Thanksgiving Dispatch

luis

Dear Amigos and Loyal Readers, Thanksgiving: I could say thank you for two weeks solid. So I was driving to work last week, on my way to be the Official Writer that students can hang out with. From Naperville to Chicago, it takes about an hour and a half. I drive down our big cross-street, which is Ogden. Ogden is also, for much of its length, Route 66. You can imagine how much I enjoy it -- The Atomic Bitchwax on the stereo, the endless happy Route 66 sights bringing me small joys. The old patches of 1950s woods and meadows left between mini-malls and car dealerships. The old remnant farmhouses and ancient repair shops. The signs: "God Bless America Brats $2.99" -- where else but Chicago would offer a God Bless America bratwurst sub? Osama never imagined we'd employ our 9" brats with onions and cheese against him! Down near Ogden and Austin, there's a fiberglass giant holding a big hot dog. You know this giant. In National City CA, he holds tires. There is one of them near Lyons CO. He's sometimes the Carpet Giant, and he's sometimes the Muffler King, and he's sometimes The Tire Monster. Sometimes he wear a turban. Here he's Paul Bunyan. I was driving my trusty Jeep. Here I'll shill for them and hope they send me a check: my Cherokee is the best thing I ever bought, Except maybe for the first Blue Cheer album. It has 103,000+ hard miles on it, and aside from some repair work Cinderella and I did with duct tape and wire hangers somewhere in the Texas panhandle, it has run loyally and eagerly, panting like a wild horse for the next horizon. The car has Louisiana plates, a University of Colorado sticker in the window, a University of Illinois parking tag hanging from the rearview, a Tucson residential parking sticker in the back, and a California inspection sticker in the corner of the windshield. My hopeless gypsy ways. Ogden! Every few days, I drag myself into a.m. traffic and turn right, heading east. I know that in the other direction, the Nation awaits. St. Louis and the Mississippi. Tucumcari and Albuquerque, the petroglyphs on Black Mesa, and the "sky city" of Acoma. The Sandias and the Sangre de Cristos and the Rockies and the Sierras. Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon. Los Angeles. The Pacific Ocean. My cross street in the old farmlands of black soil Illinois leads to Los Angeles! How could you not be thankful? One day, I'm gonna turn left, not right ... and we'll head home to the West. Meet you there. L

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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