Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Each state has it's own basic interstate rest stop design. You keep thinking you've been there before, and I'm constantly reminding myself that last time, we were headed in the other direction, and you can't get there from here. It's fun to try and spot the differences. Like a life-sized version of one of those kid's games where you circle what's different in the two pictures. The last one had the squished penny machine next to the spiraling gumball machine, but it didn't have all these 25 cent novelty-toy-in-a-plastic-bubble rip-offs. I got something that looks like a mini diaphragm, and one of my fellow travelers had to explain how you turn it inside out, put it down on something, and it eventually pops up into the air. There was a small dead insect in my bubble, and I just left it in Josh's van.

As what now seems to be typical for me when I arrive in a new town, I stumble upon a gigantic Salvation Army, and spend seven dollars on five pieces of clothing. The thrift store is a little too full of the suburban chicago high school crowd, and I don't stick around to find out how the football star got injured, or other important gossip. Next door, there was this police/security supply store that looked really fun, but I didn't have the proper security professional ID needed to gain entrance, and the guy at the door looked at me a little funny, and who could blame him as I was carrying a plastic bag bursting with thrift store tagged, used clothing.

We finally made it to day one of the T&G Records 25th anniversary block party too late to see any bands we cared about, and then I got dropped off at Alison's. Her and I don't see too much of each other, so we stayed up late catching up.

The next day got off to a lazy start, and that was fine with me. Alison has a big comfortable house, and a dog to match, and the weather outside wasn't looking too inviting. Eventually, my host dropped me off at day two of the three day festival, and we joked about how it was like mom dropping off a kid at the dance. "Drop me off around the corner so none of the kids see."

It was cold. I was cold. I kept thinking about archiving. Would there be sufficient record of these performances? Should there be? How much can you really save? P W Long sitting there with an acoustic guitar belting out "I'm Hell" while a pack of fans somewhere to my right shouted back the call and response second vocal part, right on cue, without any prompting, was one of those moments maybe better left to memory only. Let it be a passing moment, as its weight is too heavy to capture on any recording medium. There were plenty of other great musical moments through the day, but that one alone was worth the 30 total hours in a van.

The next day, after an excellent Mexican meal in Old Town, Alison and I returned to her place, and started checking out the old projectors and boxes/bags of old slides she rescued from her father the previous week. Some old family shots, but mostly ones from her dad's tour in the Korean War, and time stationed in Japan. We giggled at his captions, and I decided to bring back that one-leg-up-on-something pose that was so popular then. Some of the family ones clearly meant a lot to her. I rhetorically asked if any of these finds would be here for us if dad had a digicam during his time overseas. The Kodachromes looked sharp as the day they were shot. I thought more about recording the present. Maybe it's not for us. Maybe it's for whoever's next.

I only shot a couple rolls of film. None of the shows. Mostly out the van windows before it got dark.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats why i wanna pay someone a lot of money to print every digi pic i ever took. so my kids kids can find the shit when i die, and wonder about what kind of person i am.

i think about my dads mom like that all the time. aparently i am just like her. i wouldnt know, only through photographs. i wear her shoes. literally. they fit. i have her pants too.

where were you?

12:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home