When I moved to Southern California from Mississippi in 1980, I took a photo from the top of Haven Avenue in what was then Cucamonga, CA. It’s now known as “Rancho Cucamonga,” which I think ruins the whole mystique …

Since I was in the neighborhood, I thought I’d take the 27-years-later version.

So – 1980…


And 2007 …


 I guess it got a wee bit smoggier in the past 27 years…

I have one very important rule for myself for this trip, and especially for my upcoming Canadian tour – NEVER get out of the van without the camera. I have broken this rule a few times, but never on purpose. Each time I was just a bit tired from driving for a long stretch, so I forget it on the van console. And every time that happened I paid for it by seeing something I wanted to shoot and being camera-less. About an hour after leaving my parent’s house on my trip back home to Colorado, I stopped for gas and saw that someone had graffiti-ed (sp?) a gas station toilet seat. And not with a pen. They had actually carved stuff in the seat – the part your butt touches! That’s hardcore graffiti commitment. But, no picture for you or me, as my camera was in the van, and I just didn’t have the heart to run get it and return to the toilet. I have to teach myself a lesson, right?

One thing I failed to mention in the previous post is that when it came time to leave Fresno and the Rogue Festival, after a wonderful 10 days, I started up my van for the first time since arriving and this is what the clock read:


I know, I know…could mean anything, right? Well, I don’t care what you say, I LOVE that numbers-lined-up shit…to me, when I see “significant” numbers (a flexible and ever-changing qualification) it means that everything is going exactly as it should be. And 11:11 is the best you can get.

So, imagine my surprise a few days later – just about an hour after the missed graffiti toilet photo op – when I find myself parked here, about 6 inches from the right lane of the northbound 15 freeway.


Ahhh, how relaxing to have 18-wheelers whiz past at 75 mph. And why was I parked here? Well, perhaps this next picture will help explain.


Pepe (I guess that was his name) gave me a tow to this fine place in Victorville, CA (thank you AAA!).


As soon as the van was offloaded from the tow truck IT STARTED AT ONCE, something it refused to do while on the freeway shoulder. And, get this, it refused to NOT start, meaning that any diagnosing was pretty much impossible. How do you fix a van that runs perfectly? Well, certainly a less moral mechanic could find a way, but the owner of this shop was totally cool – he poked around under the hood with a flashlight, left the van idling for a while to see if it konked out again, then eventually gave up and sent me on my way, no charge. Hardly a total waste, because when I went in to use the bathroom (camera in pocket) I found this – the worst bathroom ever!



My stream of urine actually stopped halfway down, looked around, said, “Dude, I’ve got standards,” then retracted back into my bladder. Readers of this blog know by now that I’m a fan of “Employees Must Wash Hands” signs, so you’ll be as shocked as I was to find that this bathroom was totally devoid of such health reminders:


If anything you’d think an “Employees Must Amputate Hands” would be appropriate…

Anyway, soon I was back on the road, following this truck…


Because of this sign on the back of it…


I remember well the day I discovered, as a child, that if you could see someone in a mirror, they could also see you. It seemed like a magical, Columbus-like discovery. So glad was I to see this childhood memory so beautifully represented on the open road that I thought a bit of tailgating was in order…for a good long while.


One response to “11:11

  1. 11/11 is also Armistice day, and the signing was done at 11:11.

    Even older is the tradition that the “Carnival Season” in the traditionally catholic areas of Germany starts on 11/11, at 11:11.

    What can it mean?

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