October 20, 2007
Got to Kingman last night at about six. 177 mile run. Checked into the Hampton Inn Suites on Stockton Hill Road (special parade rate: $99). Got down to the Beale Days Parade deployment area at 8:30 (at 6th and Beale, in the parking lot of the old Safeway). Checked in with Paulette Dollarhide and ran into old classmate June Smith, her son and her mom, who rode in the parade). Rode in a new Ford F-150 down the parade route, Beale Street of course. Gave away two boxes of True Wests en route. Kids would run out and I'd give them the mags. One snotty kid gave the magazine back, "I don't want this." Ha. Kids today.
Also, I was standing in the back of the Ford with no identification on the truck. So I had to yell out who I was and why I was standing in the truck. Even at that, when we rounded a corner I said to a pretty mother sitting on the curb, "I'll bet you're wondering who the hell I am?" And she replied, "I'll bet you sell Fords." Ouch.
The parade ended at Railroad Park and I jumped out and walked over to the tent where I was to speak. No one was there so I walked back up to get my car. On the way up Spring Street, ran into my old Eighth Grade Coach Les Byram and his wife. Nice talk with them. Les is the mayor of Kingman.
Spoke at 11 (got an irate email from a Kingmanite who said I was scheduled to speak at 5:30). After the short talk, two old classmates came up to me: Joe Hart and Richard Glancy. We chatted about being old and old Kingman. When I mentioned in my speech that I remembered the day the steam engine arrived in Locomotive Park (they built tracks right off the rail line and onto Route 66, then pulled it into position with cranes), the young people looked at me like I am old as dirt. Ha.
Did my daily sketches in room 421 looking out at the Cerbats. When I was a kid, I ran all over those hills. None of the houses in the sketches were there when I was growing up. But then, neither was the Hampton Inn. Ha:
Checked out of the Hampton at one and drove home. Nasty wreck south of the Santa Maria River. Two cars way off in the bushes and Joshua Trees. Met ambulences and fire trucks all the way to Wickenburg and beyond, all going out to the wreck.
Got home at four to work on the Source Book and the Top Secret Project. Worked late.
Long day, but enjoyed the quality time in my hometown.
"I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball."
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