Articles filed under Midwest:
So I’ve been working very very VERY hard, so hard I’ve been remiss in posting my guest appearances for a coupla weeks on two of my favoritist peeps in the whole wide world’s radio shows. Ok, well, it hasn’t been ALLLLLLLL work and no play – that would make Jill a dull girl…
Another day, another two chances to make a fool out of myself over the airwaves and through cyberspace with two of my bestest buddies.
Ah the glory, the terrible, beautiful glory. Today I’m pleased as rum punch and proud as a two-headed peacock to be hooking you up with not one but TWO links to radio segments from last week. I know. I know. I just blew your mind, didn’t I? It’s ok, sometimes I even blow my own a little…
A long time ago, back when I was an actress in Chicago, a good friend of mine used to talk about running with the bulls in Pamplona. He was Italian and he’d go on and on in that adorable accent of his about the glory and adventure of the great tradition. How every year, as part of some picturesque Spanish festival, a bunch of lunatics would sprint down the streets of Pamplona ahead of a snorting, slobbering, roaring, raging heard of intensely irritated male cows.
So here’s a question for you: What’s Idaho got? I mean besides famous potatoes and gorgeous mountains and the spot where Hemingway blew his brains out? Here’s a hint: ME.
Somehow missed my last coupla dispatches from the front on my man Quinn’s
AM Army show on 94.3 WQCM? Well, although you really deserve to be paddled enthusiastically – I mean, really what were you thinking?? – I’m going to give you a to make good.
So one of the most fun things I did in Dingle was this nifty interview for the community television station Teilifis Scrogall. I was asked to pontificate about not only myself (as we all know, my favorite subject), but also the perils and joys of travel writing. Michaél O Duinnsleibhe shot and edited the thing and I tell you what, that man is TALENTED. He makes me appear no only lucid, but actually sober, which, you know, since I was in Ireland was quite a trick.
Sometimes it’s not only the grand, overwhelming moments that make your eyes burn with grateful tears and your chest ache from stolen breath. I guess that’s what I learned this Easter in Ireland.
Within a few minutes Fungie appeared, and we headed toward him, a few other tour boats following in our wake. For a while he eluded us, as if in a game of catch me if you can. After all, he was dubbed Fungie because, according to the first fishermen who encountered him, he is a “fun guy.”
I’ve never been one to shirk Paddy’s Day. Year after year I’ve met it square on, as if daring this, Bacchus’s favorite holiday, to best me. I’ve made some fine memories along the way…but nothing could quite prepare me for Paddy’s Day in Dingle.
I met a leprechaun tonight. Or a faerie. Or, a sprite, perhaps. Or maybe it was just an ordinary woman that this magical country sent to me, with a message. But I don’t quite believe that. There was too much enchantment in our exchange.
This place, it’s enough to break your heart open wide, as wide as the endless-seeming vistas that unspool from the highest hills here, falling away slowly, past sheep and heather and little else, dropping down slowly, so slowly, to the silver shores of the sea. It’s a land that urges you to look upon it with the long, lingering glances of a besotted lover, intent on searing its image into your soul, lest you never look upon it again.
The sky is the shade of worn denim – not quite as brilliant as robin’s egg blue, but a hopeful sign of spring and summer yet to come. The sun shines brightly, its warmth bringing the citizens of Dingle to the street; they saunter here and there, their smiles echoing mine. On the soft breeze drifts the scent of the sea, different now, more strongly redolent of salt, a washed-clean smell.
Even the Irish know how absolutely mad, epically weird, twisted like a candy cane in a five-year old’s mouth Wren’s Day is. They kept asking me, friends and strangers, over and over, “Have you ever seen anything like it?”
Turns out, the big man who been singing to me was Brian Cowen, who until last year served as Ireland’s Taoiseach – the Irish prime minister. About three minutes passed before I’d managed to wrangle him into posing for a photo with me. We hung out for awhile after that, drinking our pints as we chatted about where I was from and what I was doing in Dingle and whether or not I’d ever actually be able to leave.
Just as when the planes brought down the towers, when the Challenger burst like a star in the sky and Virginia Tech taught us more than we ever wanted to know about what a broken soul with too much weaponry and hate and too little hope could accomplish, we will all remember where we were and what we were doing when the reports about what had occurred into Newtown started to surface
I was messaging recently with a friend in Japan about my ongoing adventure here in the Land of Saints and Poets. She wrote that she was happy to learn I am having the best of times, but unsurprised, too, adding, “of course Ireland would fit you like a glove.” And it is true I am ridiculously comfortable here, that I feel a sense of “home” that I’ve never experienced anywhere else but in the gentle ridges and generous valleys of the Central Pennsylvania Appalachians where I was raised. But why?
There is a magic in Ireland, in the wide, rolling fields and in the clear streams that trickle and rush, making quiet music, in the still, fog-draped lakes and in the broken coasts, where mad waves rupture themselves against boulders worn so smooth over the years they might be marbles fallen from the pockets of dozing giants.
And its secret is the sky. Because it changes so quickly here, moving fast and then faster over the broad, low land. It is sunny and cloudless and then dour and grey and then a shaft of light pierces that steel sky, pointing as if with a purpose to a patch of that greengreen land. And it’s enough to make you stand, hand to mouth, shaking your head in wonder.
It’s a place for everything and everything in its place kind of home, with wood floors and ceilings crossed by big beams and antique furniture, though not the fancy sort. More the comfortable kind, like the old, creaking metal bed that looks like it came from a farmhouse or somewhere where people knew how to buy good quality things, and take care of them.
Today I spent the afternoon with a former member of the IRA who spent 10 years in prison after he was caught with guns and bombs in the center city section of Belfast. I did so through Coiste, which offers tours through the Republican section of West Belfast led by political prisoners like Paul, my guide – the very men who fought and bled and killed on the streets over which we walked. The tour I took today, which mostly college students book, cost 8 pounds. The money raised goes to the families of those killed during The Troubles.
I’m sitting here at the Octagon Bar in the Clarence Hotel in Dublin. I’ve got a Baileys and coffee next to me, my computer in front of me and I’m overwhelmed. Not because the room itself – eight-sided though it is, with a jazzy, same-shaped bar in the center, a skylight glowing crimson-colored rising above – is especially breathtaking. It’s the realization that I’m fulfilling a wish that until this moment I didn’t even know I had.
Less than a week into it, this trip has confirmed something I already knew: I love to travel alone. Pick me up out of my element, drop me solo anywhere I’m a stranger in a strange land and I’m so charged I practically hum like a hive full of bees hanging from an electrical transformer.
I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. This country is so full of magic and beauty and mystery and wonder that I am not only utterly overwhelmed, I’m not sure, how, come two months time, I’m going to leave it.
I’m exhausted. I’ve slept five hours in two days and traveled halfway around the world and then halfway through Ireland. I’ve been on planes and trains and buses and walked miles in unforgiving shoes. (Well, at least until I got smart and switched to Pink Boots.) And that worries me, because more than anything I want to do justice to today.
His name is Harry Allen, and he was the first person I met today in Dublin. He was driving a cab – just a regular old hardscrabble, Irish workingman’s taxi, not the cutesy kind you see in London – and he swooped in to pick me up when, after agonizing over whether to do the “real” traveler thing and take the bus from the airport to the center of the city, I chose, with my 9000 pounds of luggage or so, to do the “smart” traveler thing and take a damn cab.
Two weeks from today, I’ll be in Ireland. I’ll take a series of trains from Midtown Manhattan to Newark Airport. I’ll get on a plane and six hours later, land in Dublin. There will be no one to meet me, no one to greet me; I will arrive in Ireland the way I left the United States: utterly alone. And for the next two months, I will remain so, but for the strangers who become friends, as I’ve heard happens so easily in the green, green land of my ancestors.
So although we’re winding down this guest posting grand experiment here on Go Pink Boots, we’re doing it in style, with a piece from novelist extraordinaire and my good friend, Carolyn Turgeon.
So for this week’s Go Pink Boots guest piece, we turn to the fabulous Serafice Cordova, the woman whom I call in all seriousness and with great affection my “fabuguru”. Sera is the most gifted psychic I know – and yes, I know lots – and is uncanny in her ability to unravel rather well-knotted situations. Even, like, Jill-knotted situations.
And away we go with go with the next effort in this month of big, bright, beautiful guest posts on Go Pink Boots. This one comes all the way from Tak, Thailand, courtesy of my friend Ken Klein, who I met over a decade ago in a writers group in State College, PA.
So as I close in on my 46th birthday, I’ve been feeling a tad contemplative. It seems as though things are changing for me, and the changes feel momentuous. (At least I hope they are momentous, I really do. I’m ready, Freddy, for big change.) And I got to thinking…maybe I’ll take a wee break from blogging – at least writing my own blog pieces, at least during this birthday month, and instead ask some of my illustrious friends to guest blog for me. I want different perspectives, I want to see through others’ eyes. I want to be made awake.
Remember when, in my previous post, I mention water skiing, which I believe I termed “oddly addictive even if you face plant in the water roughly 47 times in a row going 100 miles an hour and never even get entirely vertical”?
But perhaps even more fun than water skiing on Lake Oconee is tubing. Because tubing requires no skill other than the ability to hold on to an inflated piece of rubber as it’s dragged behind a souped-up speedboat driven by a guy named Caleb who looks and sounds exactly like a young Matthew McConaughey only maybe a bit cuter.
Ok, so even though there are few sporty outdoor activities I’m really good at, I enjoy a whole lotta them. But GOLF? Now that’s another story.
So a while ago I got it into my head to get made what is, in Hollywood parlance, known as a sizzle reel…
In which I learn that, although twenty-five feet doesn’t sound high, when you’re getting ready to jump off of it, is IS – and that even if you’re jumping into water, when jumping from twenty-five feet up, it hurts when you land. It really, really hurts.
Saturday, June 16th at 5:30 p.m., I’ll be appearing at Webster’s. I plan on showing my brand-new five minute sizzle reel, created by the vastly talented David Urbanic; reading from my columns and maybe even this here blog; answering questions and talking about all the things I do that make my mom very, very nervous. So please, if you’re in the area, consider stopping by. Seriously consider it. I’ll be taking attendance.
To celebrate my arrival in Belize I decided, with my friends Vanessa and Terri, to journey to a 200,000-year old cave where the Mayans used to sacrifice people and swim through the river that runs through it, which is called in Mayan something that I believe translates into “beautiful underground waters that once ran red with sacrificial blood and may yet again since they are now filled with stupid Americans wearing headlamps who think it will be fun to dogpaddle against raging currents and climb up the sides of roaring waterfalls.”
So back when I was lucky enough to get an invitation to visit the magnificent Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, I heard tell of a magical potion I might sample there. A potion so superb and miraculous that to miss it would be a tragedy from whence I might never recover. The name of this extraordinary elixir? The Bloody Mary.
Hot air ballooning is a strange beast. I mean, I’ve only done it twice now – this latest time with Hot Air Expeditions in the Tempe-Mesa-Chandler area of Arizona – so it’s not like I’m an expert or anything, but I can say with some assurance that it is an absolutely odd mixture of the stimulating and the serene.
So I don’t have a problem with getting naked. Even in vaguely public places…well, sort of. I mean, as alert readers of this blog might recall, I’ve gone skinny dipping in locales from Charlotte County, Florida to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Swimming nekkid as the day you were born in the salty sea under the moon’s soft gaze is a flat-out gorgeous experience and definitely a step up from the motel pools I used to creep into at 4 a.m. with my miscreant college buddies.
So as anyone who knows me surely must realize by now, I am a Facebook fanatic. Although I railed against it for months before I signed on, believing it might actually qualify as one of the Four Horsemen (along with the Kardashians, the overuse of CGI and 3D in cinema and the Pats losing the Superbowl to the Giants again), once I did I found myself deeply enmeshed it.
So in the type of move that henceforth should perhaps be known as Jillesque, coming as it does with what some observers might call fearlessness but is, in fact, closer to the sort of reckless abandon that is the hallmark of both genuises and madmen, a parcel of papers in central and western Pennsylvania have decided to publish my column, currently seen in the groovy, glorious State College Magazine.
So I spent five days in Arizona a month back – specifically the Tempe/Mesa/Chandler part of Arizona. And seeing as how it ranks up there as five of the most awesome days EVER, I’m not exactly sure where to begin the story of my time there.
So the other day I did something that was SUCH good fun I was pretty much grinnin’ the whole way through like a mule eatin’ briars. I spoke to the State College Downtown Rotary Club.
Those of you faithful readers who know me, if you know nothing else about me, probably have knowledge – perhaps even traumatic, first-hand knowledge – of my Need For Speed. I’m a go-fast girl.
So there I was in Wausau, Wisconsin, on Granite Peak, a stellar little 700 foot mountain with 72 runs. I’d learned last year, more or less, to ski on a…ok, let’s call it a challenging trip to New Mexico’s infamous slopes. And though I hadn’t strapped on skis since then, I figured if I could survive the bunny hills of Taos, which at the time looked like what I imagined Black Diamonds might resemble everywhere else, then I could handle Granite Peak.
The time, it seems, has nearly arrived. To cease looking back and instead peer forward into the shining, silver mists of the future. To turn not with fear but hope toward the coming twelve months, leaving behind the joys of last year in anticipation of 2012’s glories. Until, of course, the planet blows up. Or melts down. Or does whatever funky and not entirely pleasant thing it might do, proving that the Mayans didn’t just run out of space on their calendar but actually really knew their end-of-the-world shit.
Well, you know what they say: better late than never. And so, after a brief pause in GPB’s EPIC countdown of 2011’s Craziest Sexiest and Coolest adventures, we return with a truly scintillating look back at the past year’s sexiest. But before you go getting your panties all in a bunch, be aware sexy ‘round here doesn’t necessarily have to do with making whoppee. Sexy, at least on this here list, pertains to something not merely erotic but also exotic, something so massively pleasureable, so intensely yummy, that if I were a cat I would have bared my belly and purred.
Well, it’s that time of the year again. The most wonderful time of the year, in fact. The time when we kiss goodbye the previous twelve months, throwing open wide our arms and embracing the next dozen. It’s a time for letting go of the old and ringing in the new, for reflection, for honest appraisal, for fresh starts, for…champagne. Lots and lots of champagne. And even better, it’s also the time when GPB comes out with our year-end wrap-up. It’s our look back at the highlights of the past 365 days, condensed nice and neat into a Top Ten List.
Yep. It’s happening again. For the second time this year, I’m taking over the radio airwaves to talk all things Pink Boots.
Ok, so Texas might seem a strange locale for ice skating – even Texas in December. But last week, when I visited the profoundly lovely little burg of Fredericksburg, lo and behold what did I find but a wee skating rink? And so, despite the fact that I haven’t skated in over 25 years, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Unfortunately, however, the ice was loaded with more little kids than that gawd-awful Mad Max movie with Tina Turner. And since they all seemed to body check each other with about the same frequency as a minor league hockey team dosed on crystal meth, cheap whiskey and steroids, there was really only one way it could turn out…
So I make no secret of the fact that I love Slovenia. I mean, what’s not to love? From sucking down absinthe at the surreal Green Rabbit in Ljubljana to whitewater rafting in the shadows of the Alps, from drifting across the translucent, emerald green waters of Lake Bled in a handcrafted wooden boat so beautiful it’s a work of art to feasting on the traditional wild boar and deer meat goulash with polenta – and plenty of the country’s exceptional wine – tiny Slovenia offers more pleasures than nations five times its size.
Of everything I did in Branson, the thing that may possibly stick with me the longest -not least of all because it made me question my decision-making process – was ride the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider. Like a zipline but waaaaay more intense, the Vigilante begins 200 feet in the air, and runs a half mile, during which the rider reaches speeds of 50 miles per hours. And it made me scream like a three-year old after a bad bout of peek-a-boo…
While there were many moments during the almost three weeks I spent tooling around Nicaragua that shook, rattled and rolled me to the soul with their beauty or grace or humor, there were also a few – not surprisingly, perhaps, to this website’s regular visitors – that left me wondering, What The @*%$ Am I Doing?
Beaches stormy-shrouded and sunny, volcanoes and jungles, rebels and madmen, destitute villages and colonial cities. Nicaragua seduces with it all.
I’m in the back of a taxi speeding down a Managuan highway, spatters of rain smearing the windows, making the crumbling concrete, rusted metal-roofed buildings beyond dance and distort. We pass a horse-drawn cart moving slowly in the opposite direction, a cow improbably grazing on a highway median, but mostly this outer ring of the city is gas stations and garbage, motorcycles and seedy bars where I might take my life in my hands if I were to enter, though I yearn to do so nonetheless. Though my driver, a pleasant man named Luis, is bilingual I am silent, absorbing it all. This, I tell myself, is Nicaragua. I’ve been here one day. I’m already in love with it.
Ok, so admittedly it might have been a little much, even for me. My FIRST night in Slovenia and I find myself deep into the Green Fairy, surrounded by stunningly beautiful people with, in a David Lynchian-like detail, a small back and white Boston Terrier sporting a big red rubber ball in his mouth scampering around our feet.
Pirates and night swimming and dive bars and baby possums and muscle cars and manatees: Charlotte Harbor has it all – and a whole hecka lot more.
As Jack Nicholson once so eerily intoned in The Shining, “Heeeeeeere’s Jilly.” Ok, I’m paraphrasing, but just like Jack I am, in fact, back.
I am obsessed. I admit it. And the object of that obsession is a four-piece band from Ireland that has been kicking around for well over 30 years and is now, basically, the biggest rock act in the world. I am obsessed, I admit it. With U2.
Ok, so look. I’m not at all sure how I feel about unexplained mysteries-kinda stuff. There is a small, not very vocal part of me that is totally entranced by the whole concept, all of it: Bigfoot, UFOs, ghosts, mind-reading, the Bermuda Triangle, astrology, Ouija boards, Area 51, Mothmen, the Philadelphia Experiment – I mean I want, really want to believe and not just because I’ve had the long-time hots for David Duchovny.
Every once in awhile, something so spectacular happens you think that the dang stars and planets and moons and suns and EVERYTHING must be in total and complete alignment. And this is what occurred at the Homestead Gun Club, part of the glorious Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.
So here is a swanky video edited all nice with real pretty music by the fabu folks at Jackson Hole Paragliding, with who I flew off the side of a damn mountain in Wyoming. I guess it was a good idea to use music instead of the raw sound that was recorded with the video, since really all it amounted to was me screaming my head off for about 15 minutes straight in a pitch that could shatter the eardrums of small children and household pets.
Ok, so I’m still on my annual swing out west and thus do not currently have the time to pen a beautifully eloquent, deeply moving ode to Wyoming. That will come later, after I’ve made it home and slept for four days straight. In the meantime, here’s are the durn reasons why I cried like a little girl as my plane lifted off from Jackson Hole…
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I was a radio disc jockey. An air personality, if you will. And I adored it. But as is sometimes the case with love affairs that burn brightest, in time it flamed out. I still have a fond spot in my heart for radio though, So when my lovely, long-time friend Piper Phynnie, morning show jock and program direction of Idaho Fall’s most excellent rock station KBEAR 101 asked me to co-host her show with her, how could I refuse?
Hiking, with its slow pace and general lack of death-defying moments is not really much of an adventurous pursuit. Unless, of course, you’re hiking in the foothills of the Rockies, alone, on a technically tricky trail. Unless the over 5,600-foot altitude has got you panting harder than a hound dog on an August day in Georgia. Unless you are by nature less than graceful and more than uncoordinated. Then hiking becomes a bit more of a challenge.
Ok, so even though I have landed in Boulder and thus begun my now-annual swing out west and will consequently be indulging in over a month’s worth of no doubt extreme and possibly unwise adventures, I need to take a small step back and relive that time – since I have yet to for this here blog – I lost my damn mind and dunked myself in a frozen Canadian river in February.
No, I wasn’t made to wash dishes because I couldn’t pay for my meal – I was just chipping in after helping to prepare an authentic mid-century supper at the historic Wade House in Greenbush, Wisconsin. And while cooking and cleaning is something I mostly try to avoid in modern-day Pennsylvania, I will say it was nice for a few precious moments to do something other than eat during my culinary tour of the Badger State.
I love the road, heart and soul. But what would it be without music? Despite my deep, abiding affection for all that is U2, I hearby nominate for greatest road trip album EVER recorded the divine Talking Head’s Stop Making Sense. Got a favorite yourself? Be sure to note what it is and why ya dig it in the comments section, baby!
Ok, so I decided to ride The Barnstormer at Dollywood. And I thought it might be intense, but I didn’t really know what to expect. And along about then is when all the screaming started…
Someone said to me recently, “Do you always run so hot?” Or, was it “Do you always go full throttle?” Or maybe it was, “Girl, don’t you ever slow down?” I don’t know. It was something like that.
Just how rowdy are Nashville’s bars? Enough so that I actually wondered aloud to one of my hosts: “I’m not sure I’m ready for those honky tonks.” To which she replied, grinning, “Jill, I’m not sure those honky tonks are ready for you.” Read on to find out who bested who…
I know you’ve been waiting for it, in the way when you’re inching forward in backed-up traffic you find yourself glancing toward the crunched metal alongside the road even though you really don’t want to see it. Me. Pink Boots. A really big saw. Watch for yourself how it goes down. There’s not even any blood spilled.
In which I visit Berkeley Springs and meet a traveling piano man and his piano dog and make some music and have the best first day of spring EVER.
It’s impossible to call this final installment of our three-part look at the pagentry and splendor that is Carnaval de Quebec the most divine or fabu or even simply the best, what with the groovy ice castles and death-defying snow rafting and sexy snowman mascots that filled the previous reports. That said, Part III contains booze. Lots and lots of booze. And this booze is called…
And thus, having worked up a head of steam that’s so unstoppable it’s unstoppable like Denzel-Washington-slumming-it-in-a-thriller-that’s-actually-fairly-decent-despite-being-set-in-Pennsylvania-and-not-using-any-real-town-names-in-Pennsylvania, we continue on with our rundown of all the bestest moments from this year’s fabulously festive Carnaval de Quebec.
Carnaval de Quebec is the world’s largest winter carnival. It’s also awesome enough that I hereby nominate it for inclusion on every Bucket List made by anybody anywhere from here on out. As a matter of fact, it is SO AWESOME that just one Go Pink Boots post cannot possibly describe all of its awesomeness.
The mountains are very tall in New Mexico and very steep. I may not have gone Double-Black Diamond big on them, but I did manage to strap those long wooden sticks on my feet and slide down those very tall very steep New Mexico mountains. And not on my face. At least not usually.
Ok, we admit it. Sometimes Pink Boots likes to play at being a pampered princess-type. And, as we discovered, there is no place better to do just that than Central New York’s Turning Stone Resort.
And now, for the undeniably thrilling conclusion of our year-end wrap up! Filled with state parks and snowshoeing, hot air balloons and horses and the Appalachian Trail and even one lonely mid-air hangover, it’s proof that even the athletically-challenged can, through diligence and with a SWANKY pair of hiking boots, ramp up their game. A little.
Better late than never, the first half of our year-end wrap up arrives! Filled with national parks and desert meaderings, buffalo and horses and the Continental Divide and not even one kidney abduction, it provides irrefutable proof that the universe really does watch over fools. And novice hikers.
Buffalo hides and snowshoes, sweat lodges and swanky digs: Central New York’s Turning Stone Resort Casino has it all – PLUS a super cool outdoor guide who’s sort of like a cross between Jeremiah Johnson and James Bond. Only less surly.
Like bedbugs in a flophouse…like margarine on hot toast…like a giant, death-dealing octopus going after hapless prey, GPB is spreading. We’re coming to print, and we want you to join us.
Red Ruckus. Blaise A’ Glory. Bruisin B. Anthony. Jillin’ The Killin’ Machine. All names suggested by friends for my roller derby debut, whenever it happens after I actually do something to make it happen, like, oh TRY OUT. But in the meantime, I’m like the shrimpy kid behind the chain link fence staring wistfully at the Pop Warner kids, wishing he could run with the big dogs. ‘Cept catching the Derby Dolls and the Dutchland Rollers was a LOT more fun.
Yep, that’s me mauling Where’s Waldo while my buddy Mac looks on in fear and dismay as a giant penis dances behind him. A typical Halloween on Pittsburgh’s South Side? You make the call.
On the hottest day in history, what else is there to do but slap on the suit, grab the towels and get your ass to the beach, baby?!
His name was Henry Wallace Hampton, and he was perched front of me, his eyes squeezed tight shut, talking very fast. So fast I could barely understand, much less process his words. But I felt an odd connection to this middle-aged African-American man with the lame arm he kept tucked up against his body like how a nested bird holds its wings on a cold winter night. There were a few moments, strange and a little eerie, when he seemed to reach into me and pluck out images as if they were marbles, rolling them around in his head before he shot them back out.
Reputedly owned by the former madam of a Bangkok brothel, renowned for bartenders who terrify and abuse the ill-fated club rats who occasionally drift in, clueless, from West Hollywood, Smog Cutter was also once the hangout of LA’s most notorious writerly drunkard. How is it that I’ve lived my entire life up until now without ever setting pink-booted feet inside its glorious doors?
The view of the Gettysburg battlefield from atop a horse is lovely…but the change in perspective is spectacular.
A blend of country, gospel and blues, rock-a-billy, says Henry Harrison, was born in Jackson, Tenneesee. Henry’s museum there aims to preserve and promote this uniquely American sound. AND it’s got the defibrillator used on Elvis to boot.
The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar,
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war,
I’m going to Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee…
In which I fire a big, booming Civil War-era cannon, and develop a crush not only on a 67-year old cannoneer, but also really the entire state of Tennessee.
Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, “It never got weird enough for me.” But very occasionally it does indeed get happily weird enough – especially if you mix an antique store, Bigfoot, a professional wrestler, Mothman and a graveyard into one bizarre, potent stew of unabashed freaki-deakiness.