Monday, January 9, 2012

Main Street Tour

 My Tour of Main Street America (driving cross country only on secondary roads*) began with a long delayed and too short meeting of two Soldiers of The Free Spirit cut from the same cloth. David owns the 1970 E300 camper conversion and together we did some trips around the hood and were amazed that we had these dinosaurs running.

 We're both dealing with a lot of entropy with our respective 40 year old trucks and 40 year old bodies. There is no easy way to solve the galactic riddle except by interpreting our own dreams and ignoring the idle gossip that goes on in the background. We're crazy but we're our own crazy and not a prepackaged store bought version.

This is supposed to be my patriotic portrait but the lighting off Lake Erie was all sorts of messed up. That acrylic sweater is red white and blue, like the colors of the American Flag on David's van. My skin color is the same color as the sky. But I'll allow it for now.

Oggy's Main Street America Tour 2012 brought me to a flea market in a dusty town in New York. I asked the booth attendant: "Where am I?"
His shaggy gray eyebrows scanned my hippie attire.
"Do you know where East Bumfuck is?"
"Well, we're 5 miles east of there."
He let me have the Greek Fisherman's hat at a discount but absolutely refused to let me buy the '50s wool plaid ladies skirt I wanted for rug hooking. The sweater was pretty much a gift that I immediately stained with oil. The loot from another flea market in a snowy village was as follows:
1. Xanadu 78 rpm single "Magic" b/w "Cool Country"
2. 78 rpm "Sky Pilot" by Eric Burdon and The Animals

3. Fancy Parisian eyeglass frames.
4. Box of depression era sheet music including "Go Farther than your Father" and "Alcoholic Blues" One song says "Buy War Bonds"**
5. Beads for future crochet hemp belts

It was not a sad day to see this crappy tire fail. I hate this tire because it is the last reminder of the NTB experience and my wasted money putting new tires on a van with bad I-beams and having an $8/hr wrench monkey pull his pants up and drop my van off the lift and adjust his glasses better than he adjusted the alignment, fucking everything up completely and not fixing or even identifying the original problem, leading to lots of wasted time/money and an eventual front end job by an RV shop but left me with $200 worth of destroyed NTB tires that I decided I would use until they fell apart rather than replace immediately (The alignment issues wore 60,000 miles off of one side of the front tires in under 1000 miles of actual driving)
I didn't have my pitchfork but I had loosened the lug nuts a few days ago so this pit stop went smoothly.
The tire wear wasn't the cause of this fatal flat in rural Pennsylvania, there were 4 nails sticking in the tread at various places that I had picked up on Labrador dirt back roads and such. I'd been fighting the slow leak for a week. Now I find out if my 3 year old Mexican spare tire purchased in La Paz will last long enough to get me to Guatemala.

*Though this sounds insane, it has been a relief to drive the van at a safe speed (45) and see the countryside and the flea markets and hog pens of the country, camping wherever I want and shopping with locals at markets with people's names still on them. The interstates are faster speed wise but they don't take the most direct route so you still lose time on them. Only driving through cities does this method become a pain, unless you want to see the destitute of the city. In general taking a secondary road directly to your destination will not lose you much time compared to taking a high speed highway on some roundabout route.

** This gives me an idea. You know the movie "Julie & Julia" about the woman who cooked all Julia Childs' French recipes? It was also a book and here's my pitch: I will learn to play all the songs in this gigantic box of depression era songs. These are totally out of print songs ( I can't find a recording of "Go Farther than your Father") and I will basically write my experiences learning about the songs, annotating them, and playing them at rehabilitation homes for the infirm. Aging hippie makes good. That kind of story. It's the stuff publishers dream of. It all starts with my ability to sight read, which is improving but is not up to the task. OH, it's going to take serious sacrifices to learn to sight read these forgotten songs from 1937. Maybe I'll get that music software and write them all out and then simply sing along like karaoke from 1940.


ButchCountry said...

Love your blog man! so envy you, wish I could just go where ever when ever, but alas poor york, I'm caught in the rat race! funny thing I have to change a tire on my truck too, new tires, less than 5k on them, from a grid road as well, spooky lol, keep the shiny side dude and happy trails

Rosi said...

Are you there yet?

Oggy Bleacher said...

The hoody sweatshirt shop on the square spells it "Rozzy". I made it to the Golden Arch of the Midwest. The gateway to Indian Country.
My main goals are to weave a hemp/bead belt that is suitable for the Rock n roll hall of fame. IT should take all winter.

Butch--your blog kind of blew me away and put my petty complaints into perspective. I'm at a low period in writing content right now. No internet access...creative depression...ambivalent toward comes and goes but lately my enthusiasm for the blog has been low. My wolf film project that brought me through some fine provinces of your country is a big task. peace

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.