Once a Rambler, Always a Rambler
Once a Rambler, Always a Rambler
So I arrived and checked into my hotel (big ups to Barry for hooking me up with a deal). Feeling the hunger of the day I headed over to the Behle Street Café. Before entering I see a crazy Cinderella carriage outside. The driver is sitting on ledge next to it smoking a cig. I decide that I’ll join him for a smoke and shoot the breeze. His name was Bob and he was 50 years old. He’s been driving this carriage for 3 ½ years with his main man (horse) King who weighs over 2,000lbs. King was an old retired Amish workhouse. He was created in this world to pull and only pull. What a crazy life man? He was very calm as a little girl and her grandmother came out to pet him and admire the carriage. However, he didn’t like his ears to be touched as Bob showed me. Bob used to be a truck driver before taking on this job. He seemed to enjoy the hours and the freedom. He even lived about King’s stable rent free. He said that you get used to the smell after a while and since it was only him and his dog he had no real worries about it. It was a slow night outside, a slight chill waved in the wind. Bob and I got to talk for quite some time. He told me he was from Fort Wayne, Indiana and I discussed my sister Jana and the Children’s Zoo. Bob told me that this zoo was right by where he grew up and that this was the very place he rode his first horse. What a small world man?! My hunger started to get the best of me so I decided to part ways with Bob and King. I told him I would keep an eye out for him and hopefully we’d meet again someday.
As I entered the Behle Street Cafe I found a portabella wrap and Blue Moon to greet me. It was Monday so there was a game on. I had planned on staying 2 days because the weather was going to be pure shit the next day. An hour goes by and a dude rolls in next to me. It was a younger gent from Lake Tahoe who was in for the holidays. We discussed my trip during a smoke and that was about it. He seemed kind, but it just wasn’t that pure human connection. More time passes and another gent comes and sits on my right. He is an older gentleman (maybe mid 40s/early 50s). Again, after being in Korea I am horrible at age guessing. We start talking about the game and how Drew Brees is going to break Dan Marino’s record. Then we talk travel. I tell him my experiences in Asia and he has some of his own. Then he goes into some stories about hitchhiking in the US and Europe. He would Greyhound bus it and then hitch when he didn’t have the money. He worked odd jobs throughout this time to support the trip and just rambled. Now he travels on business and collects vintage cars. I could sense a strong sense of comradery as we sat there and hit the hooch. I won’t go into the whole male bonding scenario, but I will say that it is nice when the older generation understands the younger. I find it hard sometimes for myself to be this open at times. It just seems easier to nod your head at them sometimes. The game ends and Doug is about to head out and catch some rest before he fly’s back to Houston the next day. Before he goes we start chatting about books/authors we enjoy and swap numbers and books. We give a handshake and promise to look each other up when we are somewhere near each other again. Before he goes he pays my tab (probably $60 or so) and his. I just thought he was grabbing me a brew. I couldn’t thank him enough. What a nice dude. As he leaves, I head to the bathroom. At this point the seal has been broken. When I return I pick up my phone and see some cash. I know that I haven’t left this money here. I look closer and realize that it is two $100 bills. Jesse the bartender tells me that Doug ran back in and placed it there. WHAT THE SHIT MAN!!!! Who just gives that kind of money away? I sat there in awe for about 10 minutes. I decided that is was time to go and tossed Jesse a $20. I figured that if I had something righteous happen like this then she should to. I walked the streets alone thinking about how nuts this journey has been so far. The people I have been. The feelings that I’ve felt. The thoughts I’ve thought. It’s just been so nuts man. I can truly do whatever I want right now. True Freedom.