My friend Baumgart picked up a hitchhiker coming down from Seattle to San Francisco one year in the early 70's and stopped in Roseburg to have breakfast. The police saw the long hair and rousted the both of them, finding a small amount of marijuana in the hitchhiker's backpack. Roseburg. The judge looked at my friend Baumgart at the end of the trial and suggested buying breakfast in Roseburg was one hell of a crime against humanity and threw out the charges. Baumgart was relieved. Baumgart has never returned to Roseburg and I have avoided returning until now.
To meet, of course, my email friend MSM on my way up to Portland. Other than Steve Amaya and Chuck and Beth Atkins, whom I met in LA, I've not met someone through the journal. I figured, well, the worst that can happen is an interesting conversation and if she's got the courage to meet some guy she's only read through a DSL line, then so do I.
She's asked if she can watch over my shoulder as I write and my secret reaction is that watching a journal being written is a bit like watching paint dry. She is being nice. It took the first thirty or forty years of my life to figure out that people don't always mean what they say when they tell you they'd like to watch you (build a model airplane, write ad copy for a sewing machine company, paint your nose red in preparation for a Halloween party). Actually, the nose painting might pass, but that could be the photographer talking. But maybe so. Maybe so.
Saturday, early evening. Long drive up the Oregon coast and back to Roseburg. We decided last night that MSM would come by the motel in the morning and we'd drive up the coast to look around, have a proper greasy breakfast in a place that wasn't cloned right down to the napkins in every town, state and nation, taking its orders lockstep over the Internet. Which we did, driving until we found the house used in the motion picture Sometimes A Great Notion. I always thought Kesey's book, Sometimes a Great Notion was his best and the movie (Paul Newman, Henry Fonda) really good, but, for whatever reason, never particularly appreciated by the public.
Anyway, the house used in the movie sits just off Highway 101 on the Seletz river and we decided to find it and shoot photographs. A lot farther up the coast than we understood and we ended up driving ten hours up and back, less time for breakfast and dinner at a seafood restaurant on the ocean. Oysters and salmon chowder. Salmon chowder. It was good. Honest.
So I write this in the early evening, having cracked a bottle of the good stuff, Coca Cola circa last month, sitting up in the Oregon woods discussing art and life and salmon chowder.