interesting–it all sprung from a daughter’s love of her of her and how she wanted to honor him.  I wrote an article for AOL News this weekend that details the entire story–though it’s not without controversy where the actual *first* Father’s Day took place. 
And my last piece of pop culture appreciation on this day involves my favorite TV show growing up – The Andy Griffith Show. 
As a kid, I always loved the wisdom, homespun morals, and character-building advice that Andy Taylor imparted to his son, Opie. In fact, I still do. I recently had the pleasure to visit Mt. Airy, North Carolina–the inspiration for the fictional town of “Mayberry.” But that not where that magical opening sequence was filmed–you know, where Andy and Opie walk down that dirt path amidst the pines toward their favorite fishing lake. 
That was actually shot in Franklin Canyon in Los Angeles, right by Beverly Hills. The path is still there, as is the lake, and when I took my son there years ago to trace those steps, it was sort of like walking into a dream–back to a time and place where life was simple, innocent and a bit more carefree. A time and place where I think, as fathers, we all want our kids to remains just a little bit longer – maybe til they catch just one more fish.
Happy Father’s Day to the dads – and thank you to our wives for helping us be the dads we always wanted to be. 
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

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