“Pancho, where can I get something to eat, you know some good Mexican food”
“Allsups, what is that Spanish for, is it a sit down restaurant or what?”
“You can sit down if you want, but it is a gas station you stupid gringo.”
“Gas station, you mean an old gas station converted to a Mexican restaurant?”
“No man, like 7-11, mini mart, kum n go, convenience store!”
So Pancho Villa sends me to a place called Allsups for good Mexican food and you know what, he was right! There should be a law against it, the first deep fried beef and bean burrito was so damn good I had to go get another. It is a good thing they don’t have Allsups close to where I work and I later find out people line up at lunch time for Allsups burritos all throughout Texas. Oh yeah, I am headed to Texas now and trying to figure out the directions Pancho gave me.
Not in Texas yet though, still having a good time in New Mexico and road 518 out of Taos south is magical and puts me in a great mood along with a full belly. Eventually I find my way to Las Vegas and a crazy man collecting cans at of all places, Allsups. He stands behind cars and screams at them as they try to back up, eventually the manager comes out and screams at him to move, the car backs out and leaves and then the routine starts all over again. I watch with amazement as this scene repeats itself 3 or 4 times and wonder what kind of scam or game this is. He never asks for money, he just screams in some language that isn’t Spanish but some kind of “grunting scream talk”. I decide this is getting weird and starting to hear Alfred Hitchcock in my ear so I try to leave and he is behind me screaming at me. I shut the bike down, get off and decide to go inside and ask the manager to make him move and the man runs off down the street screaming. This land of enchantment is starting to make sense to me now because I am sure there is peyote in the beef and bean burrito’s Allsups sells.
Conference call meeting time. I have said it before but if I don’t do some work during these trips then there is no way I can be gone this long without guilt so I try to cover the important stuff while on the road and often have the best seat and view of anyone on the calls. I am lucky to have a job where I can still work from about anyplace and sometimes anyplace is subject only to my creativity and current location. Today it is Tucamcari New Mexico at a road side table area.
Those who know me at work, have seen this before, but when I think, I scribble. The more scribbles the harder I am thinking and the better the meeting. This meeting wasn’t too bad.
Someday, most likely in enchanted New Mexico a 1000 years from now somebody will find these notes and claim they have some alien meaning and are really ancient hieroglyphics.
Tucamcari, love saying that word. On Route 66 and this office could have been used by travelers since 1937. Right next to the radio station KQAY that was also crackling on automobile tube radios.
Road side stops, road side rest area, road side tables, is pure Americana. Who hasn’t stopped at one and if like me growing up traveling to grandma’s house in the back seat of a 4 door Ford then you have stopped at a lot of them. I remember the ones in Texas the most because that was the road to Grandma’s house from Kansas. My favorite; Cross Plains Texas where there was a rope hung in a tree where me and little brother would swing over the creek while dad opened the trunk, grabbed a cold Coors from the metal ice chest, wrapped it in a red mechanics rag (pre koozie days) and holler at us two brothers to get off the rope. We always had a trunk full of Coors on our trips to grandma’s house in Texas, partially because Grandma loved Coors and my Dad was boot leggin’ before Coors was sold in Texas. I think it paid for our trips. While dad was taking a beer break, Mom was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. See what I mean, pure Americana. I texted my older brother that I was in Cross Plains Texas and thinking I needed a Coors wrapped in a red rag. He responded with ” you brought back a pleasant and nostalgic old memory he hadn’t thought of in a long time” and thanked me.
If you have memories at stops like these, then please comment, its easy and harmless and the comments keep me going.
Route 66, love it and try and do the original road as much as I can. You have to get off the interstates and see real America before it disappears. Soon old houses like this will be gone. Was it a banker, a lawyer, a boot legger or a cattle baron’s mansion at one time?
I am going with cattle baron because damn it, my story and it is what I want to believe, besides he moved out of town and back to his ranch,
Gotta love the Texas sense of humor. He is in deep shit because his pastures turned to cactus and the yuppies haven’t figured out a way to market them yet.
“Hey pard, I don’t know where you headed but you gonna be a burnt tater when you get there!”
I am getting gas and these two construction workers start talking to me asking where I am headed. They catch me doing the water dance, where I pour ice cold water over my head and let it run down my face, down my shirt and eventually down my pants cooling off my balls therefore making me do the jig. I call it the water dance but after the dance a ride down the road and home made swamp cooler is in effect. Later in the day I had a picture taken in front of Allsups and after looking at it I can see where the burnt tater comment came from. And oh yeah guys, I am headed for the gulf! They said I wasn’t on the right road, but what the hell did they know, they were construction workers.