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Messages 21 - 40 of total 71 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
Nice, hobo-dan.

I'll give you one back (a moment, frozen in time)

I came of age in Tennessee and after a stint in the military I returned (till I came to my senses and fled home to California, a place I'd never been).

For a few years I ran service calls in middle Tennessee, visiting virtually every small town in a 100 mile radius around Nashville. That being the south and all, there are A LOT of small towns.

I've since been blessed to visit, um, gotta be hundreds, or more than one hundred for sure, small towns (gotta be hundreds though I am a traveler). You know, Anytown USA, places that seem more fitting in a Norman Rockwell painting. While I don't fester on it a lot of those small towns are disappearing (Ringling Ringling, slipping way, only 40 people living, there today, the streets are dusty and the bank has been torn down, its a dying little town).

So, anyway, it was the week before Christmas and the last work day to boot. And a snow storm was coming in from the west, we'd all been tracking it, hoping for a white christmas. I was 26 years old.

A service call came in for a contract maintenance account, broken piece of equipment, contractually obligated to go fix it. No one wanted to go, it was clear out in McMinnville, out near Fall Creek Falls state park. I loved it in that neck of the woods, climbed there in summmer and was willing to go anytime.

"I'll go!"

So I drove, what, 50, 80 miles, hell I forget, with a snow storm on my heels, knowing I'd be driving home in that sh#t later. I lived on the opposite side of Nashville so I was facing 100 storm miles. Didn't care then, wouldn't care now - I'm one of those sick bastards that loves storm riding and I can cut through a storm like the head light on a freight train.

So I get to McMinnville, then as I'm confident it is now, the epitome of Anytown. A central courthouse, a town square, two story brick buildings, lots of neat small wood frame houses, a very nice place. I did my work and had it wrapped up before lunch. As I walked out to my car, the snow started fluttering down. I was hungry and even though I knew I'd pay the price for dawdling, I decided quite randomly to visit the grill in an old fashioned drug store across the square.

This place was a classic American drug store too, selling sundries and such, an ancient pharmacist ran the place and probably knew everyone in town, and all their ancestors and all their ailments. And there was a food counter, with the little red leather stools, a milkshake machine and a hot grill, to boot.

Now anyone who knows me knows I LOVE a good cheeseburger. I've tried em from Tel Aviv to Sao Paulo, NYC to L.A. I had a good cheeseburger today with my kid in fact, down in the barrio on Franklin Blvd, at Scottys. (Scotty makes a mean cheeseburger)

So I went in. The place was warm to the point of being hot, a wood stove in the corner was glowing (Tennesseans are like that). The whole town had their christmas lights up. Shoppers were bustling into stores, Fussels Mens Wear, a nick knack shop, a small grocery, etc. It was snowing pretty good by the time I settled in at the counter. The lady working the counter took my order - cheeseburger, ketchup only, fries and a chocolate milkshake (with vanilla ice cream, please!). Yeah it was winter and cold to boot but how many times do you get to step into a Norman Rockwell painting and have a real milkshake from a soda jerk at a drugstore lunch counter. Me? I can count the times on one hand. This was one of them.

I sat there eating lunch, reading the paper, looking outside as the snow just started dumping! I felt a nostalgia that wasn't my own, as if I was looking out someone else's eyes at a younger McMinnville in a different time. I wouldn't have blinked one of those eyes if suddenly I realized that there was nothing but black Model's As and Ts and a few horses, parked around the square.

There was a small town cheer in the air and with the snow, a subtle shading, a comfortable lack of glare. The snow also lent a quiet to the place and several folks actually went to the window to comment on the scene. Snow is a big deal in Tennessee, especially when it dumps like that.

Well I finished my burger, paid my bill and tipped thelady handsomely, as has always been my habit. I went out into storm and drove home over winding and treacherous roads. Took a long time too, as I had to pass through several ages to get back to the present. When I rolled through Nashville about 4 oclock I was back in the present, and filled with regret. I was myself again, looking through my own eyes. I was looking at a big modern city and I was filled with big modern city concerns.

4 days after the new year I got on a plane and flew to San Francisco. California has been my own ever since, I actually CAME HOME that day. I've not been back to McMinnville since and I'm not so sure I can even get back to that town I visited. It was Twilight Zone in a pleasant way (Willoughby, next stop is Willoughby!).... and as you can see, it stuck with me all these years.

A delightfully greasy burger and a milkshake at a drug store lunch counter in small town usa, during a christmas snowstorm. :-)

DMT
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:23pm PT
that's a great song. seriously, what's a better road-trip song than that? Six Days on the Road? On the Road Again? City of New Orleans? Freight Train?

I dunno. I'll go with Willin'.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:27pm PT
Just back from a long walk with three hyperactive labs and Little Feat tunes were the soundtrack in my head. Seriously, awesome.

Good thread, thanks.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:31pm PT
Just queued up Spanish Moon :-)

DMT
coastal_climber

Trad climber
Squamish, BC
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:33pm PT
Driving somewhere on Interstate 6 at probably 2AM and had taken hits out of a pipe made out of a monster can. We were listening to the radio when it went quiet and after a bit said "Alien radio" freaked the sh#t outta us. I'm assuming it was the station name, but will never forget it. Made it to vegas safe and sound the following evening after a stop at warm springs.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
^^^^^

I heard it, I heard it, I heard it on the X.

DMT
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
DMT: cheeseburger, ketchup only
Nice narrative--I can see the snow out the windows of the diner
coastal_climber

Trad climber
Squamish, BC
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
I must mention how much I love your (americas) highways, they are built for travelling.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
I'm gonna delete this soon, a'la DMT, but; there was one time driving across Nevada well dosed and Little Feat was playing for a while. Fifty miles straight ahead, frying balls,smiling my freaking face off. The sun came up and one of us put on some house music. That was the final nail in the coffin. We pulled over and slept beneath these beautiful limestone formations for a few hours, then carried on our merry way to Moab.
Fish Finder

Social climber
THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Puss
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Werner--that pretty much is the image of how I thought a mass murderer would look
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
Puss

Well, it's still there, right?

Tell some stories, FF, I'm sure you've got some.
Fish Finder

Social climber
THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
So I am on a paid trip to drive to Utah from Mammoth and pick up a boat that a client had purchased.Circa 2004

Most desolate road trip of my life.

Driving through Ely the radio comes on and they start with the divorce report. hahahah

The town isnt even that big but I guess they gotta tell ya who is available .

Also after that they had a tradio of sorts and everyone calling in either had tires or a couch for sale and you could come over and see them on the porch.

Edit: great story Brandon , dont delete but edit the word acid to something more subtle like "window payne" hahahah
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
too shy?
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:09pm PT


first heard this near Tonopah


Fish Finder

Social climber
THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
Stewart

What does Kaja Goo Goo have to do with any of this?

► 3:42► 3:42
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKWbMJOIkUk
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
There's some folks on this thread that should write a whole lot more, good reads thanks.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
SO many stories I could tell. Here's the funniest one.


Hitching out of Kayenta, AZ in the winter of '76. Headed south to find Don Juan.

The curly haired city dude picks me up and we smoke a fat one. Rolling through the beautiful desert on the way to Flagstaff. We are grooving the morning mellow and cranking America on the 8-track, Horse With No Name and all that.

Just when things couldn't get any finer the hood latch fails spectacularly and we are two stoned freaks barreling down the desert highway totally blind. It was like a scene right out of a stoner movie. I think we both screamed.

Got the car under control and over to the side. We got the hood bent half-assed into place and bound it with some wire. The thing was soo fuked up we had about 8 inches of mangled hood to peer over as we continued down the road. I wasn't funny to us at the time but the fact is... that was damn funny.
okie

Trad climber
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
"I swear every car in the west is drunk."
Well, this thread is certainly a slice of Americana.
Here's to all of the dharma bums still out there.
BooYah

Social climber
Ely, Nv
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
You're a suspicious character, Tom Cruise Guy(so-called Spider).
Messages 21 - 40 of total 71 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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