1. “They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
— Tom Bodett
2. “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
3. “The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh.”
4. “You can make a new friend but you can’t make an old one.”
5. “In the America I see from here, anything is possible – especially the impossible.”
6. “I’m real. I believe what I’m saying. If Motel 6 wasn’t the type of operation they say it is – and I stay at them when I travel – I wouldn’t do their commercials. That comes through on the radio, and that’s what it’s all about.”
7. “People feel vulnerable when they travel. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of or talked into something they don’t want. Staying at Motel 6 makes you feel smarter. In fact, I think it actually means you are smarter, but I have no hard data to support that.”
8. “I’m happy to report you still get nothing you don’t need at Motel 6, and, therefore, you don’t have to pay for it. I don’t need valet parking. If I can drive the old crate 300 miles to the hotel all by myself, I can certainly handle the last nine feet to the parking space.”
9. “That’s what the American odyssey is really about: Leaving home. Leaving home and coming home, and trying to understand the difference.”
10. “Kids in Alaska don’t know they’re growing up on the Last Frontier. It’s just what they see on the license plates, and it’s something tourists like to say a lot because they’ve never been around so many mountains and moose before.”
11. “For some people, you know, Garrison Keillor, Rush Limbaugh, really the stars, they’ve got a passion. They eat, drink and breathe radio, and I’m not like that. I used to think I wanted to be. But I need to be away from it, too, and that’s the difference, I think.”
12. “Tom Kizzia hasn’t just observed and written about Alaska for three-plus decades, he’s lived it. ‘Pilgrim’s Wilderness’ is a story that needed to be told by the only man who could tell it.”
13. “Somebody says, ‘Do a Tom Bodett, a folksy kind of thing,’ and it sounds like something out of ‘Hee Haw,’ very insulting. They turn wry humor into disparaging sarcasm, and you get what amounts to insulting advertising.”
14. “Like most Alaska immigrants, my roots continue to petition for equal time.”
15. “Americans are generally very self-sufficient and I think generally averse to pretension, just as I am.”
16. “Professor Al Drake encouraged me to just write the way I talk. I decided if that’s what I needed to do, I didn’t need to be in school to do it.”
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