The blog and trip did a good thing for me. It taught me an old lesson that I've forgotten many times now which is that if I go the hell out there and do something JUST based on a "gut feeling" which is what it was, that it'd push me in the right direction. The quote ("learn to love music again") was kind of an excuse and something to stand on or hid behind at the time cause when it came down to it, I just needed some time to build back a little confidence in myself again. I was in a "bad spot".
This blog and the people reading it pushed me along everyday to get up, get out, meet people and see and experience things...and I did that. I met some REALLY amazing people. People that I will never, NEVER forget and memories that I'll take to my grave with a smile. Listening to Walt Wilkins's "I Chose This Road" as my soundtrack, I met a beautiful, beautiful "Cowboy poet"/friend (Walt Perryman), Tony ~a fascinating ex-marine who bartend-ed~, a coupla really kind west Texas oil workers, an amazing hall of fame writer (Sonny Throckmorton), a great new friend in Jim Lane, a brilliant kid who writes and sings his ass off through the eyes of the disabled (Chris Hendricks), another new friend Rita Ballou (a kind, sweet person though she'd HATE me writing this sweet stuff about her), Lee a fellow "tent" camper (while in Lafayette,LA) who's goal was to "motorcycle" around the world (Godspeed if you ever read this :)), The Paulin Brothers, an amazing man and "wall builder" for the right reasons Tom Hendrix. Hell, me and Jim Lane met a another truck "head-on" at 60MPH and I also met a SWAT team at my motel room door in Spartenburg, SC.
I really loved every mile that I traveled. In Texas (outside of the cities) there was not one part that I did not love entirely. West Texas for some indescribable reason was my favorite looking back. The swamps of Louisiana, the flat freshly plowed fields of the Mississippi delta, the hill country of upper Alabama. Georgia, from the mountains to Thomasville to Savannah. "The Piedmont" that runs all the way from Western Alabama to Virginia. Virginia from the "Library of Congress"(close enough) all the way down to the "The Carter Fold".
Thanks to all of the people who've kept up with me and given me their financial and emotional support. I hope some of you have found a little joy, some music, a laugh or if nothin else a "where's Waldo" moment during a break in your day. I expected to "endure" large parts of the trip but that just never happened. I never "hit the wall" thankfully. Paul Kennerley told me from the beginning that the driving would do me some good. It did. This trip also helped me get closer to my family which I'm SO grateful for. Their e-mails and texts on the road really helped me.
Nashville became a dark cloud to me that I couldn't get out from under. Publishing and record companies and peripheral businesses (as we know it) all "going to hell in a hand basket". Finding SO much good music, good music people and music business going on "outside of the bubble" made me feel SO much better about the business and "brightened my skies".
I'll close this last blog with an e-mail from a great friend and brilliant writer. I get this e-mail one day while I was out driving between one dry, flat place and another. THESE are the things that kept me going sometimes:
....But, beyond it all I have always hoped that you find the peace, the meaning you seem to be searching for.
I hope you don’t over look the little things- because that is always what all of the big things are hiding behind.
I hope you turn a corner and get a little lost in the eyes of some poor unfortunate girl that has as little regard for hats as you do.
I hope you find that this town with all of it's frustrations and blindness is still an amazing place where dreams can come true.
I hope you remember that you are never too old to dream.
I hope you stumble across the notion that maybe it's only going to make as much sense as you care to give it.
I hope you stumble and curse and mistake and cry and do something crazy.....
I hope you accidentally mutter a prayer one night and find a great big God hiding behind a little answer.
love you, buddy
Thank you Craig and EVERY one-a-ya' :), ~"Onward and upward"~ S
P.S. thanks also to Jennifer Carrington, Jenny Bohler, Mike Provencher, Reid Scelza for their input and help with this. I'm grateful for your help.
P.P.S.S. Thanks again Steve and Sarah :)