Psychedelic Road Trip!

An apology to all my readers and fans of art – missed my blogs because of a road trip over Thanksgiving week and then driving back. Four of us headed west, with tiny statues of St. Joseph (in charge of the weather) and St. Christopher (in charge of roads, highways and travelers) on the dashboard so they could see out the windshield. And so we dodged the storms and traffic all the way to the American high-altitude desert and home.

I got to take the painting I finished a while back for my Mom’s Christmas. My Dad’s got it hidden where she won’t find it – sorry, Mom, I’m not giving you any clues!

So two of us slept sitting up in the back seat while the other two up front were driver and navigator and we just kept truckin’.

Stopped at a little roadside café called Mamie’s something-or-other to eat. Lots of truckers there eating too, and man, like that was the best food ever next to my Mom’s. One huge trucker didn’t like my paint-covered sweatshirt “If you can read this, you’re too clothes”, so I finally asked him to step outside.

That surprised him, ‘cause, like, he was three of me, you know, and one of the servers called over and said, “Well, B.A., what’cha gonna do now?”

He stands up and says, very dignified, “Nadine, I’m going to accompany this tacky young gentleman outside an’ see what he wants.”

I got Mom’s painting out of the trunk and unwrapped it so he could see it. He stood and looked at it for a long time.

“You painted that?”

“Yes, sir.”

“For your Mom.”

“Sure did.”

He got out a bandanna and blew his nose real hard and then said, “Well, she’s raised a talented kid. You keep on painting, you hear me? Or B.A. Grouseman – that’s me – will track you down and personally kick your rear end.”

“Coming in on all frequencies, B.A.”. We went back in the diner and I bought him another piece of one of Mamie’s specialty pies – Chicken-Fried Ice Box Pie.

Then we did a quick driver/navigator switch, and hit the road again overnight. Got into town about 7 am, just in time for everybody to turn up at their old home place for breakfast, because all our families live just a few miles apart. We made it home for Thanksgiving and the long weekend. The parents and relatives were happy, everyone was in a great food stupor, and we were all truly thankful to be together again. Sure there were bummed-out feelings and a squabble or two – that’s family. “Tists may argue and fuss, but we’ll never throw you under a bus,” is our family motto.

Like I said, it was a serendipitous Thanksgiving. Hope yours was the same.

A.R. Tist

PS: Funny, but when we drove back here, we couldn’t find that diner again. Odd.