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It's A Long Way To Summer

It's the tail end of January, with two weeks down in the Legislative session.  It's been cold, but for the most part clear, with some fog.  The session has actually started of rather slow this year.  Each session is different, but this one seems a bit slow for some reason. It's lonely down in Olympia right now as a result.   I've got a pile of unread books or books I'm working on sitting on my nightstand here in Seattle as well as in Olympia, but that never stops me from buying a new book when one catches my eye.  I was at Barns and Noble the other day and picked up something called "The Old Man and The Harley - A Last Ride Through Our Fathers' America" and truth be told, I've not been able to put it down.  Its the kind of book I'd like to write.
 
The first half of the book the author spends reliving his father's journey to both the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York to the Worlds Fair in San Francisco.  His dad had a 1930 Harley that he road solo coast to coast, camping along the way, living on sandwiches and salami, fixing his bike himself, and seeing the sights in that last year before WWII.  I'm still working on it, but the second half is the son retraceing that route in 2006 on his own Harley.  I've often thought that I missed a lot being born in 1961 -- I'm fascinated by WWII, the railroads and passenger trains of the 30s, 40s and 50s, driving Route 66, Las Vegas before it became "touristy", and other icons of the era.  I've sometimes felt I was born too late. I think I'd like to have lived in those days and experienced it firsthand, only with the appreciation and knowledge I have today, as well as the modern conveniences -- like cell phones, laptops, American Express cards,  Holiday Inn Express' and Fuel Injected waranteed Harley Davidson's.   It's sort of like being nostalgic for something one never had or experienced.

In reading his father's story, which is told through letters and postcards he'd sent home, I got to thinking wistfully about what long road trips I'd like to take this coming summer once it warms up and the legislative session ends.  My best friend Dave resides outside the Bay Area and I've not seen him in some time, and I mentioned that I might just take a road trip down that way in May to see him and his family.  Several people in my motorcycle club want to take a trip to Sturgis again, and I've got rooms on hold now, but no definite plans.  We had our club planning session last weekend and planned a number of day rides, and a few over night ones as well.   It makes me want to write my book of motorcycle road stories and people I've met along the way, which was one of my summer goals.  But now summer is looking too far away.

I did get a chance to ride today -- I had to take in the Nightster for some work and pick up the Rocker which has had her turn at the Motorcycle Spa.  It was darn cold so I didn't ride much, but the combination of the book the short ride today and the planning session last week has me right now looking over my shoulder at my big 12 month at a glance wall calendar wondering when I can get away.  

Unfortunately, it's a long way to summer.
 

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
knance
Jan. 25th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
ride and write
You must ride and write - that is your next calling. You are excellent at both and I know you will have quite a following.
Come on now, summer isn't that far away! Heck if I can say that being a boater, I can't be too far off!
grgardner
Jan. 25th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: ride and write
I think you are right -- its my plan for the summer, but I'm itching to hit the road and while you can get out on the boat in the winter, it's a tad more difficult to hit the road on the motorcycle...:)
ironchefpinoy
Jan. 25th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
i'm curious if you ever thought about constructing the narrative of your proposed book in a way other than a traditional *story* or *travelogue*. i like how that new book you're reading is initially structured through letters and postcards: i can already imagine voice and the intimacy and preciousness of the *objects*.

also, have you considered recording yourself? just quickly documenting thoughts and basic stories and ideas as audio sketches to be transcribed and fleshed out later?
grgardner
Jan. 25th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm still toying with how to approach it -- I do wish I could do more than a "travelogue" -- somehow give it "meaning" if you will. Ghost Rider and other books of this genre do that -- while others are just a "stories from the road" kind of thing, which is what I'm leaning towards. I don't do the recording thing, I much prefer the "yellow sticky note" version -- hence why my office looks like it's a yellow "Rose Parade" float sometimes...:)
ironchefpinoy
Jan. 26th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)

at the moment, i'm putting the finishing touches on a book jacket design for a friend of mine... her book is a memoir of sorts conceived and organized as a curriculum vitae. however, the topics and themes of this cv explore the more difficult aspects of her life: parents' divorce, chronic illness, cultural difference, and gender inequality. it's quite clever without being a slave to novelty for novelty's sake.
pangusk
Jan. 26th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Have you been up to Whistler lately?
grgardner
Jan. 26th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
I wish! But alas no...:(
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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