Christmas on the Road

…it was time for me to begin what turned out to become an important new chapter of my life. Duke and I set out from Austin an old blue 1972 Ford truck bound for Washington DC. At least that’s what we thought of it from the distant perspective of Central Texas. Where we were actually going to live was in Suburban Virginia, just outside the beltway. Duke and I were going to join Sylvia and my sister Cindy who’d lived up there for a few months, waiting for me to arrive.

Blue72FordIt was a brutally cold winter and as I was preparing for my departure, I heard the weather man use exactly that language. He said something about a “brutal blizzard” in the midwest, and I recall thinking that it was the first time I’d heard a weatherman use that word. Duke and I enjoyed the ride and we listened to an NFL playoff game as we went.

I think this was during the Earl Campbell years and that it was the best chance the Houston Oilers had to ever go to the Superbowl. They had an incredible team. But somehow they managed to lose their playoff game to Cleveland that year, even though they had many chances to win. I blamed the inability to be champions to the coaching of Jerry Glanville. He bred a nasty, outlaw, bad-boys team that led the league in penalties. They were good, but they couldn’t be champions. I also remember that this was the year that the Cowboys went 1-15. It was the rookie year for a young quarterback named Troy Aikman and he suffered the first of several concussions that year against the Cardinals, a game that might have been their second win of the year save for his early departure.

I remember that in the late hours of Christmas day (about 22 hours into my journey) I was in Mississippi and praying that my truck would not fail there. I recall that there was some condition that had me fear a breakdown of some sort, and I just didn’t want to be stuck in the deep south with a broken down car. I guess given that it was a pickup, an old one, and that I was a white boy with a white dog who liked to pretend that I’d trained him to bark fiercely at black men, that I’d probably have been okay. But I just didn’t want to be broken down there. You know what I mean?

I did make it to Virginia and my new home safely at dawn on Dec 26th and had a restful day or two in preparation for beginning what was to become the genesis of my professional life.

Our new home was at 7873 Heritage Dr., Annandale VA 22003. Sylvia and I lived there for a couple of years. We rented the place from a gentleman named Aubrey. He was a family friend of Mike Faurot’s family. During the time we stayed there, we had Cindy and her boyfriend at the time come and stay with us. We also had a brief time when we hosted a young man who was friends with a coworker (Billy)

It was here that I got my first color monitor for my computer (the one I bought while still embroiled in my adventures at Sand Point in Seattle). I also got my first mouse while living here. That was a big deal for me.

—v

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