NOTES FROM MY JOURNAL
4:00 Sunday afternoon [August 1997]— on our way back from Kingman—Happy because we found a K-Mart and a Denny’s—but that’s only because the stretch of the old Route 66 we had to drive (from Seligman) had no food services. Hungover from a margarita debauch last night, we were really hungry—
Notes from yesterday in Williams: Idea for a song “She left me in Williams for a Cowboy named Bill” — Sign over a doorway of a shop “On this site in1897 nothing happened” — Another one in the bar — “No minors allowed on premises w/out parent, legal guardian or spouse.” Plastered in Paris. The old cowboys—big gut—no butt. A local asks the German tourists playing shuffle board (an impossibly long alley—twice as long as any I’ve seen growing up) “Do you want to know how to keep score?” — “No, because we don’t want to pay.”
Paul gets a couple of drinks for us from the bar—the bartender sets them up w/ “Here ya go, Shorty.” —then there’s the guy in the baseball cap bent over his beer. He’s impossibly thin—bony knees angling through his jeans. Suddenly he’s in an argument with the fingers on the hand that ain’t holding the beer—hand don’t work no more. He can’t focus on anything that’s moving & can’t figure out why. He’s in turtle mode—head down hung from the thread of his self. He’s asking why all the time now.
I bought moccasins (at Janie’s suggestion—for the downward trek to the canyon floor—turns out they’re made of moose)—Then there was a huge moose head over the door in the Sultana Bar. There’s a soft spot in my heart tonight for these drunken men. Doors on the juke box “Break on through to the other side”—And in this bar in Williams—Basques—How do I know? This little guy with the silver hair and the toothpick sounds just like Mario.
All these Europeans in town—like Everett Ruess wrote—white men fuck things up.
Good god—I think I’m falling for country. Guys leaning down for the photo finish on the shuffleboard—tight jeans are the cowboy’s girdle—yesterday we went out to the cowboy dance at the rodeo grounds. A wonderful place—every man hatted. Women in tight jeans and big hair. Dad’s dancing around the floor with babes in arms. Little kids dancing with little kid seriousness.