It was a long ass road trip, y’all. Our first destination was Richmond, VA to attend our nephew Zachary’s high school graduation. He goes to a small public school for super smart-n-independent kids. There were 42 graduates, which meant that each of them got to say something. They even introduced the entire staff including the custodian. It’s a racially mixed class so, naturally, the black parents were loud and raucous whereas most of the white folks were polite and quiet. Boring. I tried to make up for that by whooping it up but I could not come close to the African-American mother who shouted out “Don’t you cry, baby girl” when her daughter approached the podium. It did not work. Profuse tears were shed.
Another highlight of the trip was seeing the Kehinde Wiley exhibit at the Virginia Museum of the Fine Arts. It’s entitled A New Republic and offers a fresh take on the masters by a talented black artist. If it comes to or near your town, check it out. Don’t tell them I sent you, they won’t give a shit.
We attended the Wiley exhibit the day after a horrible storm front blew through Richmond causing 150K power outages and general havoc. I’m not sure if General Havoc sided with the Union or the Confederacy. We had to drive through it but, much like the Rain Man, Dr. A is an excellent driver. Things were so hinky in Richmond that the museum alarm went off as I was looking at the VMFA’s fine collection of George Bellows’ work. It started bellowing so we exited, it had nothing to do with brexit. I’ll probably write something about that for Monday. I’m too pooped to mock Cameron, Corbyn, Farage, and Bozza right now. Note: the Johnson blond straw ‘do is real as you can see from this picture with his father:
Let’s move on to this week’s theme song. Thursday was actually the day I got home but what’s a bit of artistic license among friends? Artistic licentiousness is an altogether different matter. A musical highlight of the road trip was blasting a bootleg of a 1993 Squeeze show as we barreled through Birmingham, which according to Randy Newman is the greatest city in Alabam. Me, I prefer Mobile or the town in Alabama where the tusks are looser. The rim shot belong to Groucho Marx, not me, y’all.
Where the hell was I? Oh yeah, this week’s theme song. It’s The Day I Get Home by Difford and Tilbrook from the Play album. We have two versions for your listening pleasure; including one from the phenomenal 1993 Some Fantastic Place tour with Pete Thomas on drums and Paul Carrack on keys and vox:
After the break, I’ll post a few more trip tales as well as another homey/homely tune. Gotta stretch my legs, it was a long road trip.
I promised y’all another home song and I try to never let down my homeys. Here’s one by Neil Young with lead vocals by Richie Furay:
It’s time for a solo acoustic rendition by the songwriter:
We spent a day in what I call TJ Land; better known as Charlottesville. We stayed downtown at a swell B&B and had an amazing meal at a place called Rapture. It was so good that I was *almost* ready for Armageddon. Then we saw the Jayhawks at the Jefferson Theatre. The band was great but the venue left much to be desired. I complained to the General Manager but it did not go well. I’ll skip the gory details since I was issued a refund after a tweet tirade and facebook flailing of management. Suffice it to say that I was briefly in a Tailspin:
We spent a night in Staunton, which is Dr. A’s hometown. The U is silent even if the town never shuts up about its connection to Stonewall Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. Talk about taking the bitter with the sweet. Dr. A had an apartment in what is now part of the Wilson Birthplace museum. Her crib is currently the Presidential years exhibit.
Whilst Stauntoning, we paid a visit to an old, dear friend. Ulysse is 96 years old, a retired art professor at Mary Baldwin College, and still a gifted painter. He’s originally from South Carolina and has the charming melodic accent common to people of a certain age from the Palmetto State. Ulysse remains an ardent liberal who claims to be a communist. Unfortunately, his eyesight is shot, his hearing is spotty, and he’s in and out mentally like many people his age. We still had a nice visit with him and his helper who turned out to have known Dr. A’s brother, father, and mother. Small town, small world.
It took Ulysse a few minutes to figure out who we were but as we left, he launched into an epic quote from A Confederacy of Dunces. Clear evidence that he knew us. It was one of the oddball soliloquies by Burma Jones who swept the “ho flo” at Levy Pants. So it goes.
I’d like to thank everyone who hosted Dr. A and put with me: Jean, Roger and Louisa, and Karen and Joe. I had a delightful conversation with Joe’s 92-year-old mom who’s as sharp as that proverbial tack. She’s reading a book about the Romanovs (told ya she was sharp) so we had a long chat about that distant and dim dynasty. I quite agree with her conclusion about the last Tsar: she called him a dumbass. Yeah, you right, Jane.
Saturday Classic: Since this is a road trip post, there’s only one pick for this slot. (Another grotesque exaggeration.) It’s Lucinda Williams’ masterpiece, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road:
That’s it for this week. I hope you didn’t mind the road trip tales. It was edited because who wants to hear me bitch? I certainly don’t. This week’s closing bat-meme features a famous Virginian you might have heard of: