Friday, May 30, 2008

Highway 51

Yesterday afternoon the clear sky and warm dry air amplified the call of the highway. Who could resist? The day was perfect for opening the windows and the throttle, enjoying gas while we can still afford it, to take a look at the West Virginia countryside.


Until you give yourself license to spend a few seconds tuning the radio, lighting a cigarette, picking up a phone call.

Driving a car is not as easy as we have convinced ourselves it is.

Just ask the medical examiner ~ yes, she was needed because of this accident. Sure, three out of the four people in these two cars made it to the hospital. But I heard the EMS tech tell a young man's mother, "He didn't make it." Moments later, after the father arrived, mother and father sobbing in each other's embrace, two women - strangers until today - stroked the backs of grieving parents. The beautiful summer had lost its sun.

Be careful, please. Let the phone ring. Listen to that ad one more time. Let the CD changer do its job. You've got your own job to do.

You are driving a car - and you could ruin a beautiful sunny day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WINC - 1400 AM
This morning, along with Jerry Tracy, I had the privilege of sitting in with Mike Hamon as he ran his Winchester Morning Magazine from the studios at AM 1400 WINC. Mike was kind enough to let Jerry and me talk about the upcoming Train Wreck at the Winchester Little Theatre.

Mike is a very cordial host - for both his listeners and the guests in his compact studio on North Pleasant Valley Road. He helped this first-time radio guest feel quite comfortable, and he gave Jerry and me a wonderful opportunity to plug the Train Wreck.

Train Wreck, the brainchild of Pat Markland, will be WLT's first foray into the adventurous world of 24-hour theatre. The goal is to create five plays within 24 hours. We will hold auditions, write plays, rehearse, and then perform the plays 24 hours after we started.

Jerry and I are among the five playwrights willing to write through the night of May 30th - each of us attempting to create, before rehearsal starts at 8 am on the 31st, a play that runs ten to twenty minutes . Of course, Friday night I don't expect to get any sleep, but already I've spent a few nights tossing and turning, unsettled by what I've gotten myself into.

One thing gives me confidence: On Saturday morning I'll be handing off my script to my sister Ann, who is coming to Winchester from Brooklyn to direct my play. I can be reasonably sure that the relative superiority of her theatrical training (hers: extensive; mine: zero) will save my bacon come Saturday night when the lights come up on our part of the Train Wreck.

But just in case, I hope that some EMTs will be standing by.

Monday, May 05, 2008

As brief as this clip it, it shows the entire duration of my friend Mike's career as a cowboy.

After this event Mike was able to walk around in a reasonable way for about an hour before requiring an ambulance ride to the emergency room. Fortunately, he got to play out his Cowboy dream without destroying anything too serious.