Thursday, April 16, 2009

driving away, closer to home

Critter finished his story, remembering that he and his friend spent four beautiful summer days with Cornelius before their hometown hamlet sent out a search party looking for the two young Yeti. They found the youngsters napping in the white sand under the yellow sun, bellies full of the strange, new fruits of the sea and their heads full of adventure. Over time, the food gets digested but the smell of the Pacific and the idea of unmapped trails and unseen vistas never fade, floating on the crest of Critter's brow. His friend, who Critter respectfully referred to as Jim Doe (i kept telling him it was John Doe and Critter flatly said "not where i am from") went back to the comfort and safety of the heart of their forest where he would learn to harvest delicious berries and tree fruits with his family and continue studying trees, the stars, the rivers and rocks that form the seasons of a the Sasquatch. But for Critter, upon his return, could not be still...and being still is a large part of being a Bigfoot. Often when a young yeti gets out of line the reprimand is "Be a tree." Critter could hardly pretend to be a roaring let alone an oak. He had to leave and so he did.

Which sort of bring us to now except how Critter got from Oregon to my doorstep is another story. Naturally I asked him and he just looked at me and turned up the Hawkwind 8 track and looked out the window, at a sun playing little games with with an ocean at recess. I put my head back and let Critter drive.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I am you CAPTAIN!

Before I forget, you can catch a glimpse of Dan in this extraordinary clip as he helps Grand Funk Railroad get ready for Shea Stadium. It started as a summer job and became a way of life. Sit back with your first class ticket to hotness. Feel the sizzle.

Friday, April 10, 2009

sing to me, your siren song, hwy 1

Open your heart Hwy 1, and show us your golden child, your beloved knight errant, the mythical gatekeeper to every dream we haven't yet had. Take us to Dan.  
Hwy 1, be our sea, and Dan Blocker, our Captain, and the life of adventure, our white whale.
I sit staring from the passenger seat of a Chevy Van, watching the Pacific Ocean hypnotize every asphalt mile we drive, together nodding in a rhythm, lightly adorned by high pitched cries from Steve, Peter and the rest of Humble Pie. I smiled as I watched Critter smile as we both watched the rest of the world smile right by us, a sun soaked conveyor belt of summer dreams flying by us, like kids running past the teacher and through that door on the last day of school.
Summer baby, Summer. So beautiful and so right, I knew that morning when I felt the first tiny, dry timid kiss of summer move down my right ear, that it was time join Dan, the sultan of swashbuckling, our hope eternal, the man that seemed to walk right out of every poster I hung as a kid... every surf spot, that Aerosmith concert your mom didn't let you go to, that older brother you didn't have who had all access to the sweet smells behind the curtains of Cal Jam 1, 2 and all the small boogies held in the faded light hills behind Hollywood. Dan is part of  all the sunsets California ever saw, painted on the side of vans, t-shirts and etched across the minds of soul searchin' free people. He was natural born boogie. 
And yup, you know this, Critter and I want to dance.

I hadn't seen Dan in ages but it didn't take Critter long to understand him, and what he was about.   Looking out over the Pacific, his eyes hidden by the brim of Paul Bunyon baseball hat, Critter turned down the Humble Pie tape and summoned a story from when he was younger about one of his nation who left home young to never return. Critter said his name, losely translated, was Cornelius.  He moved from the dark green of the deep forest to a tiny stretch of coast that rubbed up against the great woods.  As Critter moved into his teens (which is like 85 years old in human years), he and a close friend snuck away from their Bigfoot hometown and walked west, toward the sweet warm scent of the sea and sun.  The trail was soft on their  feet like  an afternoon nap, they moved, drawn to something big bright and open.  Finally, in front of them, peering throw the edge of the canopy, golden curls from the sun pried their way through the trees toward them.  galloping, they tore free of the forest to see a blue vastness they could never guess at, and laying in the fine white sand, propped up by a grey rock, was the Bigfoot know as Cornelius.

All he said to them. in that first moment, was "welcome to sea, sit down with me and you might never come back."

And all that live long day, me and Critter were drinking black coffee, freshly ground and fully packed!