Writer’s note: Musings and even columns are just rough drafts of everything, a way to take notes. Musings will generally come from Facebook and Instagram posts, the outward journey, and columns from the inward journey.

I could lie and say that I had no idea why I went to Charlotte. Herb Harmon. I wanted to see him. We met for coffee. Four hours later, I was on the road to Winston-Salem. One of the things Herb and I discussed was the social media effect. We hadn’t seen each other since college. 1995? But it felt like it had been a few weeks. He’s been a good friend to me as I battled with depression. He tossed out a lifeline and I grabbed on to it. The truth is I anted to make it convenient for him to say he’ll met. So I was down in Ft Mill, SC for a cup of coffee and great conversation. And a real connection.

Covid sucks. Handshakes are out, as are hugs. We did the elbow bump. And then he made it a point to pat me on my back. We are all missing the sensation of casual touch. It’s part of the new reality, or maybe not a part of the new reality.

But that is one of the fears we spoke about. The need, the loss, will drive us to do things we shouldn’t do. Is Herb positive? Am I? So we sat outside, sipped coffee, went and got his dog, and then talked politics, family, medicine, Covid, psychology, trauma, UM, and a host of other things. Well worth the drive.

Next stop: Back tracking to Winston Salem. Gail is a new friend I met through my association. Lab owners LOVE to show off their labs and locals LOVE to show off their homes. I was itching to get to work.

Winston Salem was going through a lot of changes even before Covid. I mean, Winston Salem? Can you get guess their main source of revenue? As tobacco sales waned, Gail told me me, tobacco fields were transformed into wineries and micro breweries. Krispy Cream, of course, still has it’s roots there. I can’t say much about the Philly Cheesesteak. I stopped bitching about them a long time ago. Good food, good people, and a wonderful time, but it was time to head back to Charlotte to pack up and get ready for the next day.