Monday, August 31, 2015

A Map to The Stars

August 31, 2015
   I remember sitting in art class at Mohave County Union High School and looking out the window as the wind stripped the paint off a '64 Ford Falcon. I had a burning desire to become an artist but I didn't have a clue on how to get there. And nobody in Kingman seemed to know the route, which, when I think about it, is probably why they were in Kingman.

   I made a vow that if I ever figured out how to become an artist I would go to any classroom, anywhere, to tell kids what I know. That is why I'm going to NAU on Wednesday to talk to two classes of incoming freshmen about the perils and rewards of a career in the media.

   The El Trovatore Motel has long been a beacon at the top of the hill before you drop down into the old part of town. And, as I've mentioned before, it was right across the street from my dad's Phillips 66 service station.

   Also, as previously mentioned, the new owner of the motel insisted on giving me a map. Here it is with his notations on where the stars of Kingman were located.

A map to the stars of Kingman, Arizona

   My host was clearly trying to impress me with his knowledge of the area. "Pamela Anderson was once arrested here." Really? For what? "Riding a motorcycle without a license." Of all the hot rodders that grew up here (Billy Logas, anyone?) he trots out some false-chested has-been actress as Kingman's claim to fame? I flashed back on all the kids I knew who ripped along the surrounding dusty streets with no license and no cares. Hell, Denny Stahl rode his Ducati straight up the cut behind my dad's gas station, right across the street from where we were talking. I glanced out the window and saw that the cut was still there, but, of course the gas station is gone and Denny is long gone and like most men my age I wondered where that cherry Ducati is today. Not that the guy would even care, but for some strange reason, I care. Why?

   As the Kingman I grew up in fades beyond recognition why does it matter to me that I watched Edge of Eternity being filmed around Kingman in 1959? And a scene was filmed right outside the door of the motel office, but somehow I knew he didn't really care about that either, so I held my tongue—something I am somewhat notorious for not being able to do.

   Maturity? Or, a tired acceptance that betrays a deep, desperate yearning?

Daily Whip Out: "The Leaning Wreck"

"The past doesn't disappear so that we can write about it."
—Nate, in the play "A Delicate Ship," by Anna Ziegler

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