Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I haven't been wanting to post this, but here goes.

Hope you all enjoy the recap of the crazy/weird/terrible/fun/awesome Thunderosa January run.

But late on Sunday Feb 7 (Super Bowl Sunday) I received some terrible news from AJ

Our wonderful host, Bonnie Wade, had passed.

We didn't have any details at the time. It was almost a month to the day when we arrived at her home in Tucson. It had been barely a month since she had been serenading us with songs on the piano, since we had sat down together at the dinner table and ate as a family, holding hands in prayer before doing so. It had been almost a month since she took Drew and I out for a beautiful stroll in the desert. She found an old bleached bone section and gave it to me as a souvenir, and had already placed it with other mementos (cool rocks etc) from that trip and many others.

I was deeply saddened, but more numb with shock. You just assume you will always see people when you pass through their necks of the woods. I was and am set to return to AZ with Adrian Conner in April. Was going to invite her out, even tho the Adrian shows will be centered around the Sedona area.

But things got even more heart-breaking when it was revealed by her family that she had taken her own life.

We were going to keep that detail to ourselves out of respect for her family, but her family released that detail on social media and left it at that. So although I don't want to talk about it, I can. Doesn't make it easier.

She had some things in her life which were troubling her, as we all do. But she seemed eager to move out of the rental house she hosted us in and travel around in her little RV. She was even planning to swing through Austin and say hi to all her friends there. She seemed weary, but also hopeful and excited.

I'm still a little crushed.

There is an Austin memorial service/celebration of her life this Sunday. Unfortunately I will miss it as I'll be returning from a weekend of shows in Oklahoma this weekend.

There are lots of other great things to talk about, but I don't feel like it.

But, for now:

Tell the people you love that you love them.

Tell the people you appreciate that you appreciate them.

Call the people you haven't talked to in awhile. Write a letter. Send a postcard.

If someone wrongs you, forgive them.

Smile and say hi to the people you pass on the street. Pet their dog if it's friendly.

Treat everyone with kindness, for every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

RIP Bonnie Wade

I hope you've found the peace you have been looking for.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thunderosa AZ run, Day 9

Tuesday Jan 12, 2016

Awoke to a cold clear morning. The ice on the hotel pool was even thicker. I think Drew tried to throw a rock into it and it didn't break.

AJ went and bought a pipe wrench to retrieve his wedding ring. Then we hit the road for the long haul back.

Made it back to Texas finally!!!

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

But then outside of El Paso we had to pull over.

Stopped at a gas station, and sure enough the wheel we JUST HAD FIXED was smoking a little. FUCK. By now we had burned out the bearings on both sides. And were starting to worry if Van Hellsing would even make it home.

AJ went into the convenience store and asked about a body shop. Lady said follow her pastor husband around the bend and he'll take us to one.

He took us to a place surrounded by crumbling buildings and with piles of weird shit in the vacant lot nearby.

The guys running the place were awesome. We pleaded our case, we're broke and trying to just get home, and had been delayed and bankrupted by numerous repairs.

They told us not to worry, fixed it in decent time and were super fucking cool to us.

They had us back on the road in no time. We gave them CDs and T-shirts, and traded contact info as one of the guy's cousins is in a local band that does well. We vowed to return to play with them.

Turns out we'd be seeing them sooner than we thought.

Got back onto the highway, only for the bearings on the other side to immediately have problems.

So we limped back. "Hey, you guys said come back to visit! Here we are!!!"

At this point we had admitted defeat. We would be staying the night in Sierra Blanca TX, and probably selling or trading the van in the morning just to get the fuck home.

But sure enough, they fixed the other side in less than an hour!!!

Success! We hope!

And this time the front end carried us all the way home, 8 hours through West and Central Texas.

The drive through the Hill Country at night was quite harrowing. We must have passed at least 100 deer. Thank God none of them were in the road. We were babying the front end, cringing at every pothole and bump, waiting to hear that goddamned telltale CLUNK.

But we never heard it. We finally pulled into Austin around midnight.

Holy cow. We made it. We actually fucking made it. And I gotta say, that despite us spending all of our tour money on repairs to get home and the resulting headaches and delays from said repairs... This run was a blast. Mind you, I don't want to do another run like this anytime soon, or ever, but we had fun.

What a long crazy trip. But it wasn't over yet.

I still had to take I-35 to get home, and after midnight.

This was the most white-knuckle part of the whole fucking trip for me. Why? Because for more than a year someone has been dropping rocks on cars from bridges and overpasses on I-35. They still haven't caught the guy(s). More than 50 cars have been hit, many with serious injuries. A friend of the music community Kenneth Johnson is one of them. More than a year later he is still struggling to recover.

But I did make it home without incident. Good to see Heather finally, and Nacho as well.

But sleep eluded me all night, partially from the coffee and two 5-Hour Energies that propelled me on the return trip, partially my frayed nerves from the run, and partially coming home to find out that a friend on Facebook had died unexpectedly.

Holy shit.

RIP W. Stuart Rose.

I never even got to meet you tho we knew all the same people. Fuck.