Tennessee Road Trip, pt. XII (Coda)

I'm writing from the Nashville airport. In two hours I'm flying home, leaving the van behind me at the garage in Lebanon for a replacement of a timing belt, a water pump (that they didn't discover had gone bad until this morning, so the part will have to be ordered) and potentially a new motor. The nice folks at the garage had never heard of thesamba.com as a parts source for VW stuff, so I told him about the $800 motor I found there, and how that beats the living hell out of $3000. I believe he'd be okay with me ordering that and having it sent to them (with its new timing belt and water pump), if we get to that point. Right now I'm trying not to think about the worst-case until I have to tomorrow.

I missed an appointment with my therapist in Raleigh. Slowly trying to read his suggested book, Feeling Good.

Smart Wife booked me a flight (yet another reason why she's smart) and promised to pick me up at seven when I get in. I finally broke down in tears on the phone to her when it all seemed completely out of hand, but recovered when she offered to pick up the kids and drive to get me in Tennessee.

My dear sweet friends Mike Mayeux and Mike Costanzo got me to the airport. Mayeux, engineer/producer who I've worked with since the dB's recorded in New Orleans, picked me up at the hotel, took me to the garage to rescue some of my belongings from the van/bedroom/dressingroom/paperweight and then took me to Nashville for my flight. We got to visit a little, which was great since he was in New Orleans when I first came through Nashville last week. We bought our house in Arabi from Mike and his family, and he was, in my estimation, the finest recordist in the Crescent City; he co-produced Vermilion with the Continental Drifters. Finding work in Nashville has not been an easy task for him as it is a somewhat closed community, but Mike has such good ears that I'm not worried too much about his future.

The final insult was the T.S.A. taking my blackberry jam from the Loveless Cafe away. It was a gift for my family, especially for my five year old who loves blackberry jam. I cannot begin to tell you the loathing I have for that agency, but I know, somewhere in my heart, that we are all safer in the skies not having a jar of homemade jam flying with me. "The T.S.A./took my jelly away" to paraphrase a Ramones' tune.

Oh yeah, and Antoinette K-Doe passed away this morning, all on a Mardi Gras Day. She will be sorely missed, as will her contribution as an ardent supporter of the New Orleans music scene. Who's gonna trot the Ernie K-Doe mannequin around now? Very sad.

I'm so ready to go home. What a trip. I'm fine, my life is fine, this is just a series of small setbacks that can easily be dealt with in the bigger scheme of things; they're irritating, expensive and inconvenient, but not insurmountable.

Thanks for riding with me, and I hope you dug the posts.


Grahame said…
Peter, thanks so much for keeping this journal of your trip, it was a great read - only could have been better if I could have been there in Memphis for the music.

Sorry to hear about the van problems and I hope you made it safely and quickly home to your family.

take care

ahhhhh....why does life keep throwing curves? As you said, I'm glad in the scheme of things it wasn't anything major and I hope you're home by now and much happier....
:-D Shea said…
Glad to hear you're snug and comfy @ home. Your next trip will go better! Good luck with the van. :-D
Jeff Hart said…
peter, i think i may have to tattoo your final sentence to my arm or something. i'm just catching up on your blog and found the way you summed it up very noteworthy. sorry about the setbacks, but you left some wisdom i think all of us would do well to learn.

" this is just a series of small setbacks that can easily be dealt with in the bigger scheme of things; they're irritating, expensive and inconvenient, but not insurmountable."
Tim Armstrong said…
Car repair mojo sent!!!
Jim H. said…

I very much enjoyed following your slice-of-life-on-the-road journal of your trip to the Folk Alliance Convention. You probably don't remember this, but when we were Freshmen you were so enthused about HST's 'Fear & Loathing' books I read them for the first time. Thanks, again, for that.

Reading your serial blog posts reminds me of that experience. Obviously, you are not HST. You are who you are. And you bring yourself to the writing: your anticipatory anxiety, your familial tenderness, your sense of adventure as you meet up with old colleagues, the constant prodding of your creative song-writer self, your unease with the van and auto technology, your sense of the normality of sleeping in your van in a park or someone's yard, your feeling out-of-place with the folkies at the convention, the comfort of old friends, the buzz of performing, the post-buzz buzz performers know and learn to relish, the further obstacle presented by the road home, the Odysseyian return. Sorry if I read too much into it what you meant as simple, discrete journal, but I really felt like I experienced the journey with you. The writing is that good. I especially like the way you were able to work your influences and past associations and general 'back story' into the flow of things.

Ever think about writing a memoir? You've clearly got the chops AND the experience to boot.

Also, I don't know if you know his writing, but David Foster Wallace's (RIP) essays have that same quality of bringing a sensitive and self-aware persona to a new situation and experience.

Let it be known if you and Chris will be touring in ATL. I'd love to hear y'all play after all these years. The last time I heard you live was with the dB's at Maxwell's in like '85 (I stood next to Chris in the audience that night), and then again, with Chris, when Mavericks dropped at some record store on the Upper East Side.

Jim H.

P.S. The hook is how you're going to get the van back from Tenn. to Derm. Let us know.

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