On the road again

I was driving home from work tonight, and I saw a semi with a bike attached to it. This made me wonder, does the semi driver like to get out and ride his bike for fun at truck stops? Did he pick up a bike-riding hitchhiker?

Then for no real reason, I started missing my road trips with my father.

From the year 2000 until we moved away in 2007, my father and I both lived in Los Angeles. It wasn't intentional; I moved there to be with Marvin, and he moved there for a job. It was exciting, though, because we hadn't lived in the same city since 1978 or so, after he and my mother got divorced.

Well. He and I did live in Atlanta together for about six weeks when I was 22, but it turns out? The two of us as roommates? Not such a stellar idea.

But what we are good at is going on road trips. And when we lived in LA we went on them all the time. I think I might have told you before how we went to the Mike the Headless Chicken festival in Colorado.

In the 1940s, I think it was, a farmer cut off a chicken's head, and the chicken lived. Go look it up. I am not kidding you. His brain stem remained attached or something. So they named the poor thing Mike and hit the road with this creature. Every year in Fruita, Colorado they have a festival for the chicken (he lived for two years) that includes a Peep-eating contest, a football game with a raw chicken (okay, so did not participate in that), a chicken dance marathon (so did participate), headless chicken cookies, and oh! So much more.

And do you think I can find a single ding dang ding photograph of that trip? Whose idea was it to put all my pictures in these stupid photo boxes? Anyway, here's a picture of dad and me a few years before that trip.

Throw 001

I do not know why they cut my hair and dressed me like a male. Clearly their attempts to make me masculine did not remotely work, so thanks for the whole free-to-be lack of stereotype thing, folks. Where's the pink?

On some other road trip, my father made a CD of all cowboy songs from the '30s and '40s. There was one song that was just all about dust, and we became obsessed with it and kept playing it over and over.

Another time all we listened to was The Beastie Boys. We just flipped the tape over. That was back when you still flipped tapes over.

Something ridiculous happens on all of our road trips. Once we were at a bar, a karaoke bar, in a trailer park. On Salisbury Steak Lane. No, I am not making that up. Anyway, there was a guy at the bar who bought drinks for the house. We thanked him, and he said, "Well, hey, it's Saturday night."

You guys. It was like Wednesday night. Which was kind of why buying drinks for the house was easy. There were about four of us at the karaoke bar in the trailer park that night. But I am just telling you. You go on road trips with my father, you end up finding places like that.

So I was thinking I should call him and make him come to Greensboro and go on a road trip with me, but he has a girlfriend now and they just met, so you know it'd be hard to convince him to visit at this juncture.

He told me I could tell you all about his new girlfriend, by the way. "Hey, why don't you talk about my new girlfriend on your blog?" he asked.

"Well, I hardly mention you at all on my blog. Why would I suddenly discuss your love life? Plus, in a million years I never thought you'd want me to tell it on my blog."

"No, go ahead," he said. "People will be interested."

Fifteen 001

Okay, this is not his new girlfriend. It is me when I'm 15. Let's pause and enjoy dad's 'fro. Yes. I know I look like him. I'd look more like him if I didn't Nair.

So, my father has a girlfriend, and she is AGE APPROPRIATE! Everyone is kind of excited about it. Also, she is artsy and stuff, which is good because dad likes that kind of a thing. Also too, she has a dog, which right there she must be okay, if you ask me.

But I'm just saying. I have a hankerin' to get back on that road. Find me a headless something to celebrate, you know? Sing about dust.

For these things, sometimes a girl needs her daddy.

40 thoughts on “On the road again

  1. O.K., so here’s the thing. I seem to be about the same age as your father. I am assuming that was him on the other side of the circle when we were all watching dirt being invented. My wife and I grew up in L.A. and only left there about five years ago to live in TN. I think I could mosey over there to NC and go on a road trip with you if you like. We would have to work out some details like you pay for everything and I’ll drive.
    Oh, and you have to figure out how to keep my wife from killing us both. But otherwise, it’s a go from this end.

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  2. OK, how did the chicken eat and breathe? I’d Google it but I’ve got kids screaming “Mom” in some sort of attempt to delay their bedtime. Must go and make sure it isn’t fire or flood related.

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  3. And yes when I saw him I immediately thought “That must be where June gets all that VOLUME!!”
    btw- I am also voluminously afflicted, but might have it in remission right now.

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  4. Oh my gosh. I just saw how if I hold my cursor over the photos on your blog, evidently the file names or something come up. eatdrapes… slutty… I’m going to be busy for the next 15 minutes.

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  5. June, that was a sweet blog about your Dad, and the pics were so appropriate to post. You do indeed look just like him, hair volume and all. Good thing you Nair, huh?

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  6. I like that story about the headless chicken. Why not have a festival about that?
    But I’m having a lot of trouble co-ordinating those 2 pics of your dad in my mind. That’s not quite the right word. Um, how did he get from there to there is what I’m saying. I scrolled back and forth several times—it looks like 2 different people. I’m going to need some photos from the in between or something. The evolution of your dad’s hair kind of thing.
    See June’s Dad? I’m not interested in your girlfriend, but you hair. My dad is bald, what can I say?

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  7. You are killin’ me tonight. Mike the Headless Chicken!! And do you know, that THIS COMING WEEKEND is the festival in Fruita? I think I’ll have to email my gal pals that live next door to Fruita and remind them to get over and get some headless chicken cookies.
    I, too, love road trips, but cannot imagine taking one with my dad….as an adult. I am planning a really kick-butt road trip to Nebraska for Memorial Weekend to see my 85 year old grandparents. Dragging the Lil Puncs 6 hours in a car to the middle of Nebraska should be a HOOT. I’ll be sure to bring Hi-C for some drinking-and-driving games. Ya know, to keep me sane.
    p.s. is there anything you HAVEN’T done?

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  8. Oh, and you don’t even want to know how many times my family has had the discussion about how Mike was kept alive by the farmer poking corn down it’s “neck”.
    I cannot believe I just typed that.

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  9. Aren’t chickens girls, and roosters boys? So, was Mike a headless transvesdite chicken on a ventilator, pulling around a mini IV thing? Now THERE’S a festival.
    At least I’m not confused on where you inherited your hair.

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  10. That’s very sweet. However, you do look like a little boy in the first picture. You make up for it in the second picture though. At least you dont have a mullet. I had a mullet…not funny.

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  11. Is this a prequel to your Father’s Day tribute in June, June? I kill myself. He’s right. You haven’t mentioned him very much, and I do find various aspects of your family life interesting. In addition to obligatory photos of Henry, we could also get various shots of your father. (Psst. What’s Henry up to?) 😉

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  12. Is this a prequel to your Father’s Day tribute in June, June? I kill myself. He’s right. You haven’t mentioned him very much, and I do find various aspects of your family life interesting. In addition to obligatory photos of Henry, we could also get various shots of your father. (Psst. What’s Henry up to?) 😉

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  13. Is this a prequel to your Father’s Day tribute in June, June? I kill myself. He’s right. You haven’t mentioned him very much, and I do find various aspects of your family life interesting. In addition to obligatory photos of Henry, we could also get various shots of your father. (Psst. What’s Henry up to?) 😉

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  14. He is holding glacier sunglasses. They were the rage in 1980. Dad always had a convertible, so sunglasses were key. He still has a convertible. I didn’t mention our road trips often took place in a convertible. Very Thelma and Louise. Except one of us is a boy. I’d say “except one of us has facial hair” but that isn’t true.

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  15. Maybe the bike is so he can leave his truck at truck stops and still get to the store or a restaurant or some such?
    Those road trips sound really great. What kind of festivals are there in NC? There’s a delightful (HOT) peach festival in Gilbert, SC in July (SO HOT). We also have a chitlin strut, a poultry festival, an okra strut, and a peanut party.

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  16. Oh I just looked up Mike the headless chicken. It is REAL! How could I doubt you June.
    Now listen everyone, the festival is this weekend, so if we all hurry we can all meet up at the festival and have lots of fun doing the headless chicken dance with June.
    ROAD TRIP!!!!

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  17. I think our parents dressed all of us like you were dressed in the picture, it was the era. I remember having an outfit in kindergarten that was a goldenrod colored turtleneck and some awesome lookin’ dark plaid pants. And, the haircut, very similar to your’s… what were our parents thinking?

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  18. Coincedentally, today would have been my father’s seventieth birthday. He committed suicide twelve years ago. I miss him every day, but on this day in particular. I would take him out to lunch, just the two of us and we would laugh and come back home with private jokes that made us laugh out loud at the most inapropriate moments.
    Find time to go on your roadtrip, June. Come back and share the private jokes with us.

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  19. That was one of your best posts, I love it. I almost felt like I was there, your dad has to be a hoot to have fathered you! But I missed the daily Henry photo. That is the cutest kitten in the world!!!!

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  20. How much do I love those pictures of you and your dad?
    Great stories. Makes me want to call my own dad and ask him why he never took me on any great road trips.

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  21. ::gasp:: noodlin festival! what’s THAT?!
    As best I can tell, ‘strut’ is just used in place of ‘party’ or ‘festival’ or ‘jamboree’ to mix things up, so they just made up a meaning the word doesn’t really have. Maybe you have to strut around sort of like a chicken. Or an okra.

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  22. Junie,
    Great photos of you and your papa. Love them. I remember your Dad always having a lot of hair – I don’t remember him looking at all like that first photo. But, then again, you know how fabulous my memory can be!
    Do you remember when a burgler broke into your room? I think you were sleeping over at my house. That’s another good story for the blog.
    Thanks for the great post today!

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  23. Culpepper,
    That was at the studio where my father worked. His friend took the picture. We breezed in to say hi, sat on those cinder blocks like it was comfy, and breezed out. I think some other real photography was going on and we interrupted it.
    Did I know someday there’d be such a thing as the Internet, and I’d be showing this photo to the world? I did not.

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  24. The cinder blocks and the white towel under your butts are a nice touch to this picture. Who knew there would be an internet much less a phone that would be small enough to carry yet powerful enough to look at your blog and show my friends at the dentist cute pictures of Henry. Love me some technology!

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  25. A noodlin’ festival is where you go to the creek and find a big ol’ whole right beneath the water and you stick your arm in it and hope a big catfish bites it. Whoever catches the biggest fish wins.Most of them bring back a 60 pounder..or more

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  26. For those of you going to the festival, stick around Saturday night for Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes. Ralph is a Western Colorado legend and a great show. Especially in his bra and panties.

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