The Amateur American Hobo: Tulsa, OK to Palm Springs, CA (Part X)

Soon we rolled into the driveway at Clark’s parents’ house for a quick visit. After his mother gave me a bunch of Clark’s old books without his permission we were on our way over to where Clark’s house closer to down town Tulsa. The neighborhood was quiet and comfortably run-down. It was reminiscent of what I remember of growing up close to downtown Salem. We spent a whole day just resting and relaxing. Bob and I washed our socks in the sink in Clark’s bathroom which rendered every visit to the head that day a gag inducing foot-odor festival. Clark treated us to some of his patented cooking which was a welcome break from our mostly gas station and fast food diet of the past few weeks since leaving the Appalachian Trail. Some ingredients were purchased at the friendly local mystery food mart called the Jackalope. The Jackalope market is an experience in itself – having the amazing ability to stock only one half of a meal at a time. Peanut butter, but no jelly. Pasta, but no sauce. Hot dog buns, but no hot dogs. Another visit provided the experience of watching a crackhead lady question everyone who would listen about where the owner was. Unfortunately we missed the ribs the day of our fist visit.

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Books: May 2012

ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE – ROBERT PIRSIG

“The place to improve the world is first in ones heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think what I have to say has more lasting value.” – Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This book just grabbed my eye as I was picking up some other titles at The Book Bin in Salem. I had heard the name a few times before and decided to take a chance on it. After I bought it my mother told me that the book was a hot topic when it first came out in the mid 1970s. It took me a while to get through but not because it was a bad read but because it didn’t lend itself to reading quickly. This book is a hunk of stale rye bread; you’ll lose your gumption if you try to do more than slowly chew up one stubborn bit at a time.

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Books: April 2012

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST – STIEG LARSSON

“As the situation developed, the futility of attempting suicide in the middle of a hospital became apparent.” – Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

I finally finished the Millenium series by Stieg Larsson. The third book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was very much along the same lines as the first two as far as pace and quality of writing. Fast paced, somewhat decent writing and with a plot capable of holding my attention. Although I didn’t think that this book was exceptional, it was better than the second instalment.

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Images From The Frozen White North

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The Amateur American Hobo: Memphis, TN to Tulsa, OK (Part IX)

Around 3am the Greyhound bus rocked me to sleep despite the chatter from the other riders. I woke up as the sun rose and realized that I’d slept though all of Arkansas. We were starting to make our way into Oklahoma. It was still a few hours to Oklahoma City so I drifted back to sleep, watching the billboards and waffle house signs pass along the side of the highway. The bus continued rattling down the road into the dull landscape.

The next time I woke we were in the middle of Oklahoma City, turning around the corner by a park and stopping at the bus depot. The streets seem empty – of cars and people. Bob and I shuffled through the line of groggy passengers waiting to get off the bus and get their bags. After retrieving them we high tailed it to a park on the edge of downtown. We lay out some of our belongings still soaked from Memphis and called our friend Clark.  Bob and I were happy to be in a new city. We soaked up the intermittent sunshine, spread out in a patch of soft green grass. After the closed-in dirty downtown of Memphis, Oklahoma City had a refreshingly open feel.

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