Well, I've heard comment that there just isn't quite enough comment on
LBC stuff in my trip series, so I'll add some here, starting with a
description of the car.
Emma -- the car's new name -- is a '69 B roadster. She runs great, but
as I've mentioned is about as attractive as an unmade bed. There is a
smattering of superficial rust, nothing terrible though, around the body.
Both door skins have to be replaced. The white paint looks like it was
a brush-on job, but that's going soon. As many of you know, the '69 had
the quirky seats -- '68 style with two-post headrests. Well, the
headrests are missing, but because I'm not too concerned with
originality, I'll likely put '70 or later seats in it. The carpets could
be worse, but I suppose Ill replace them too eventually. The front wires
were completely rebuilt by Dayton, and the rears are in relative need of
the same service. Mechanically, the only glaring thing wrong with her is
that the 3rd gear synchro is starting to go, but I'll probably eventually
switch to an OD tranny anyway. More on Emma's condition and my course of
restoration later. On with the trip saga.
Andy's Trip Part 3
What kind of moron travels to Austin, and doesn't even stay a day to see
the town? Austin, renowned home of Stevie Ray Vaughan, T-Bone Walker and
countless others who have significantly influenced my own musical
direction. Besides, we all "accidentally overslept," and trying to hit
the road after noontime made no sense. One of the best things I've ever
done is spend a day in Austin _ it's easily the best town I've ever been
in outside California besides New York City. Austin might even be more
hip than New York. Besides, I might get to take some interesting photos
Gino sat at the corner of Sixth Street and Trinity. His boots had
nearly worn through, his jeans were already there and not nearly enough
can be said for the sorry state of the hat he wore. He sat on an Army
surplus blanket, guitar case open and freshly re-strung Yamaha acoustic
six string in his hands. Gino was struggling as much to bring his
instrument into tune as he was to bring life into perspective. Without
my tripod, I lay down on the cold Austin sidewalk and captured the
Fujicolor moment from ground level. Gino said I could keep sixty percent
of any profit I made on the picture so long as he got forty, after all,
he was going to be famous someday.
I threw a couple of bucks in his case, and asked if I could come back and
sit in later on. Gino gladly agreed and I was off in search of the
Copper Tank Brewery, which brings me to my next point. I'm a big
believer in the unfair advantage. Not all the time, but just now and
then. Just often enough to hit a homer here or there, not so often
people think you're a f*&^ing knowitall. After two sips of Copper Tank's
dry-hopped White Tail Ale, I asked the barkeep what hops were used in the
brew. He said he didn't know, but guessed there had to be at least two
different kinds. Here comes the unfair advantage part.
"So if I guess which kinds, do I get a free pint?" The barkeep agreed
that the next one would be on his tab if I guessed correctly.
"Cascades," and another sip, "Northern Brewer." I drank for free.
I also looked just shitty enough to sit in with Gino and not look out of
place. Two day growth, filthy jeans and dirty fingernails. Only the F-1
gave away the true purpose of my presence. I was lucky not to be
arrested on suspicion of stealing the old thing. We handed the
guitfiddle back and forth, playing songs, gathering an audience, singing
in two-part harmony and even making a few bucks from passers by.
"Hey, you know Life By The Drop," was the request that came from a
"Sure, in my sleep," I said without thinking. How cheezy is it to be
playing a Stevie Ray Vaughan song while sitting in downtown Austin?
Very, I think. I played the Indigo Girls' version of Romeo and Juliet
too. A lesbian couple walked by toward the end of the song and one of
them blew me a little kiss. Austin was turning out to be just as
progressive as everyone had said, kind of a Berkeley Texas. Some
country-western folks stopped during Melissa Etherege's You Can Sleep
While I Drive (Jenifer's favorite). I think they were under the
impression I was doing a Trisha Yearwood tune. At least they threw in a
dollar or two. Nobody came by during Vincent. Too bad, I thought that
might be a high-dollar song.
So, if anyone wants to buy an enlarged, framed print of Gino, make me an
offer. Nothing over a few hundred will be refused. I'll fly back to
Austin right away and give him his cut and all of mine. The money
doesn't matter, I just want to go to Austin again,... soon!
Dinner at the Airstream Cafe was Austin poking fun at itself. Garish
neon outside and vintage '50s trailer park decor inside, the Airstream
both confirmed and denied all Texas stereotypes. A true Texas paradox.
What can be said of an eatery with aluminum siding on the inside? The
catfish was grilled, the beer was cold, and Austin turned yet colder. I
hoped the B would fire up in the morning.
It took a little coaxing, but the old girl finally did her thing about
8:30 in the morning. Not that I would have minded another day in Austin,
but a business meeting in San Diego loomed, and I had to be home in Palo
Alto by Tuesday night. Where else can you take twentytwotwentytwo to
something called Mopac? I set out and eventually wound up west of Austin
and traveling on 290 once again.
Copyright 1995 Andy Ramm
To Be continued....