The road from Atlanta to Chattanooga was cloaked in darkness. I was in the fast lane. About half an hour later, a driver behind me flashed his lights, once and then twice. Was he asking me to move over? I had heard that such signalling was common on the Autobahns of Germany. The car, a fire-engine red Chevy Camaro, was coming toward me fast and furious. I moved over to let him pass. The muscle car had personalised Ohio license plates, which read: Riad. As I recalled from my frequent visits to Frankfurt, enroute to Riyadh, that was how the Germans spelled the name of the Saudi capital city. That driver continued to push several other drivers out of the fast lane until he found his match. As night fell, these two drivers were playing hide and seek at 80+ mph. On TV this would have been entertaining to watch. But this was no ‘Dukes of Hazards’ show. It was life or death on wheels, happening right in front of my eyes, threatening to pull me into it. At some point one of the drivers exited the freeway. Then there appeared a large billboard, which read, “Jesus is Lord.” But it was the byline that hit me, “And you know it.” Was the sign talking to me? The freeway went past numerous battlefields and their inevitable end-result, cemeteries. Most of them seemed to date back to the Civil War. There was also an exit for an Indian mound. Later, I found out that it was a major historic site frequently visited by school children. Finally, a sign appeared with the famous lines from a song, “It was a rainy night in Georgia.” And sure enough, a light rain began to fall. I was now driving past Lookout Mountain and climbing across the Appalachian Trail. Traffic had thinned out and my mind began to wander toward the possibility of a flat tire. As if to make the concept even more tangible, a semi tractor-trailer truck with a flat tire swung into view. He was being assisted by a repair crew in a pick-up truck that was parked diagonally across the back of the semi, intruding into the slow lane of the freeway to protect the repairman. Special equipment was being used to loosen the lug nuts. Now I had seen everything and did not want to imagine any further what would happen to me if I had a flat. Fortunately, that just remained a thought experiment. Two and a half hours later Chattanooga swung into view. I drove past the Public Library and wondered what type of collections it had on the Civil War. After all, Tennessee had been a proud member of the Confederacy and had been the site of a major battle. I imagined I was at the front desk, asking the aging clerk where I would find the Civil War collection. I could hear the clerk responding, “Excuse me, boy. Are you referring to the War of Northern Aggression?” After my work ended in Chattanooga, I got on the road again. This time I was heading toward Nashville, in the heart of Middle Tennessee. I had been told by a friend to be careful on the drive since it was going to become mountainous just a half hour out of Chattanooga. I recall riding an airport shuttle van one time on this road and seeing a semi running out of control on the decline section. At some point he decided to pull over into the wide grassy median and slammed on his brakes. We could see the smoke bellowing from the tires. Our shuttle driver commented in the local accent and idiom: “He sure shut that dude down.” The freeway went past numerous battlefields and their inevitable end-result, cemeteries. Most of them seemed to date back to the Civil War. There was also an exit for an Indian mound. Later, I found out that it was a major historic site frequently visited by school children That ejaculation began to haunt me as I got behind the wheel. Later, on Wikipedia I would read that that stretch of road is regarded as one of the most dangerous in the country. The area is called Monteagle and that is where the highway crosses the Cumberland Plateau. While the 4-6 percent grade is not the steepest in the country, the slope is protracted and runs over several miles. The article said that “truckers are particularly vexed by Monteagle, and many had died going through this area.” It added: “Accidents and severe congestion are common here.” A friend had advised me to check out the country music. So I turned on the radio. A Bible station came on. I kept changing stations but all I kept getting were Bible stations. So I decided to stay with one where the dialogue was crisp and sharp. After all, we were talking about the Last Judgment and our ultimate and permanent placement in Heaven or Hell. A guest was on the show. He had authored a book, “Before Amen.” He was telling us that all the prayers in the Bible are one simple prayer. And then he proceeded to recite it. “Father, you are good. I need help. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.” He was asking us to pray to God, who he said was our Heavenly Father. The pastor told us that he had three sons and they could approach him anytime and ask a question or request help. He said, being their Dad he did not care in what style the question was asked as long as it asked with humility. A woman called and said she that the Heavenly Father metaphor was not going to work for her since her Dad was abusive. The pastor said to not let that hold her back since God was a congenial father. She replied, then why did He give me a less than congenial Dad on earth. A man called and said his prayers were not being heard. He was told to not lose patience and to keep on praying. He would be rewarded for his good intentions in the after-life. Another person called and wondered if his prayers would make any difference since God had predetermined just about everything in our life. He was told to keep asking the question even though it had no easy answer. These were universal questions, whether you were a Muslim like me or a Christian like these callers. The exit arrived and a “heavenly” downpour came out of nowhere. It was blinding. I saw a long stream of headlights in my rear view mirror and they were coming straight toward me. But I survived the merge and made it to the hotel. As I was getting ready to head back to the airport the next day, a woman came up to me. “Did you fly into Atlanta?” “Yes. Then I drove to Chattanooga for my first meeting and then to Nashville for my second.” “So you did Sherman’s March to the Sea in reverse?” “Yes, indeed, I did what would have happened if history had been reversed.” “What do you mean?” “I did what General Sherman would have done if the Confederate forces had put up stiffer resistance to the Yankees in the War of Northern Aggression.” I did not stay long enough to see the expression on her face. The writer has visited 35 countries on six continents. He can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, October 14th 2017.