Funny the World...

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JIMMY DEAN?

April 19, 2000

Well, here I am in Santa Barbara, trying to create this page in Composer and wondering why it's not doing what I want it to do.  I did all right this morning.  I only left home about half an hour after I'd planned but then I can't believe I got lost finding I-5.  This is a freeway I drive all the time, but my mind wasn't on a critical turn and I ended up heading in the wrong direction.  I drove around familiar sounding street names but in parts I'd never been and finally found myself in Old Sacramento in a traffic jam behind a horse-drawn carriage.  That was another 5 minute delay (why does it sound so short when written yet felt so long??) Finally got on the road. 

Rain and high winds had been predicted, but to the contrary it was glorious.  The clouds were absolutely fantastic all the way down the valley--so much so I was moved to stop at a scenic view and snap a couple of pictures. The amazing thing to me is that the entire Central Valley seems to be planted in grapes.  This is a new thing this year--most of the vineyards seemed to have first year plantings--but all the hillsides for miles, perhaps hundreds of miles, were covered with new grapevines.  That combined with the stench from the humongous feed lot for the Harris Ranch makes me confident that California will not want for beef or wine in the coming decade, at least.

I stopped for lunch at the world's slowest McDonald's. I thought it was the customer in the car ahead of me who couldn't make up his mind which was holding things up, but it was the waitpersons inside who didn't have time to come to the microphone. However, what they lacked in service they made up in salt on the fries. Davis, being the land of health nuts, hardly salts fries at all. Heck, if you're going to do "junk food," you might as way go whole hog. Literally.

JDean.jpg (8998 bytes)I cut over at Kettleman City to Paso Robles--a 57 mile road which cuts across the valley.  A two lane road with a 55 mph posted speed limit.  This was the road on which James Dean met his end (I stopped at the small memorial at the spot where he died).  I thought about Dean a lot as I watched a couple of shiny new sports cars zip past, weaving in and out among the traffic.  Why were they in such a hurry?  How much time did they cut off their trip?  And at what a gamble?  Dean was in a hurry too.  I was perfectly content to plod along at 10 miles over the posted speed limit, like most of the other cars.

Somewhere after the Dean memorial, we were stopped for about half an hour by road construction.  The traffic backed up for miles and I just turned the motor off.  Actually, it was a glorious day, the clouds were spectacular and I opened the sunroof, got out my book, and just enjoyed the chance to take a break from the drive.

By the time I got as far as Goleta (the town right before Santa Barbara), the car was running on fumes, so I pulled off at the first gas station and filled it up, just in time. I arrived at Alice's at 6, just as she was getting home.  How long did the drive take? It was 90 minutes of Steve on tape plus 6 CDs long.

I picked up about 200 e-mail messages and then we drove to Harry's restaurant to meet Tom and Alice Nan's significant other, Joe, for dinner.  Then home and all have gone to bed, except me.  I'm struggling to use bandaids and paperclips to put together a journal entry! The article about Steve's show tomorrow is in the paper.  He's "Who's Hot" in Santa Barbara this week.  I'm sure that will make him very happy!

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created 4/19/00 by Bev Sykes

 

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