Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Road is calling...

...but I cannot answer. I spent the last 5 months travelling this country on my '72 CB750 chop only to return to IL just in time for winter. I tried to find a steady gig out west, to winter over in CA, but I could not. I did some temp work for a company that my buddy Pete works for, that does staging for the entertainment industry in the L.A. area. I helped tear down the sets from the Emmy Awards aftermath. However the company I was working for in Sun Valley couldn't offer me a steady full time stint. I had been staying with my gracious host Pete for about 2 weeks now, and after hemming and hawing over what to do, and receiving no phone calls from employers, I decided to head back east.
I left the Los Angeles area on Columbus Day and headed for Vegas. My "sister" lives there and we spent a few days catching up. That night, monday, we went down on the strip and hung out at New York, New York riding the roller coaster, eating and drinking. It was a blast. I decided to stay another night and Tuesday we just hung out at the house and had a home cooked meal.

From Sin City I had two choices, north to Denver or south to Phoenix. After careful consideration, I chose south. I wasn't ready to head back to IL yet, and that's what Denver offered. An old friend from IL had moved to Phoenix about a decade ago, and we hadn't seen each other since. We had tentative plans to do some riding and drinking. Unfortunately a few weeks prior Ross had been t-boned on his digger and was broken, confined to a wheel chair, but on the mend.

His crew in Phoenix had put together a benefit show with raffles and such to gain funds for his upcoming medical bills and time absent from work. I figured I was only about 5 hours away and needed to be there for that. I was looking forward to seeing Ross "Stickrod", too bad the circumstances were as they were.

I arrived in Phoenix wednesday night, the tenth of October, to be greeted by one of Ross' best friends, Brains. He also rode a CB750 chop 'survivor' that looked like something right out of the 70's. He greeted me as if we were old friends and no sooner than I pulled the first bungee cord off of the gear, he got a phone call. We were headed to one of the Phoenix crew's regular watering holes to have a "safety meeting".

Trapper was seated in a booth waiting for us and Kelly arrived shortly after we did. Ross' benefit was in 2 days so they were doing some final planning on how to run the gig as smoothly as possible. Thru conversation we realized we knew some of the same people, and were aquaintances with some of the same people. Another reminder of what a small world we live in.

The next 4 nights were a whirlwind of bombing the streets on our scoots and hopping from place to place checking out the girlies, keeping our thirst quenched and our bellies full. Ross' benefit Friday night went off without a hitch. A great turnout and a pile of cash collected, combined with great bands at a great venue made the evening a success. Ross was stoked to see me as it was a surprise to him. Last we'd talked I told him I couldn't make it.
I spent Sunday evening with Ross and his wife, Diana and their son. We visited and got to catch up more than we were able friday night. He had said something before I left that has stuck with me. He said "Man, it means so much to me that you made it here. This all started for me (bikes & skateboards) back in IL with you, Matt & Heath, and you're the only one from IL thats been out to visit. It means a lot."

I would have never thought of it on that level. I was just stoked to see an old friend in his new digs, meet his wife and son, and tell him how glad I was that I was still able to, that he was still here so that I could.

I returned to Brain's place later that night to get ready to head north on Monday morning. I had a handful of people I wanted to visit on the way up to I-40, before heading east to the corn desert of IL, that will soon become a frozen tundra.

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