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Chapter 27 - THE BUS HAIR SPECIAL

After our concert at Konocti, we re-boarded the bus and spent the next hour and a half careening through the night, down the coastal mountain range east toward interstate 5. Once we connected up to the interstate, we would make a right turn and head south to San Diego. Of course, this period of time was officially designated on the "Land Yacht Bar & Deli" as Happy Hour!

We reached I-5 at about 2:00 am and still had about another eight hours of steady driving ahead of us before we would get to Humphrey's. All the food and drinks we had consumed through happy hour, coupled with a grueling travel day had the desired affect of unwinding us. Hopefully, enough to actually get some sleep in those terrible bouncing bunks. It was now a straight shot south to San Diego with the monotonous din of a large diesel engine to lull us to sleep while 'Jeff the Invincible' was at the wheel listening to AC/DC blasting "Highway to Hell" in his headphones.

As I climbed into my assigned cubicle for an attempt at some sleep, I couldn't help but think of how long ago I first took this same interstate to Los Angeles and how much had happened over the many years that I had traveled on this highway. Back in '65, I drove down to La-La land in my '58 Chevy hardtop, fully loaded with drums, clothes and a stereo. I thought I had everything a young bachelor needed to survive in the big city. Whew! Did I have a lot to learn... but that's another story.

By the time we were descending into the L.A. basin, everyone was awake with blood shot eyes and various versions of the latest styles in 'bus hair,' along with a cup of hot bean drink for our caffeine kick-start ritual. It was a gorgeous morning and we had just a couple of hours to go. I was especially excited because my wife, Michele, was going to meet me at Humphrey's. It had been over a month since I last saw her and I was as excited as a 'lifer' at Folsom prison getting a conjugal visit.

This was the second time I would be going through L.A., just a few miles from my house, and once again I would have to be satisfied with a mobile communication with my wife on the cell phone. Although, this time I knew it would only be a few more hours until I could actually be with her so it wasn't quite as difficult as the last time I called from the "Desert Flyer" while we were on our way to Redwood City.

We finally rolled in to Humphrey's at around 11:00 am. and emerged from the 'Land Yacht' in our public parade of 'bus hair' styles. I have to admit, after the previous 24 hours we all looked pretty funky. We did not look like the kind of people you would want your children to see or associate with as we passed through the lobby. We were a rather motley looking crew, to say the least. Fortunately, I had a couple of hours to at least clean up my act before my wife arrived at the hotel. I didn't think that a wrinkled, 'slept in,' Santa Monica bum look would be very presentable.

I was only an hour or so away from a long awaited reunion with Michele and two wonderful days together in San Diego. Then we were going to drive up the coast together for the next concert in L.A. and I'd get to spend one night in my own home before the next marathon drive through the land of Roadzilla. But at the moment, time wasn't moving fast enough to accommodate my anxiety. It was all at once as bad, and as good, as waiting for Christmas morning. You know, that kind of feeling.

You know the country song; "How can I miss you if you won't go away"? Well, I strongly suggest that for the sake of your relationship, you try getting away from each other once in a while. It can't hurt and it just might make you appreciate your significant other a little more and both of you may be less likely to take each other for granted. Although I hate to be away from Michele for weeks at a time, these separations make our life together just that much sweeter when I return home after a tour. Parting may be "sweet sorrow" but on the other hand the reunions are absolutely amazing! :-)


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