Where do I begin? I have so much to catch up on. First of all, I forgot to report in my last posting that the movie set in Albuquerque called me last Tuesday, the day before I left Hawaii. The casting company representative asked me if I could show up on Wednesday, the next day. Um. No. So that’s it folks. You won’t be seeing my smiling face in the diner scene in the upcoming feature film, “The Lost Room”. It just wasn’t meant to be.
A little correction from my Trip Diary Chapter 1… My friend Lori in San Diego sent me an e-mail today with the following:
“I can’t write much now, but I did find a historical error in your Feelings Aloud blog. It was Brigham Young who made the trek out to Utah. Joseph Smith was murdered before Young took over the church and went out west. 🙂 “
Joseph Smith was murdered? Who knew? Lori knew. I stand corrected. So it’s Brigham Young who knows a good spot when he sees one.
Nebraska actually went by pretty quickly. I do recall that it was quite pretty. Then came Iowa – beautiful rolling hills, farmland, nice wide-open freeways, and a great diner called “The Village” in the town of Walnut. When my dad and I walked into the place it was completely empty. Granted, it was 10 a.m., but to me it’s a little ominous and disconcerting when you walk into an empty restaurant. It sort of feels like you’re the only one who didn’t ‘hear the news’. I nervously commented to Joan, our waitress, that I noticed the cavernous feel to the place and she agreed that it was strange. Joan was blessed with a cheerful smile along with a set of comforting midwestern eyes, so I ordered eggs with pancakes. Yes. Pancakes! Breakfast was superb. No disappointments there. And then I asked Joan for a “Feelings Aloud” video interview. It was easy as pie because Joan had no other customers to wait on and she was a natural. What an inspiring lady! Funny thing though, customers began to file in just as we were wrapping things up.
To bring you up to date, we arrived in La Crosse, Wisconsin last night where my dad and I had dinner with two of his brothers (my uncles) that I haven’t seen since I was 12. How wonderful is that? It was wonderful to me. Oh yes, and we were also greeted with a barrage of tornado warnings blazing across the TV screen all evening. Tornado? I was far too tired to be frightened by such things. I slept through it all. Everything was intact in the morning. Whew!
Today my dad drove us all over La Crosse whereby I began a new documentary project – Dad’s Home Town (Memories Included). It’s sort of an out-of-the-car-window tour of a mix between his childhood haunts and memories with a touch of my own. Have you ever returned to see a house that you lived in as a child? I must say, there is a certain phenomenon that occurs. In your mind and imagination, there lives a GIANT mansion-sized house with acres and acres of grass in which to play. And then comes reality. I actually had an uncomfortable physical reaction when my adult self pulled up on the curb only to find that the house in my mind’s eye was nowhere to be seen. This happened today looking at two houses that I lived in as a child (age 9 and 10). Where were the castles on the hill? Instead I was staring at two tiny little houses with postage stamp sized yards. I could literally feel a jarring sensation in the center of my head and all over my skin. What??? That’s not the right house!!! Indeed they were. The correct addresses were clear as day. What is that? I felt a mixture of disillusion, disappointment and confusion that held over for several hours. I’m OK with it now, but will probably ponder this reaction for some time to come. It was almost like a collision between my mind today and my feeling memories from the past. I find myself wanting to forget what I saw today and return to the good feelings from the past!
For me one of the highlights of the day was when I ‘tested’ myself by guiding my dad from the old house where we used to live to the elementary school that I last walked to when I was 10 years old. It was about 7 or 8 blocks from the house. Even though there were three turns in the path, I was able to direct him precisely to the school grounds. I was amazed and so was he!
Tomorrow we’ll do more of the ‘home town’ and beyond tour. And who knows, perhaps there will be another “Feelings Aloud” interview just waiting to happen somewhere along the way…