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I started this journal a month and a half ago (seems like a long longer) with a post called "prelude," so I'll end it with another nod to Europe '72.

To tie up loose ends:  My rash is gone, and I hope "nothing's gonna bring it back."  The "official" doctor (dermatologist) took a biopsy and a blood sample when I got back to Atlanta.  After about 10 days of waiting for results (couldn't I have died or something in that amount of time?), they came back showing nothing wrong with me.  He speculated I had a reaction to drugs (not that kind) or vitamins / herbs I was taking.  I don't think that's the case, because I hadn't taken anything new or different for months.  On the other hand, I went to my "unofficial" doctor (chiro and reflexologist) the same day.  He did the reflexology routine on me and said immediately (didn't have to wait 10 days) everything pointed to a fungal infection of some sort.  Hello!   I noticed the rash the day after I'd done yoga in the funkiest smelling Bikram studio I've ever been in -- and I've been in a dozen or so.  And when I say funky smelling, I don't mean locker-room "sweaty,"  I mean a reek of funk like I've never smelled before in my life.  I used a mat and towels provided by the studio; I breathed the air in the studio; I took a shower in the studio -- and I don't know what it was, but I'm convinced I got it there.  Score one for the chiro-wack-job and zero for the guy from med school.

Pamella's daughter Izzy has recovered nicely from her broken shoulder / arm and is doing OK.

I'm digging my short hair, but missing my dreads. 

Worst experiences of trip: the rash, thinking I'd lost my video camera.

Best experiences: Terry Riley at Carnegie Hall, the closing-of-The-Spectrum show, Love, the Andre lookalike, seeing three southern shows with Pamella, Westville, seeing friends, friends, friends.

Now I'm off to -- well, I'm actually already in -- Wrightsville Beach, NC for 6 months.  See you at RatDog in Atlanta and Wilmington.


you wanna know about my mother?


There's a classic scene from Blade Runner in which a skin job / replicant is being interviewed to determine if he is indeed, not human. 

Interrogator:  Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about your mother.


Leon:  My mother?


Interrogator:  Yeah.


Leon:  Let me tell you about my mother . . .

Whereupon the replicant, Leon, blows away the interrogator with a weapon he had concealed underneath a table. 

So, let me tell you about my mother.  She is prim, proper, very conservative, deeply Southern, born again, healthy, dresses well, plays bridge, hard-of-hearing, and, she hates my dreads.  As I said in an earlier post, one of the reasons to cut them was that it would please my parents.

Since I was out of town mother's day, I had made plans to have dinner with them at a nice restaurant in Atlanta, after I returned (dreadless) from Seaside.  We met at Bone's, which dictated my attire for the evening: a suit and tie.  My parents were doo-ly impressed with my new doo ("so handsome," "the best hair cut you've had," etc.) and my mother mused out loud that now, I could actually come to her funeral.  (She was only half-joking.)

They were very happy; they hated the dreads.

I had asked for a quiet table, because both parents have a hard time hearing, and we were seated in a section of the "wine room" where there were just two other tables besides ours.  Things are fine for a while, until four burly-guy / expense-account dudes are seated at the table next to ours.  Immediately the volume level goes up about a thousand percent as they yuck-it-up, talk business, revile colleagues, make deals, schmooze, have drinks and generally do what guys do at a business dinner at a fine steak house.  Both my parents are rolling their eyes at this point, huffing disapproval, complaining that they can't hear (I've been through this many times before, so I commiserate) -- until my father gets up to say something to the maitre d', who, of course, can't really go up the the offending table and tell them to shut up.  Still, he apologizes to us and says he'll see what he can do (which, again, is nothing).  So we put up with the noise for another couple of minutes, at which point my prim / proper / conservative deep-South mother pipes up with a voice that could be heard throughout half the restaurant: "EXCUSE ME, COULD YOU QUIET DOWN?  WE CAN'T EVEN HEAR OURSELVES THINK OVER HERE."

That did the trick. 

Oh, and the maitre d' comped our bottle of wine, I overtipped and we had as nice a mother's day dinner as you can imagine.

BTW, my dad is standing directly in front of a caricature of Phil Walden, Southern record impressario and driving force behind the Allman Brothers Band.  You can see his signature just above my dad's head.

nice review

of "In C" in Chicago's Time Out.  The writer (Steve Dollar) used to cover music in Atlanta.

the dreads gots to go

No soundtrack yet; I'll repost with music in a couple of days.


 A primer by noted architecture critic Witold Rybczynski on the town where Row Jimmy resides is here.   Wiki here.   "Mezmerizing" Seaside from The Atlantic.

row jimmy.

the second day of the rest of its life for my hair.

dreadless in seaside

first pic after first shampoo.

don't hang your head
5 .9 .09 -- Seaside, Row Jimmy

Todd and I get back from lunch, and I get to work on logistics: making sure cameras work, the photo backdrop, the music, etc.   Holmes takes some final dreads shots. We're doing this outside, on the side porch, where there's very little breeze.  It's almost 90 degrees and I'm already sweating.  Two o'clock arrives and it's time to start.  I make the first cut, Melissa (hair-cutting professional, who's going to shape things up after the carnage) the next, then Lisa Marie, Holmes and Rhanatah.  Then me again.  Everyone gets three or four cuts, and I do the rest.  Todd is the only one who doesn't make a cut because he's behind the camera.

I'm not really having any "feelings" about the process.  I'm more concerned with not cutting my fingers, wiping the sweat off my face, making sure all the photos are getting taken, making sure the cut dreads are attached to the mannequin correctly.  I'm hoping the transfer of dreads, one-by-one, from my head to the mannequin will make a somewhat wacky time-lapse video.

So why now?  Well, it's been five years, and that's quite a while to be doing anything.  The dreads are anywhere from one to two feet in length, and probably look as good as they're going to.  Once they start getting too long, and instead of framing the face the appearance is that of a set of ropes hanging from the head, they're not for me.  (The guys in the bands refer to dreaded fans as "ropeheads," btw.)  As I said, earlier, I had pledged to myself to cut them during this annual trip, and I didn't want to wait another year, plus, in the summertime nothing'll make you hotter than a head-full-o-locks.  Also, my elderly parents hate them, so it'll be a nice mother's day present when I see them next week.  Life is about moving on; here I go.  As the song says, don't look back.  Row, row, row.

melissa.  look out -- she's a professional.

last dread standing.

"broken heart don't feel so bad / ain't got half of what you thought you had"

julie catch a rabbit by his hair
5 .9 .09 -- Seaside: the porch, Row Jimmy

the first cut . . .

is the deepest?

no.  it's just the first cut.

29 more to go.


5 .9 .09 -- Seaside, lunchtime

Todd and I go to Goatfeathers for my final meal, or, I should say, my final meal with dreads.  The fried seafood platter for the condemned, fish sandwich for T.  Back at the house I line up the soundtrack for the shearing:  Oakland, 12 .26 .79, "
Uncle John's Band > Estimated > He's Gone" (reasons: I wouldn't have grown dreads were it not for "uncle John's" band, "Estimated" is a reminder of my days in the Jesus commune way back when, and "He's Gone" . . . well, pretty obvious: the dreads will be gone [and nothing's gonna bring them back?]).  If we're still working on them after that, it's a hometown fave:  Atlanta, 5 .19 .77, "Row Jimmy" (the name of my house) and the classic second set sequence: "Terrapin > Playin > UJB > drums > The Wheel . . ." (great versions all, from a show I wish I'd seen, but I was hanging at the aformentioned commune at the time) -- and we'd better be finished / documenting the trimming by then.

the toddster.

left over from philadelphia

We stopped for supplies on the way to the show and parked right in front of an incredible mural painted on the side of a building that houses the American Buddhist Association.  There were a couple of panels whose art / subjects felt very Dead-like:

the mural.

first panel.

second panel.