Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Adventures Of Me
Call it what you will -Dashboard Therapy, Windshield Therapy, Gypsy Fever -I get a case of it a couple of times a year and I look for a remedy down a white line...on a highway.
My Dad, The Man Who Could Make It Better, used to threaten my Nieces when they were little that if they didn't start behaving he would "sell them to the Gypsies".
Before my brother and I were born our parents as newlyweds lived in Hueytown Alabama. It turned out that a band of Gypsies that lived in an Airstream on an adjacent lot had tried to buy my Mother. Their Queen of the Gypsies had died recently and they were in need of a replacement and thought my Mama with her long, flowing blonde hair should fit the bill. All she remembers about the incident was that a couple of men came to the door and my Dad answered it because he was closest to it. He had built his workshop onto the little trailer that he and my Mom lived in so he could hear her play the piano when he worked on his hot rods and racers. Mama remembers the Gypsy men leaving about as fast as they got there. I asked my Dad about the incident. I asked him how much they were going to give him for her and he said the conversation didn't get that far. I told Mama that in spite of everything that she and my Dad had been through my Dad loved her because he didn't even entertain an offer for her.
I told my brother Richard, A Human Being, that he could have been a Gypsy Prince and that I could have been a Gypsy Princess if our Dad had sold our Mother that day. We would probably be living out in an Airstream somewhere. Instead, I hang my hat in a '68 Shasta Compact that is all of 12' long (if you count the hitch) every now and then.
The then this time is the Black Pot Festival and Cook-Off in Lafayette Louisiana. I started out the trip with 9 people and lost them before I pulled out of my driveway. The festival was on a Friday and Saturday , 3 p.m.-Midnight. I normally don't stay up till midnight. I get up at midnight. I wanted to see The Pine Leaf Boys, Blues De Musicien. They sang in French and played blues you could dance to.
The trip began with a full tank of gas, a map and some Google-ings. I tried using a GPS unit once on a trip to Thomasville Georiga and ended up in a residential area in Montgomery Alabama. I turned it off.
I left my driveway just as dawn was breaking over the Alabama sky. I was leaving with IBS and fever and a good dog- I try not to go anywhere without a good dog. My fever broke along about Meridian as the local classic rock station played "play that funky music white boy". I started to feel a little better. They don't call it the comfort zone for nothing.
Four classic rock stations later, "Charity" and I were in our camping spot with pink flamingos in place, just in time for a Louisiana sunset that couldn't be seem over all the RV's and tents at the festival grounds at the Acadian Village but I could hear the music of the night.
Rumpled haired young men without shirts playing fiddles and guitars around the camp sites as their hippy chicks wandered around with their short skirts and cowboy boots.
The camps grew quiet before the sun came up again and found young couples waking up together on the ground, women wearing overalls and horned rimmed glasses walking round as others walked their dogs.
I met some Human Beings on that trip. Sometimes you have to leave home to find them. From my camp site neighbor who brought over a portable air tank and aired up the flat tire on my bicycle that I had had to put back on the rack: How did he know that tire was flat? What about the girl from Texas who had a Mercedes and layer of dirt road and who showed me how to keep the coolers at the Artist Hospitality areas clean and neat? Or what about the girl who just grabbed me and tried to teach me how to do the two step to the music behind the Festival Merchandise counter until I was dizzy? I will never forget the kindness and friendship that was offered to me by that sweet little family from Connecticut who were traveling cross country and missed their dogs. What a bland life it would be if it didn't touch others.
So I go back sometimes, to the floor that I love
...to the gypsy that remains...