Last night I dreamt I saw the car. It belonged to my best friend, Dick Clayman of York PA who died in 2001. He left the car to me and I kept it for years but eventually sold it because keeping an antique car running can be too expensive.
The car was the symbol of our friendship. He was an old man, I was a young chick. He talked constantly but he was trying to impart his wisdom to me since he and his wife didn’t have any kids. They kind of adopted me. His wife was very kind. They had me over to eat every day when I was in art school. They were my neighbors. Dick drove me all around PA. MD. and VA. in the TR6. We enjoyed each others company. He was an opera singer, a tenor, and he often sang arias while we were driving around in the country with the top down. La Boheme was his favorite. He’d sing in Italian then ask me if I knew what it meant. I didn’t but he told me what the words meant. He brainwashed me on how to be an artist. He taught me more than anyone else. That’s where I got my attitude. (from a tenor)
In my dream, I was going to the mall with another friend and when I saw the car I ran back inside looking for Dick. He was in the bathroom. I called in, “Can I come in, Dick?” He said, ” Wait a minute.”.
I guess I was in the land of the dead in my dream and he didn’t want me to go in too soon.
I’m not afraid of dying. There’s a chance I could see Dick again. I might live a long time. My Mom’s 98 but she has dementia now and is being well taken care of in a luxurious old folks home. She didn’t want me to live with her and take care of her. Now I know it would have been too hard for me to do that. She needs professional care givers. Anyway, I hope I don’t live to be 98 because I won’t be able to drive. And I love driving thanks to Dick.
This is just a little snippet of my weird life. It was always weird and I thought of starting to write it down when I knew Dick but he told me not to. He said. “That path is yours alone and it might not be a good idea to write it down.” It’s for me to learn from and no one else will get the lessons from it. So this is all I’m writing.
He’s dead 20 years now. I had a lot of other friends but none like Dick.
I don’t know if I’d get accepted. I’d be up against real plein air professionals. Their art pays the bills.
I had a great time at Fall Color Week at the Ghost Ranch in 2019. This Texas thing is a contest and I’m not real hot on competitions . The Ghost Ranch was like art camp for 1 week, not a contest. It was beautiful and they fed us well. Both events are from the Plein Air magazine.
When plein air contests got popular maybe 15 years ago or something like that, I entered when they came to Richmond but didn’t get in. I never heard why. And back in those days I entered the contests this magazine has but I never even heard from them if they received my entry which was a little discouraging to keep on entering. I got my daughter to help me with the entries to be sure it wouldn’t get hung up on some filing error. So, I don’t know why I never heard back.
I said I wasn’t going to enter anymore but this could be another great adventure like the Ghost Ranch. This Texas thing would be an expensive vacation but fun. I like the part about the artists can stay at the ranches before the event starts. At least I’d have time to decide where to paint.
I heard that they stamp the back of your blank canvases at the start so no-one can have more time to paint than the others. I’m kinda slow but might be able to finish something in a week if I work on it every day.
Should I enter? If I send them my swamp painting in the entry they might reject me because they’ll see it took me a long time to paint it and that’s against their preferred style, but the swamp painting is one of my favorites.
I might trade the Taurus for a Bronco if I take this trip. I need more clearance on dirt roads. I like my Fords. They have the most comfortable seats and they’re strong cars.
Gary is from Loveland CO. These paintings are small, there’s a shine on the right. It’s still wet oil paint.
Darn it, my computer is telling me WordPress is taking up too much space. I hope I can keep posting until I get home and get this puppy to Best Buy where they will fix it for free.
I checked out of the Ghost Ranch and drove all day on a high desert plain. I had the open road for hours. It’s pretty much unpopulated from Santa Fe to Roswell.
I shopped in Roswell for ET souvenirs then decided to head east. Now I’m in Clovis New Mexico.
Got a new phone in Roswell, finally, after my old one died a week or so ago.
It’s hot with a strong dry wind out there. I enjoyed looking at the desert. Not many trees until I got almost here.
I missed my turn onto 60 into Texas by a couple blocks, not too bad for a long fast easy drive through a vast desert, to only be a couple blocks off the route. So, I got a room at the Holiday Inn Express. I remember Clovis is famous. They have a natural history museum with a fossil of a saber tooth tiger, and they also have a history of being a music town. Led Zeppelin played here and so did Buddy Holly to name a couple famous acts. I wonder if the music place or the museum is open on Mon.
I taped this cartoon inside the cover of my travel log one time when I drove out west. That trip was kind of therapeutic because my mind was in a turmoil back then. I was totally amazed by the great vast staggering beauty of the country. If I flew over it to my destination it would be impossible to see the country on the way and every 50 miles is something else, especially when I took the scenic route off the interstate.
My Ford Taurus has a huge trunk and the most comfortable seats. That’s why I bought it, for a road trip. It’ll go up a mountain, no problem.
I can’t decide if I should take my camera and computer or not. I did my road trips without them before.
The Ghost Ranch is at 7000 ft. and I live at sea level. I want to leave plenty early so I can spend a couple days in Colorado and try to get used to the altitude before I go up to the Ghost Ranch which is in New Mexico.
I’m taking 3 primed canvases and oil painting supplies and also my watercolors and paper, easel, and everything I usually take to paint in Plein air. I’d never be able to take all that on a plane. Not to mention clothes with a coat and jacket. The weather up there could be cold or hot. It changes drastically, I think.
I’ll leave tomorrow and might get as far as Kentucky in one day. I’m not driving more than 8 hours a day but I’ll probably do more like 7 hours a day until I get out west.
I can’t take anyone with me, but that’s ok.
I’ll start writing in the back of the old travel log because I filled in the front part of it in 2005 when I drove Route 66 from Springfield MO. to Santa Monica, CA. then came back east on 50, “the loneliest road in America”. They are some beautiful roads, and as a taxpayer, they’re mine.
A few years ago I wanted to take a vacation out west then I canceled my plans because I moved to the beach and I’ve been on permanent vacation since I got here.
I bought a 6 cylinder Ford in 2016 because I wanted a car strong enough to go up a Rocky Mountain without overheating, which is what happened on my last road trip when I drove the old Buick. Every time I drove uphill it ran hot then when I went downhill it ran cold. I wondered if the car would make it back home. It did. Also, the Ford has the most comfortable seats of all the cars I test drove.
I’ve been looking at the Plein air magazine once in a while for a workshop to join but couldn’t decide on any of them until I saw this ad. I was hoping to find a Plein air event at The Dalles in Oregon because in all my cross country driving, The Dalles was one of my favorite places, but I think this one at the Ghost Ranch will be great. I like the part about no competition, no show, no drama. So, I guess it will be painting and partying.
I’ll drive my big ass Ford to New Mexico because I enjoy driving but I don’t enjoy flying. YEA! Now I have another thing to look forward to! The first thing is moving in March which I think will be a good move for me too.
Normally I pooh pooh the zodiac because they often describe Capricorns as social climbers and I have no interest in society, but once I read that Capricorns can have a second childhood and I thought that sounds like fun. I’ll do it.
When I was a kid I had a hand me down bike that was my brothers news paper delivery bike. It had coaster breaks and no gears. I was all over town on it. This is the most popular kind of bike at Virginia Beach because who needs gears on flat land?
I should have bought some training wheels. (nah) It’s been a long time since I was on a bike, but they say you never forget how to ride. I did ok going around the parking lot at the bike shop but when I took it on the gravel road at Back Bay I couldn’t control it. I was all over the place on the bumpy road. Luckily, there wasn’t a lot of people that afternoon and when a car or hikers or other bikers came down my path I stopped so I wouldn’t cause an accident with my zig zagging. I rode about 2.5 miles in then turned around and on the way back out I did a little better steering. Before I went home I stopped back in at Conte’s where I bought it and asked the helpful sales guy to adjust the handle bars down a little cause I’m kind of short. Maybe that will make it a little easier next time I go out.
It looks like they’re calling for more hot weather and chance of rain this week, but next Thurs. it’s supposed to cool down again, and after Labor Day it will be less crowded so I’ll get in some riding practice in Sept.
My goal is to go to the end of the Back Bay road to False Cape. I’ve never seen False Cape. They have already closed the one side of Back Bay for the migrating birds. They could have left the trail open until the birds get here, but oh well. I hope they let the other trail open all year and I also hope I will be able to see the Snow Geese and Tundra Swans because they are so beautiful. And I will eventually capture the beauty of Back Bay in drawings and paintings.