No, I didn’t have fast food for Thanksgiving this year, but I am in the heart of the Fast Food Nation. My dad moved to Colorado Springs a few years ago after living in Germany for five years. He has worked for the US Air Force for over twenty years, mostly in Spokane. But after his time was up in Europe, the job that he was able to transfer to was at “Space Command” in Colorado Springs.
The first thing that I thought of when my dad said that he was moving here was the the book Fast Food Nation. I had read it recently and remembered the vivid descriptions of the long stretches of housing developments and repeating restaurant chains. My first visit a few winters ago lived up to everything that I remembered in the book.
Now I am back for my second visit, currently wrapping up day three of a five-day trip. The weirdness of the endless Targets and repeating shopping malls as we drive down the freeways, not just in Colorado Springs, but Boulder and Denver too, is really getting to me. Thanks to Amazon’s Online Reader, I was able to search inside Fast Food Nation and read about the descriptions Colorado Springs again for the first time since the book first came out (I don’t have the book since I borrowed it from the library).
It was eerie reading it this time. My dad works at the air force base discussed in the book. I am currently sitting in a brand new town house development just off of Academy Blvd. and Woodman Road, which were the major streets in chapter 3. My dad’s stepdaughter even works at the local Carl’s Jr. And just today I noticed a sign on the freeway for the Focus on the Family visitors center, also mentioned in the book. I would quote some of the book, but there is just too much that is so accurate after being here that I just have to say that you must read the book fully understand what I am going through right now.
There are a few interesting cultural things here, though. The book also mentions the independent bookstore Chinook Bookshop, which I hope to visit tomorrow or Monday (Heather mentioned that there was a good bookstore downtown years ago, but I didn’t remember the name). Also, driving through downtown yesterday, I saw on the old marquee of a movie theater “Fast Food Nation.” The irony (ok, maybe it isn’t irony, but you know what I mean), of this movie playing at the last old movie theater in downtown Colorado Springs didn’t hit me until we were long past it (I am a bit slow), so I also want to go back and take a picture of it this weekend. I might even see if my dad is up for visiting Focus on the Family.