Essays: On The Road (And A Little Off)


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Nashville, TN October 14 or so, 2002
I love touring. But sometimes I be sittin round the
computer I get comfortable writing my jive little writins,
livin my jive little life, my little woman by my side,
jes a little ol hippie livin in a big ol bus.

Nonetheless the time is rapidly approaching when I will
bid adieu to Patty, put myself in the Volvo along with
my stuff, and go down the road to Florida. Wing and a
prayer time once again for ol Panama. There will be a
lot of time together under the Florida stars by night, the
Florida sun by day, just me and the Volvo, cruising down
the road through that gray sand that is as much a part of
the taste and feel of Florida as the red clay is of
Georgia and Alabama. Palmettos. Sandspurs. Armadillos.
The sussuration of the Gulf at night. The roar of the
Atlantic by day.

It is a very funny thing that this is the life exactly
as I imagined it would be. Playing guitar for folks,
singin my songs for people I mostly ain't ever met.
It's so exactly that way as to be tacky. Almost. It
would be tacky if it weren't so wonderful.

As many people know, my arrogance is not that born of
inheritance. So I've been trying to get it together
financially to get in the car, leave Patty with some cash,
and get myself down to Florida. To this end I have made a
few phone calls, written a few letters, sent up a few
prayers, lit a joss stick or two, and now the Fort
Lauderdale Blues Festival has come through with some
advance bucks to ensure my appearance, so I guess I have
overcome the last possible hurdle, and now I'm committed
to making the trip. Everything going okay I will leave

In good time, too. It's already starting to be winter up
here in the Athens of the South. The mornings are chilly,
the sun weak even when it shines as it is shining now.
I look forward to Florida. But I am going to miss that
Dickensian character I live with, Mrs. Warmbottom,
sleeping there in the back of the bus now, busily at work
on her dreams.

The highway calls.