Uncertainty A Destination…………….#99 (the 60’s)

The Twilight Zone episode coming to life

The Twilight Zone episode coming to life

The 53 Ford was laden with the band equipment and the clock having started for Jerry and Gary’s 1600 mile trek to Oklahoma.  Gary’s view of his East Oakland hills childhood home on Greenly Drive was in recession,  the landmark hillside mass extracted by the Gallagher and Burk quarry and the edifice of Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, a station for 6000 during WWII extirpating the advancing dysphoria that comes with goodbyes.  His brief return enabled a search for congruity, to establish an imprint rather than to absorb and reflect on the caliber of  his surroundings, but giving thought to his flight as an  opportunity or a prospective but still questionable and with his departure the chronicles would  remain as written.

View of the East Oakland hills

The black 53 Ford Convertible peregrinating southeast on Mountain Blvd. to McArthur Blvd.,  then eastward,  the voyage just beginning.  Upon entering  Castro Valley an immediate complication, a dashboard red light beginning to appear once again serving  notice of a generator in distress.  A sense of deja vu  beginning to prevail, it was the same problem experienced on the bands trip west.  After a brief discussion the two musicians concluding that it was better to  resolve the problem now while in the civilized world rather than later in the middle of the Mojave  desert.   Exiting the highway into metro Castro Valley,  the search for an automotive repair  facility coming to a conclusion.  With the installation of  a rebuilt generator,  the two stalwarts once again resuming the ambiguous journey,  Oklahoma their ambition,  uncertainty a destination.

Traveling south to Bakersfield addressing highway #58,  a goodbye to the assiduous Highway 99, Gary noticing as they passed a hitchhiker adorning a denim jacket, possessing a small satchel.   Gary recalling and mentioning to Jerry his thumbing days at Fort Ord and the unforgettable ride in the eighteen wheeler auto transport tractor-trailer rig.  Continuing on the two still keeping a watchful eye on the dash as a lingering doubt still remained but confidence was prevailing,  the generator was behaving normally.  This trip across the arid Mojave expanse to Barstow and beyond should go without incident.  Unlike their first encounter with the summer desert heat, unable to put the convertible top up because of a hastily storage arrangement, but with the top up, the enclosed transport provided a more convening environment.

Approaching Albuquerque,  the unexpected

Neither Jerry or Gary having bequeath the weather a single thought,  residency in the bay-area tends to make a person circumvent weather extremes, especially in October,  but approaching  Flagstaff  the temperature began dropping and it began to snow.  Jerry mentioning  a concern about antifreeze, noting that the Ford was devoid of the weather accommodating substance.   The two deciding on a brief stop to eat and gas up at a truck stop in Flagstaff questioning about the weather, the local attendant reassuring them that this early season wet snow would not hamper their travels.  The attendant was right, exiting town the snow ceased,  the Ford procuring its downhill eastward  journey and with their decent the sun once again proclaimed itself.  It was leaving Winslow that the two once again encountered the  hitchhiker in a denim jacket with a small satchel,  both commenting that this was the second time they passed this person.  Gary having thoughts about a 1960 twilight zone episode, The Hitch-Hiker,  only it was Inger Stevens appraising the same hitchhiker several time during her travels.   The Californian mentioning the scenario to Jerry, both laughing but it was agreed  upon,  if the traveler appears again, they would stop and accord his plight.

Inger Stevens – Twilight Zone, The Hitch-Hiker episode

It was leaving Albuquerque the two  in the Ford professing an up coming truck-stop noticing the person wearing a denim jacket and carrying a small suitcase satchel standing, thumb extending facing the oncoming traffic, it was the phantom traveler.   Without hesitation,  Jerry pulled the Ford to the side of the road, the hitch-hike approaching, thanking them, introducing himself saying he was voyaging to Shamrock Texas.  When questioned about his thumbing conveyances, he related it was the big rigs that provided his rides, answer the question of seeing him more than once, concluding it must have been a coincidence, the Ford making a stop while the rigs with their passenger motivated, but the twilight zone still remaining ominous.

Jerry and Gary’s arrival in Lawton fulfilling thirty-two hours of continual travel since leaving Oakland and that including their Castro Valley generator replacement stop, the two weary traveler ready for hibernation.   Glenn having rented a two bedroom duplex for June and the baby, extending an invitation to the recent arrivals, it could serve as a temporary reside for the two pending getting their own  accommodations.  Gary discerned it would take time for the group to reach a status of ascendancy,  but by renewing the initiative and boosting their certitude the band would be ready for the challenge.

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