Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Frank Stanford Diary

In Arkansas, they use vines for telephone wires, like on Gilligan's Island.

I'm back in Indiana, where my newspaper delivery lady, Maribel, has started delivering the paper to a different door, and I can't decide if I mind or not. Here is one part of a diary of my weekend in Fayetteville. This part, admittedly, does not have a lot to do with Frank Stanford.

Friday, 6:10 pm, Fort Wayne Int'l Airport

It has been so long since I last flew in a plane and I am surprised to learn that they still want you to only bring small tubes of things on the plane, not big tubes. I brought a small number of books, and have a small amount of change in a pants pocket, but they don't care about that. So my large tube of toothpaste, large and white and tartar-fighting, must go. I even throw it out before I go through the line to save myself the embarrassment of being exposed in front of others as someone who doesn't know about these kinds of things. When I go through, they don't even look in my bag, so I could have saved my toothpaste. I still have my floss, though.

6:45, departing Chicago O'Hare for Fayettville

It is night and downtown Chicago is all lit up below and around my window and I just remembered the Liz Phair song where it goes "I flew into Chicago at night, something something/ it looked like a Galaxie 500 video." I've seen a few Galaxie 500 videos, but don't remember any that look like this, but I am glad that I remembered that line while I was living it out in a way.

When you fly over a city at night and its lights are briefly and suddenly obscured by a soft shape below you, you have just seen a "night cloud," a cloud that is made at night

6:50 (all times are guesses because I don't have a watch)

I just realized that my wife's ipod that I have here has Galaxie 500 on it, so I could have been listening to them while I remembered that line. Minor setback.

9:20, landing in Fayetteville

When all the people around me, the second the pilot says it's okay, pull out their cells and call someone just to tell them "I just landed," the people on the other end should answer "So?"

Saturday, 8:00 am, Motel 6, Fayetteville, Ark.

There are blood stains on my motel wash cloth, and I haven't had a bloody nose and don't remember killing anyone last night.

Last night, when I checked in, the clerk said to me "Are the cops still out there?" "I dunno," I said. "Was there a dust-up?" "Every weekend. The cops come every weekend. It is a good thing," he says.

I like staying in awful motels. It has all the hardships of camping without any of the gratification, so it's more hardcore. I found a cheaper, hopefully more awful, motel closer to the Stanford deal, called "The Chief," so I'm going to move there for tonight.

I sat in the morning sun and watched this string band for an hour.
We talked about our favorite banjo tunings (D and double C) and Ralph Stanley.

8:45, after driving around looking for pancakes.

88.3 FM in Fayetteville is the coolest radio station I have ever heard. So far, though, I am the only person I have seen here who looks like they might entertain the thought of listening to it. What's more, you cannot buy a pancake here, yet all of the people I see look like they would really like pancakes. Fayetteville, I am learning, is a city of contradictions.

There is, literally, not a pancake within 50 miles.
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Dawn Potter said...

I can't wait for part 2 of this diary. When my son was 4, he claimed that W. Virginia was famous for pancakes, but he was only making that up.

Mr. Hill said...

Well, I'm sure it deserves to be more famous than Arkansas is. Maybe they just haven't found a way to apply barbecue technology to pancakes yet.

I'm still editing part 2, so it may be a day.

nathan_fisher said...

You should just publish your diaries.
The "So?" and the pancake lines were gold, Hill.
My aunt got me a journal to write in once I got here, but I've only done it once, on the first night. It's sad.

Mindstroller said...

No pancakes for miles? That's... that's awful! Are you sure? i bet there's some little bed and breakfast that makes pancakes every now and then.

man... no pancakes... what is the world coming too.

Were there waffles? not as good as pancakes but they'll do in a pinch.

RJPickard said...

I could see that "I've landed" conversation leading to some serious awkward silences and, most likely, just how much people care will become exposed.

"I... I thought you'd like to know that I've landed?"


"Well, I... uh..."


"Is this going anywhere? Because I could be watching something silly right now."

More silence.

And then: click.

Hmmm? said...

lol. this was an awesome read. especially the part about the motel.

Katy said...

too bad you hadn't met matt and me yet. we could've told you where the 'secret' pancake places are, like at Rick's Iron Skillet.

glad you found KXUA, I dj'd there back in college. oh, and glad you searched for Irv's film and came across the fest!

Mason said...

Merriweather Post Pavilion --- new AC album title. stoked out of my dome skillet.

Mr. Hill said...

Hey Katy--yeah, I should have met you guys a day earlier. I knew I'd regret missing the Friday reading. Such a great weekend. I would have said goodbye, but you looked so peaceful sleeping on the floor next to Bill cranking through Battlefield.

Mason, have you seen the cover for the new record? At first, you think "that's ugly," and then it starts moving, or squirming, rather, and you can't look away. It's messed up.

That album is going to be so good. It's going to do it all. It will win the Superbowl. It will will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It will rake the leaves in my yard. I cannot wait.

Mason said...

the track Bluish is supposed to be brand new like..not even played live!

RJPickard said...


There is a new AC album coming out... already?

Time sure does fly...