Sunday, April 9, 2017

Five Ninety Five

Five Ninety Five

Long ago I was on Interstate 80 heading west across a Wyoming winters night. Patchy squalls of horizontally blowing snow created these moments when the headlights were obscured by the white flow in a dazzling screen of moving white dots some across the road, most strait at me as though I was jumping to light speed, tire hum and road noise muted by the snow.  An instant later the blowing snow would be gone and the silver moonlit high plains would open up for ever in front of me, punctuated only rarely by a lonely farmsteads yellow barn light, miles away across the plains.

On nights like these I would listen to the radio, AM radio, FM just couldn’t penetrate the darkness of the high plains. On this night I picked up an AM station broadcasting out of Las Vegas, one moment clear, as if the conversation was in Fords cab, the next fading out into the whine and howl of static and night.

There was a comedy routine playing, the comic was poking fun at the stereotypical Southern, Bible Thumping, Old Testament spewing, Baptist. In a deep drawn out drawl meant to simultaneously strike fear and overcome the hand to wallet reflex.  It went something like this.

                Friends, our CHURCH!, Gawds holy church is in dire need, that’s why today I have a special offer for all you true believers out there in the night. I’m askin yew to open your hearts and wallets and shed the light of hope on this ministry so we can continue doing our LAWDS work to save the desperate damned sinners of this world.

                If yew send me just five ninety five, today and today only I will send you,       your very own,     plastic baby Jesus for your car dashboard. And today and today only if yew send me just four dollas more I’ll send you his beautiful loving mother Mary, to hold her sweet baby Jesus and protect yew and yours as you drive the highways and byways of this great Christian land we live in.

The snow squall closed in, the signal faded out, leaving me to the rhythm of my wipers and the low hum of the heater fan. The rest of the routine lost to the night and the wind.  In that moment drifted away in my own thoughts I wondered…..

Why does their Gawd always seem short of cash?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I used to dance

I used to dance,

a lot,


Those were the days we would get ready to go to P. W. Hoseapples by firing up a G, destroying a bottle of JB or Glenlivit when times were good and smoothing out the mix with a little Columbian. In  my head I was fluid in motion, an awe inspiring, gold chain and polyester wearing, inner thigh moistening, god damn disco dancing mother fucker, praise be to sweetbabyheyzeus there weren’t smart phones…I got sober,  quit blow, cigs and refer 30 years ago and somewhere in that transition I lost the dancing. I was going to say I lost my rhythm, but truth be told I don’t think I had much, ever.

We only ever had one real objective on those nights, to get lucky. As one half of the disco twins Danny and Donny I ended up going home alone, most of the time. The memory of those times I didn’t,  are largely lost to the fog of my addictions.

……..Although there was this time that Pluto and I woke up in Lewiston with a couple of comely sisters, tall, very tall Idaho farm girls…..

It was the 80’s.

I am eternally grateful the universe saw fit not to snuff out my dim witted idiocy.

30 years later gem bidness friend Mikola turned me on to Bose noise canceling headphones. They completely changed my traveling life. To be able to largely filter out the white noise of air travel makes the flying bus a little less onerous. They allow me to sonically disengage from the chaos of international travel.


I also like to put the headphones on when I go out to shoot, my IPhone randomly cycles through my tuneage and once in a while the spinning wheel lands on a song that takes me back, way back, my foot starts a tapping, my head starts swaying to and fro as the rhythm takes hold, I find myself dancing,


still badly.

 In the moment, alone under the clean African sky it doesn’t matter and far more importantly I don’t give a shit that I can’t dance like Travolta……The music, the scene that unfolds in front of me and my camera as the sun leaves this side of the ball, sometimes leaves me weeping at the beauty of it all and my great good fortune to bear it witness…..