The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 Chapter 10 Summary
Tangled Up in God's Beard
The Weird Watsons take their first break at a rest stop outside of Toledo, Ohio. They stop for sandwiches and a bathroom break, only the bathrooms are like nothing Kenny has ever seen. There's just a wood seat over a deep, smelly hole. No water, no flushing, lots of flies. Gross.
Kenny and Byron both just go in the woods.
At lunch, Byron's like, "What's the deal with those bathrooms?"
Momma and Dad laugh and explain that it's called an outhouse and he'd better get used to it because that's what Grandma Sands has. Wait, what? They're sending Byron to a place without indoor bathrooms? This just gets better and better.
Byron is less than thrilled.
The trip continues with everybody looking out the window or napping as they drive through Ohio.
Later, they are getting close to Cincinnati where they're supposed to stop for the night according to Momma's master plan, but Dad says he wants to keep going a little farther. Kenny overheard Dad talking to their mechanic a few days before the trip, so he knows Dad is secretly planning to try to drive straight through to Alabama without stopping anywhere to sleep.
Kenny, on the other hand, definitely can't make it to Alabama without sleeping. He misses all of Kentucky and doesn't wake up until they are stopped somewhere in Tennessee.
Momma consults her notebook and announces that they're in the Appalachia Mountains.
When Dad turns the headlights off, it's super dark and everyone gets kind of creeped out.
Momma is mad that Dad's nonstop driving plan has left them needing a break at this creepy, abandoned rest stop (which she actually refers to as hell) instead of the nice, safe motel she had picked out.
Kenny and Byron go to the woods to pee, and Byron tells Kenny he's worried about rednecks. He says a redneck is like a hillbilly, only worse, and some of them have never seen black before. So Byron figures if a redneck caught them, they'd be hanged for sure… and then eaten.
This is one time Byron isn't just fooling Kenny; he's really spooked about this.
They all hurry back into the car and get on the road where it feels safe.
Driving through the mountains, they can see about a million stars, and all the Weird Watsons have their arms out the windows to feel the clean, cool air.
Dad says they're up so high that it's like they have their fingers tangled up in God's beard.