Cloister Commentary, Day 162: So Long, Ol’ Splash

Are you someone who actively looks for things to worry about? Then, right after you no longer have to worry about those things, you seek the next gut-roiling concern? And often they aren’t even worrisome things in the first place? Come sit by me.

So long, Splash. The Stooges and SST stickers were the first I ever applied.

I awakened wide-eyed yesterday morning at 4:30 knowing I would be driving my ’93 Ford Ranger Splash 300 miles to Paducah, Kentucky, to hand it off to my longtime fellow Razorback best buddy, Kenny Wright (the first student I met in Fayetteville after my parents dropped my freshman ass off) and his cooler-than-cool wife Gwen, and have a Popeye’s picnic lunch with them in Bob Noble Park–then COVIDly turn around and drive back home. A) Though my garage had prepped the truck carefully for the trip, and the Wrights’ son Ethan (the actual new owner) had bought it new all-weather tires, I kept picturing an axle breaking on me on I-70 and sending me plummeting into the Mississippi to my death (not really possible–that exact accident, that is), or the truck just dying on that suspension bridge. B ) What if they truck crapped out on Kenny on an interstate highway in a torrential rainstorm? These are the concerns that had raised our relatively simple trip to the level of an mythological quest.

The old jalopy ending up hauling ass smoothly to Paducah, and Sir Doug and Chuck Berry helped quell my anxiety. Kenny did get the torrential rainstorm, but not the crap-out. Ethan now must send us pictures of the gradual restoration, and my former students must find another way to identify my presence at the package store.

Nicole, of course, drove our other vehicle to Paducah, too, so I could get back home, and Dead Moon powered us on our return trip. As delicious curbside food and margaritas from La Terraza eased our highway hypnosis, who should call out of the clear blue night but our old pal Bess Frissell! We yelled at each other on speakerphone for about two hours and had a wonderful time. All the time, I silently chided myself for being a worrywart after such a fun day.

But…don’t you think these next two are going to the longest months of our lives?

Streaming for Strivers:

Not bad as tribute albums go.


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