i spent the night in a truckstop in dallas texas, despite moans and groans from the wizard about the stupidity of the idea. there was a heavy police presence there, though, and the night was uneventful, if you discount the fact that they had outdoor speakers that blasted hiphop all night long. things got more exciting the next day, though. don't be shocked, i am not kidding you.
this is the truckstop's resident stray. he was afraid of his own shadow, and clearly needed the stuffing loved out of him. we gave him a rib bone and some bread and biscuits. then i went to get a shower, but there were like 9 people in the line, so i went back out to sit with mutt while i waited. it was a good thing, cause when i got there
the car that had been parked by us all night long had caught fire, and i found a use for the extra gallons of water i had been tripping over since san antonio.
here is the guy putting out his carpeting. when he lifted the floor mat, you could see pavement :-( this was not a good thing, cause he had just sold the car....his only home....because he needed the money, and some guy was on his way to get it.
royce (my new friend) had had trouble starting the car, and wanted to be sure that it started when the guy got there, so he got a spray can of that stuff that helps you start it, and proceeded to use the whole can, just in case. i had had to roll the windows up on the van, such was the cloud of noxious fumes that ensued. well, it started all right. started right on fire.....
of course, in the middle of all this, vickie calls to see if i was ready to meet up, and i was afraid she would think better of the whole idea when she heard the commotion, but she believed me when i said i usually only experienced one disaster a day, or felt pity for me.....cause she met me anyhow :-)
the first thing we did was the "i'll show you mine if you show me yours" shuffle. her van is very cool. then again, every van i meet has some unique quality that makes it stand out. such is the nature of the creativity of vandwellers. but vickie had come up with solutions to problems that were very unique and may be the solution to some of my issues. first of all, were the clips. remember the clips? she had an actual box of clips, neatly labeled and tucked away in one of her totes. her totes are lined up against one side of her van, neatly wedged behind the rear captains chair. on top were cushions covered in gray vinyl that matched the interior of the van....it made the interior seem even bigger, and very soothing to be in. she could rearrange the cushions and the totes in different ways, depending on her needs. i know she had explained this on vandwellers, but it was much cooler than i had envisioned it. the very best part was the fact that each of these cushions fit into the window wells in the back of the van, making creative use of that space when she needed the cushions out of the way.
but it wasn't just van stuff i learned from vickie. she took mutt and i to a nearby park, where we walked and talked and got to know each other. i learned some things about myself in our conversation; validation about some decisions i had made in my life some time ago that i needed to hear. the universe just gives me gifts like this when i least expect it, and usually through the most delightful people. thank-you, vickie.
we went to a have something to eat at the white rock coffee shop. dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio, and mutt was given a huge biscuit and a warm welcome by the staff. one very cool person was devin, who ended up chatting like magpies with me, and conversation managed to turn to the fact that he is a songwriter who wants to live in his truck. i told him about vandwellers, and i hope he joins soon, if he hasn't already........i do hope i didn't frighten him off.....
this next series of pictures shows how sneaky mutt is trying to get a little licking action in....not on purpose, but on accident, like if his tongue falls out of his mouth right about the time his snoot is near your face.....ron can tell you about this.....
anyhow, if you look close in these pictures you can see his tongue being affected by centrifugal force, because it's surely not gravity that sends it accidentally upwards towards devin's mouth
who obviously knows where mutt's tongue has been last and reacts accordingly.
mutt sees vickie open her chicken salad sandwich, and looks longingly in her direction.....
but when she is not forthcoming, goes back to devin, full of remorse. it was alot of fun, and vickie ran into a couple people she knew, and all too soon, it was time to go.
one other special memory for me will be when vickie's daughter sang me one of the songs she wrote. i began crying before i even heard the words, her voice was that beautiful. thank-you melanie. i look forward to the cd.
i spent the night in the same truckstop, because i had hoped to doctor the burns on royce's hands again, and check the extent of the blistering on the palm. he didn't have medical insurance, but vickie told me where he could get care. but royce and the car were both gone. i hope he is safe and warm, wherever he is.
the next day i finally found the grave of stevie ray vaughan. i am not one big on monuments or memorials other than the ones in our hearts, but i was strangely moved by the first sight of the grave. he was not only my favorite guitarist, but a brother in recovery.
i was asked once if i could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why? the first thing that popped out of my mouth was "stevie ray vaughan, to tell him not to take the chopper". i miss his music.....
the grave was recently visited by los lonely boys, or a big fan of theirs.
i hadn't planned on leaving anything, but was moved to leave a bead (see inside the "o"). at the eastern primitive rendezvous, we used to have AA meetings at gator's tent ( or any of the many tents with the sign of the triangle) and we used to get a trade bead, kinda like the 18th century's answer to the chip. i had a small medicine bag of them, and decided to leave one for stevie. i think he mighta liked it.
then we got the hell outta dallas.