An A-Frame On the Way
September 27, 2012
REDUX–Route 66 Again…
This was from I was first starting my Route 66 Journey…And yes, one of my WIPs is about this A-Frame!
Two things I’ve been spouting off about over the last year are, 1) enjoying the writing process, and 2) being inspired by Route 66. In response to the latter, I recently took a day-trip to Ludlow, Amboy, and Kelso, CA. with two of my book club friends, Janice Maloney and Mary McGee.
I had my EZ 66 guide book, my internet information printouts, and my fancy digital camera set on “auto” because it drives me crazy. The three of us took pictures, talked to travelers (many Europeans), ate pancakes light as air at the Ludlow Café, and marveled at the scenery. Mary drove, generously shared her memories, and left documents and pictures for the Roy’s Amboy Museum (restoration in progress by Albert Okura) —I even talked about my books and handed out bookmarks at our stops.
Indeed, for a Route 66 excursion—and novice that I am—this was a great adventure. Mary was one of the last two teachers at the Amboy school which closed in 1999; and she is a wonderful story teller, brimming with delightful tales about those days and the characters that populated her time in Amboy. Between Mary’s remembrances, and Amboy chronicler Tom Beeghly’s written tales about Roy Crowl, Buster Burris, Betty Burris, mines, railroads, the Post Office and bulldozers, elephants (yes elephants!), and copper wire thieves—my head was swimming with Mother Road thoughts and adventures.
Then something happened that I can’t yet explain.
On the last leg of the way home, we passed an abandoned looking A-frame—with past lives I’m told as a pie-shop, cafe, tire shop–to name a few. I’ve babbled-on before how locations “speak” to me and grab my imagination. This was something more.
Earlier, I’d taken (with a lot of help from Janice) pictures at Roy’s Café, the old Amboy school house and the post office—trying to capture their history in mega pixels. But the A-frame on the way home—modest, unexpected, and somehow bewitching—was inspirationally perfect. No matter how it currently looked, that A-frame was “alive” with history and tales untold. How can you explain how pieces, people, places, stories from the past—reach out and grab you? I can’t. Nonetheless, the A-Frame on the way somehow spoke to me.
For sure, planning is quite rational if you’re taking a trip—especially in the Mojave Desert! The unexpected, however, can’t be planned for, and my eyes, heart, and mind—needed to be open for this treasure. For once, they were—and consequently, I not only learned more about the Mother Road, but also enjoyed a piece of my writing journey on a level I still can’t quite articulate.
Inexplicable as it was—still is—I wish days like that one for all my fellow travelers—be it on Route 66 and/or the writing road.