Once upon a time Bill Smith, aka “billy lee” a Louisville poet and writer was leaving to go to Ann Arbor for school. He and his wife was moving way too much stuff to a small college dorm and had rented a moving truck. They asked me to tag along to drive eight hours or so, to help with the move. I was in the truck with another feller and Bill and his wife was in a car. He told me he would buy us dinner. So, off to we went and Bill handed me and the driver of the moving truck ten bean burritos from Taco Belle and off we went to Michigan.
Once I fired a steamboat all the way to West Virginia from Louisville, Kentucky. It took seven days to get there. Something like that.
Once upon a time, I called Sun Ra’s house in Philly, to talk with Marshall Allen about visiting him and the Arkestra. He said come on over.
Went to Philly another time and visited a Sufi mystics fellowship and read some works he wrote that were not published. Ate mung bean curry for the first time. Prayed in his mosque.
Once in NYC, I met Hunter Thompson out on the balcony of the place where a group of beat poets were giving a presentation. He stole my lighter after asking where I was from. I told him, Louavul. He said, “yep, you are.” I didn’t know who he was at the time.
Me and Mark Anthony Mulligan drove to Leitchfield, KY once for fun. He was a homeless person and songwriter, artist who loved old gas station signs. We ate at the all you can eat Chinese buffet and then went home.
Hung out with Wendell Berry once in his truck. My son rode in the back with the dogs. We talked about railroading and sheep. My Son ran off into the woods and found some old glass bottles and a turtle shell.
Went to a biker bar in the West End of Louisville with my Step-Father and Mother once. The women were supposed to tack their panties on the door if it was their first time visiting. My Mom went to the bathroom and took off her grandma panties and put them up. She was my hero. I was maybe twelve at the time.
Saved a train hobo kids life once. He was in Nashville, TN. looking to get the hell out of town. I told him he could ride my train. He was somewhat delirious and overheated and needed help. He rode my train in the second engine and drank water and slept all night with his two pit bulls. I gave him my Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.
Once upon a time, I saw Burrell Farnsley sitting with the bronze statue of his father, Mayor Charles Farnsley. He was sitting on the bench talking with his Dad, or so I found out when I asked him if he wanted a ride. He told me, “yes, let me finish talking with my Father.” Burrell used to come to a book store I worked at and bring muffins and the New York Times to the owner.
Once upon a time, in communication with Rumi translator and poet Coleman Barks, Coleman asked if, “white boys can sing the blues?” I told him that they could and that the blues were blue. He sent me a story about when he used to walk the wharf in Chattanooga, Tennessee and see people dancing on the Delta Queen Steamboat.
Was a judge in the Hobo Olympics out in Mt. Shasta, California once. Met guitar Whitey, he was an old Bo’ from back in the day. Took my son with me so he could see rebellious people. Met Utah Phillip’s Son and we played a gig in the town of Dunsmuir.