How I can tell it’s real

I usually hate driving down Highway 5 during the week, my compact car jammed among hoards of semis carrying milk, pigs, cars, pallets of toys and gadgets from the Port of Oakland and the Central Valley farms to Los Angeles. The way back is even worse with 18-wheelers from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles chugging over the Tejon Pass in long caravans spewing choking exhaust.

Yesterday was entirely different. From the San Joaquin County line to Grapevine, I don’t think I saw a dozen trucks. OK, maybe a dozen, but certainly not twenty. The highway was deserted for the entire three hour drive through the Central Valley. It’s hard to be happy about the clear road, though. We really are in a recession.

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