Hop in! Where you headed?

I aim this blog at Hitchhiking stories, obviously. However, you can take that in the 'poetic' sense, as we are 'snakes' in time and the asphalt rivers take us to many places, as well as 'places'..

PLEASE REMEMBER TO READ PREVIOUS PAGES..
.... occasionally my own 'Road' spurs me to use this blog to communicate with someone I've 'travelled with' who holds a special meaning to me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A LATE BUT HEARTFELT ENTRY ABOUT TIMOTHY FORD, MY FRIEND

HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN SOMEONE WHOM YOU ADMIRED, BUT WHO BOTHERED YOU WITH THEIR PRECISE OBSERVATIONS UTTERED AT TIMES WITHOUT CONCERN FOR YOUR FEELINGS, BUT WHICH ACTUALLY MADE YOU THINK?
TO ME, THIS WAS TIM FORD.
 THE YOUNGER, dramatic tim in a mischievous moment...

I'D KNOWN TIM PASSED AWAY A COUPLE YEARS AGO, BUT ONLY THE OTHER NIGHT DISCOVERED HIS MYSPACE SITE ON WHICH MANY OF HIS L.A. FRIENDS AND OLD FRIENDS, SUCH AS MICHAEL MCRAE, HAVE LEFT ENTRIES. I FOUNd there ONE ANECDOTE BY TIM HIMSELF ABOUT TIM HELPING A PARAPLEGIC FRIEND'S SON GET SOBER. I found it as entertaining to read as a Tom Robbins tale, and it ended up being part raucous adventure, part restaurant review!
ALSO I'VE HEARD MANY RUMORS, MANY PROBABLY TRUE ABOUT TIM'S, LET US SAY, WAY OF BEING.
TIM, AS ONE FRIEND AND I WERE REFLECTING yesterday, MAY HAVE, LIKE MANY Y0UNG MEN, CHOSEN TO TEST HIMSELF AS A RITE OF PASSAGE IN HIS YOUNGER YEARS, TO FIND OUT FOR HIMSELF WHAT HE WAS MADE OF. If this assessment is taken as accurate, "Timmy", as we sometimes called him, took it to a very scary limit, at times. AS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WHO FINISHED ALL THE REQUIREMENTS BY THE END OF THE 11TH GRADE, HE TOOK ALL LANGUAGES IN THE SENIOR YEAR. MICHAEL MCRAE, TIM'S OLD AND DEAR MUSICIAN FRIEND, REFLECTED TO ME IN A LATE NIGHT PHONE CALL LAST NIGHT from Nashville THAT HE RECALLS TIM READING SOMETHING ALOUD AND  fluidly translating BACK AND FORTH FROM SPANISH TO OTHER LANGUAGES LIKE GERMAN, French ETC., WITHOUT BATTING AN EYE.

ONE OF MY OWN FOND MEMORIES WAS OF TIM AND I IN P.E. CLASS. AT THE END OF THE CLASS THE COACH WOULD HAVE ALL US BOYS TO ONE OR TWO 'COOL DOWN LAPS' AROUND THE TRACK. TIM AND I, EVERY DAY, WOULD PUT ON LIKE WE WERE EXHAUSTED AND TRY TO BE SLOWER THAN EACH OTHER TO PISS OFF THE COACH...AND A REASON TO BE LATE FOR OUR NEXT CLASS, I THINK.
HE WAS AN ARDENT SUPPORTER OF MY ROCK BAND, THE GENTLEMEN WILDE, AND OUR 'BROTHER' BAND, THE LOST SOULS

TIM GOT INTO DRUGS IN THE SEVENTIES, BUT NOT LIKE OTHERS. Tim did nothing 'like others did'. HE GOT INTO SELLING AND HIGH LEVEL INVOLVEMENTS WITH PROBABLY 'SHADY' INDIVIDUALS. I'M PLEASED TO READ ON HIS MYSPACE SITE THAT HE WAS VERY ACTIVE IN THE 12 STEP PROGRAM FOR AROUND TEN YEARS BEFORE HIS DEATH AND ACTIVELY HELPED MANY PEOPLE, MUCH LIKE MY OWN COUSIN ROY did after reaching the bottom.

MOST PEOPLE EITHER LOVED TIM OR HATED HIM FOR HIS SHARP OBSERVATIONS...OR, AMBIVALENTLY, BOTH. I'D SUSPECT IF AN HONEST POLL WAS TO BE TAKEN, THE LATTER, 'ambivalence', WOULD GARNISH OVER IT'S FAIR THIRD BY FAR.

BEFORE HIS DEATH HE WROTE FOR AN L.A. MAGAZINE CALLED 'FLAUNT' (CLICK HERE FOR ONE I'VE ALREADY READ, A LONG TERRIFIC INTERVIEW WITH ALEC BALDWIN). THERE ARE MORE TIM FORD ARTICLES HERE I'M SURE I WANT TO READ.
BUT BEFORE THAT HE WROTE FOR ONE OF BOB GUCCIONE'S SON'S MAGAZINE'S CALLED "GEAR", NOW OUT OF PRINT.
ONE ARTICLE IN PARTICULAR TIM TOOK GREAT PASSION IN WRITING, I BELIEVE, IS THE ONE ENTITLED, " The Yankee Bandit: The Life and Times of Eddie Dodson, World's Great Bank Robber" A movie, THE ELECTRIC SLIDE is slated to be released in 2011 based on Tim's article. Based on one entry on Tim's Myspace site, Tim was working on the screenplay the day he died. Credits for Tim are to be for the article he wrote from which came the movie idea.



More about Eddie

I KNOW THAT SO MANY MORE PEOPLE HAVE MORE MEMORIES OF TIM THAN I HAD THE LUCK TO. HOWEVER YOU ADD IT UP, DESPITE THE FACT THAT I WAS NOT DESTINED TO SEE HIM AGAIN, I'LL MISS KNOWING HE'S AROUND, MAKING GOOD, OR MAKING TROUBLE, EITHER WAY. DON'T ASK ME WHY? I'M NOT SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND WHY.

...even back to high school remember the parties? ... thanks for the memories, Tim!

SO LONG, TIMSTER

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Experiental Medley: BOULDER,Kansas,DENTON

Impressions of sleeping in back of the Free Church in Boulder. I'm blanking on how I started out of the northwest, but I may have left from Portland, Oregon that time. Going to sleep after wandering the streets of other hippies, College students, etc. I remember an incredible guitarist who lulled me to sleep. He'd been or was going to go to a place near town called Strawberry Fields. I regret not going as it had sounded cool. His music was highly creative, as I imagine it could have been recorded by a label like Windam Hill Records. He played on a hollow electric, but it was loud enough as his bedroll was near mine.
I made a friend who I want to call richard because he reminded me of my later Denver friend, Richard, who I hitched with to the First Rainbow Family Gathering, where I re-joined my old NW friends, Love Family in and outers.
This fellow, I'll call him Boulder Richard, had come to Boulder after leaving Cincinnati with a bunch of his friends in a big schoolbus. The bus broke somewhere in the middle of Kansas, I forgot the name of the town. As I was doing nothing obligatorily in those days, richard either, he had this idea to donate some stuff to the free church where we'd been crashing. the 'stuff' he had was in Kansas, however, so off we went, thumbing.
I marginally recall us getting to Denver heading east on Colfax prior to my living in Denver...Colfax which is or turns into 70 going east, east east..
Flash forward to an old probably 1958 ford, and if i'm wrong it'll serve the purpose of this ture story for you to imagine it a 1958 ford, me sitting in the back seat. Going straight. Very M-F-ing straight...as highways tend to go straight in states that can't brag about mountains or even hills.
Time passed and we were still going striaght. I heard it said that people from these plat states are afraid of mountains, or what might lurk behind them. The same or the opposite is true of a mountain-stater like myself.
Boulder Richard and I got to the township where his bus broke down, which was a story unto itself.
His band of Cincinnati-ite explorers found themselves alone, hippies in Redneck-ville. They were laughed at and dark ideas were brewing in the minds of the local Outwardly Christian-inwardly evil whose primary 'commandment' was "Do not get caught". (Where is Billy-Jack when you really need him?!) This was evidenced, as Boulder Richard's description of this story goes, by them having been fortunate enough to meet a real nice person, a farmer who immediately wanted to help them. He agreed to tow their bus to his farm, on which a number of other broken existed already, probably dating back to the forties. They were appropriately thankful and stayed with the farmer for a number of days, til it was determined that nothing could be done about the bus. But I digressed. Let me catch up. As the good farmer went about the work of rigging up the bus to be towed to his place, neighbors of his, red-necks, a pickup truck full, actually threw stuff at him! I seem to recall Richard saying "beer cans", and other things, berating this good man for helping hippies.
OK. That was that story. Back to my story. The same man greeted us and agreed to let us stay a few days in exchange for building him a new silo. It was all new to me, I was not a carpenter or anything, but these silos are pretty easy to erect, as it turns out, just screws and bolts and curved galvanized/corrugated metal. The Good Farmer and his family lived in a long trailer that was a nice home, next to his dad who still lived in the real farm house next door. One whole side of the trailer, however, was pockmarked with little indentations and the smallish windows of plexiglass were even cracked, although still intact as barriers. These peppered marks were caused by a hail storm. I'm sure I thought, "Wow".
Richards idea for us was to hitchhike all the way back to Boulder in three days with a few bags of brown rice, maybe some other staples, pots and pans, probably some silverware and whatever else we could bring, including our own stuff.
This is a fond memory really, being anonymous in a state I'd never been in before with really, really nice folks. Mrs. Good Farmer made us great meals after our very hard days work.
Did I mention that this was a Hog Farm? It was. And every time I smell Pig Shit it takes me back here.
But one night of the three there came a storm. Richard and I slept inside the bus, I almost forgot to say. Our own place. In Kansas once the storm surrounds you you can't tell where the worst is except for the lightning and volume of the thunder, I learned that night. So there we were, reading by candle light. As the storm rode over us we got a little hungry for a snack. Among the foodstuff in the bus was some popcorn. We put some in a pan with a bit of oil I think, and actually popped it over a candle..it worked! Man, that rain poured that night.
I'm sure I had some weird dreams, but the next morning all was bright and clean-smelling, but there was bad news, sad news mixed with the good. A big Sow gave birth, but had died during the process, perhaps from fear of the storm? I don't know.
I'll always remember how the big pigs lay deep into the mud, half their bodies, so much that you could not tell if it was a hog or not unless they opened an eye to check you out. And it seems they may have had ankle high little light electric fences to keep them in.
Building the Silo was a rewarding experience for me. I'd never done anything like that: something  you look at afterwards, something appealing, something very functional, and say, "I built that!".
Time to say goodbye to the Good Farmer of Kansas, and head back on the long straight road and eventually to Boulder. Richard and I had to have looked somewhat silly, hitchhiking with bag after bag of all this stuff. I think we even split up once and got back together, taking different rides and meeting up ahead. It's one thing to pick up a single hitchhiker or two with their bags, but, "Oh, by the way, do you think you could fit my kitchen in the car, too, dude?". Fortunately, there were alot of stoned people on the roads in those days. Maybe it was the subconscious connotation of 'food' that made them so generous. Somehow, Boulder Richard and myself made it back with our generous donation. As I write this, I think my appreciation of that experience has been undervalued by myself all these years.
That's what I like about my memories of travelling alone by thumb. These situations, as a biped on this planet, that you can get into in no other way than by putting yourself the mercy of whatever comes your way. No rule book saying you cannot do that.

OK-OK-k-k-k-...What else about Boulder before we leave. I wandered around alot by myself. I remember a guy near the main drag that crossed Boulder Creek where many folks hung out during the day. This guy was wearing an actual loin cloth, with something attached to himself dangling underneath, if anyone cared to glimpse it. No one complained.
I remember some cool clothing shops that had very nice, hip clothes.
Definitely I remember one great breakfast place, other than IHOP where another anecdote began. This place was called MAGNOLIA THUNDERPUSSY, a small restaurant on the main North South drag in Boulder. For a mere 50 Cents one could get probably the biggest pancake you'd ever have! Thus, after a hard morning of panhandling after marching up to the main drag from the Free Church, the reward of this pancake was what kept one going.
I do recall a nice ice cream shop where the main drag Tee'd with another road on the south, I think, end of the main drag..the tee'd street I think led to the freeway and/or the university.

I may have some more to add about Boulder, not much but some.