Driving across Pennsylvania recently on my way back to Ohio from Long Island, I stopped for a Big Mac and fries. I am not a frequent flyer when it comes to the Golden Arches. But on long road trips that great, greasy fast food, which took our nation by storm during my adolescence, is a favorite indulgence.
On the wall to the left of the counter is a map of the United States. The map was stuck with probably more than two hundred colorful pushpins, each marking the hometown of a recent customer. The manager told me he has to replace the map twice a year because it becomes overpopulated with pushpins.
At that Mercer McDonald’s the folks working the late shift were pleasant and efficient. I took my order to go. But when I drove away, just another lonely cruiser, I carried with me more than a white bag of fast food. I was filled with e pluribus unum.
As I drove westward into the American night toward an uncertain personal future, one hand on the wheel, the other dipping into the McDonald’s bag for more fries, I was grateful to be part of this noble experiment.