Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Different out here. Lots of hardf working farmers.... and people who grew up with farm-work ethics. Pragmatic to the finish.
The sun was getting low as I neared Indianapolis, and there was something… low-slung and hard-eyed about the look of things... in a cool way. No nonsense. Stringy and Practical...LEAN. I saw one particular street-rod go past me that was low and mean looking, painted flat-black with a roof only four feet off the ground, and that sort of ...illustrated my feelings. Lost off an exit in the city, I had two different guys blaze past my on snarling Japanese motorcycles (PS..you get tired of seeing only Harley’s out on the highways); both helmet-less, both looking serious and businesslike. Indiana…no more signs of East Coast culture here… Chicago ios the magnet, and you’re deep into the vast Farmbelt of America now, oceans of corn, achingly frugal farm houses full of simple-living people that live for football and their local Christ Tabernacle church. Churches everywhere, all flavors and then some. Signs by the side of the road, “Will YOU go to HELL?”.. or, “JESUS LOVES YOU EVEN THOUGH NO ONE ELSE MAY”… “JESUS is LORD”, or simply, “REPENT NOW!”...."BURNING HOLY FIRE EVANGELIST TEMPLE" with one small white-washed building.
I got lost on the outskirts of Indianapolis, and was looking to change lanes when a low-slung cop car roared past me… a new Camaro I think it was, done up in black and white with a huge five-point sherrif’s badge or something on the door, and I realized this is John Dillinger Country. No wonder so many Depression gangsters either came from Indiana or disappeared into it; it’s huge and empty and covered with nameless, tract-less, seamless country dirt roads that wind into rural Oblivion. In 2010 the cops are still using bad-ass touring sedans to run down the gangsters.
But it goes to show that this is what America is back to again since the Depression: men scouring the country for any work they can get to feed their families back home, driving in rattly trucks and living six to a Motel 6 room.
Later I went over to the “Blue Bar” at the Holiday Inn and at the bar met one guy who’s uncle comes from Poughkeepsie, had been over there may times. Another drunken chap at the bar, humorous guy named “Chaz” from southern Indiana… knew a lot about geology and Literature… said the Catskills and southern Indiana mountains look exactly the same because they were made by the same glacier. Ahh.. Hm. Then we got to talking about the Grateful Dead and look out, broither, we were off and running, as he has been to quite a few Midwest shows… said Deer Creek was always awesome. We closed the bar together after playing Duanne Allman’s endless (20 minute) masterpiece, Mountain Jam, TWICE in a row, and the fat chick helping the sullen, even-fatter bartender, threw us out, almost bodily, at midnight. I gave the guy a piece of paper and my e-mail address. Funny guy... the kind of people you hope to meet on the Road and learn about what Life is really about in other places.
On the way back to the hotel I noticed a shuddering feeling in my front disc brakes. Concerning.
Back at the room I turned on the TV to find cheap porno raging. Good for a laugh… why can’t more expensive hotels provide that?