October 21, 2001
There are two places open on Sundays
in Lubbock, Texas, IHOP and Wal-Mart.
We tried the get breakfast at the
first but the after church waitlist
would have made me stay an extra day.
All the local greasy spoons that Cris
tried to take me too were closed on
Sundays. We did find another place
but they were only serving lunch at
10:30 am so I ended up having a ham
sandwich for breakfast.
Last night after a few Lone Stars
we went to an art event at the local
science center. Apparently they let
a few students from the university
install about fifteen slide projectors
in the control room at the Imax Theater.
The students" Performed" the projectors
to a sound track that they created
from the response they received from
the last time they showed the piece.
The most interesting thing was the
fact that it was in an Imax theater,
it makes me want to plan and event
in one sometime.
I drove from Lubbock to Denton tonight.
And I learned a few things about Texans.
They like to drive in the left lane.
Even people, who are driving at or
bellow the posted speed limit, keep
their big white trucks in the left
lane. There was about a 15 mile stretch
of highway were all the traffic was
moving at about 65 miles an hour b/c
there was no way to get around the
guy in the white truck that was driving
the exact same speed as the white
truck he was passing. When he eventually
did get passed the guy on the right
he kept his truck in the left lane
and everyone had to pass him on the
I was supposed to stay with Christine
in Denton but when I and checked my
email at the Texas Woman's Univ. student
center, I found out that she was not
due in town until the next day. So
I was kind of without a place to stay.
Then I remembered that my friend Justin
just got a job at North Texas University.
So here I was once again, 7 pm in
a city I've never been in and no real
place to stay. I called directory
assistance, wrote down the # and made
a call to Justin and Jen's house.
"Justin, yeah um this is John FreyerÉ.
Oh I'm fine, yeah things are going
great,É Um oh did I tell you that
I'm coming to Denton? É. Well actually
I'm here right now.. Yeah I'm at the
Texas Woman's UnivÉ.. I'm visiting
the woman who bought one of my shirtsÉ.
Oh tonight? No I don't have any plans
tonight.. What are you up too? Oh
she's actually not here right now.
In fact she won't be back until tomorrow..
Oh tonight? I don't really know, do
you have a place I can pitch my tent?
You'd think by this point that I
could just get right to the point
after having stayed with stranger
all the way across the country. But..
We went out for a burger and Jen,
Justin and I hung out tonight and
talked about the differences between
Iowa and Texas.. There are many.
October 20, 2001
This morning Emily and I woke up relatively
early and found a place to get a cup
of coffee. I've taken to drinking double
Americano's again. It started in Berkeley
when we got coffee at The French Hotel
(still the best cups of the trip)
Emily is leaving today so we emptied
out everything from my car onto the
sidewalk in front of the coffeehouse.
The car had become quite a wreck in
the last few days, it was nice to take
stock of what I have and to put it all
back according to the now forgotten
Feng Shui principles that I learned
I am leaving the Gocco printer with
Emily, I kind of implied that she can
pay me for it latter but, I think I'm
just going to give it to her. I have
enough stuff as it is. I also gave here
my ratty old sweatshirt, an item that
never made it on Ebay. I guess I've
been driving around the a bunch of unsold
itemsÉMy goal is to give them all given
away before I head back to Iowa.
LM used to wear this sweatshirt all
over the place, and one day she decided
it was too ratty to wear so I took it
off her hands. Even latter still she
kept trying to get rid of the old rag
behind my back, I would often find it
in the piles of stuff that she planned
on taking to the Salvation Army and
I think I even found it in the garbage
once. Five years later I have been wearing
it nearly every evening of this trip.
Its cuffs are still in tatters, and
the holes in the front and back are
only getting bigger.
Well now it's owned by Emily, I hope
that she has better luck with it than
I have. Even Sasha kind of disliked
the disrepair of this old friend. I
wonder if Emily will patch the holes
and fix the cuffs? I guess it could
use some love. Emily packed pretty light
for the trip, she can fit everything
she owns on her back and in her arms,
She's all set for boarding the train
for Colorado. Doesn't she want to go
October 20, 2001
There is a four-lane highway that runs
from Clines Corners, New Mexico to Roswell.
I drove on it most of my way to lubbock
and think that I was literally the only
person on the highway going in either
direction. Why is there a four-lane
highway to Roswell?
Well it has nothing to do with traffic
volume. Somewhere along the way I turned
off onto a two-lane road that ran ruler
strait in both direction for what looked
like hundreds of miles. I turned on
my heat and decided to see how long
I could keep the needle on my speedometer
up above the 100 mark. After a while
I started to feel like I was driving
a little slow.. I soon slowed down to
85 and continued on my way.
The landscape of west central Texas
looks like Iowa. Flat for miles with
crops of one kind or another on every
rolling inch. It amazing how quickly
the landscape changed at the Texico,
Texas, going from the desert of the
of the southwest to the plains of the
Midwest. Did the founders of Texas draw
their border around every tillable inch
of land they could find?
I arrived in Lubbock and hour our
two later than I expected. One reason
was because I had to stop at the grave
of Billy the Kid and the other is that
I jumped another time zone brining me
right back to the same zone as Iowa.
I called Sasha and asked her what time
it was tonight and then I told her that
it was the same time in Texas.. Closer
to home than ever.
I drove to Texas to meet up with Cris,
a theatre major in school in Lubbock
who bought the bread and puppet theater
posters that used to be on my Kitchen
wall, we met up at a local bar and he
bought the posters with him. There is
a photography conference in town this
weekend and the Keynote speaker was
Lucy Lippard, the conference was mostly
over by the time that Cris and I found
some of the stragglers in the hotel
lounge. We met up with a few friends
of his and headed out to have a few
The waitress laughed when I asked if
they carried Lone Star bottles. Laughed.
They had Coors Light, Bud Light and
Lite on tap and she was laughing at
the prospect of someone ordering Lone
Star. Isn't Lone Star the beer of Texas?
I ordered two.. It's not the greatest
beer but I'm in Texas.
October 19, 2001
We ate lunch at the Roadrunner Caf
in Gallup, New Mexico. One more state
away from the ocean. The daily special
was meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Not
a piece of fish on the entire menu and
its Friday. So I gave myself permission
to end my self imposed fish attack,
even if there was fish on the menu its
no fresher than what I can get in Iowa,
so there no longer a sense of urgency.
Since we left California we have crossed
much of what used to be old highway
66, we even tried to find that Route
66 song on the various swing dance CD's
that Emily brought with her. But today
we just stayed on the interstate all
the way to Albuquerque. I think that
our 8 hour drive through the desert
cured us of our blue highway tendencies.
It was so nice to motor on through the
rocky Arizona landscape, into the identical
miles of New Mexico.
Emily is going to take the train tomorrow.
So I will no longer be able to ride
in the passenger seat of my car for
a while. It looks like she will have
to print the covers of the book a little
later this week. She's on her way to
Denver for a while to hang out with
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Emily printed our book today. I think
we are going to call it "five for free"
in reference to the free copies that
inspired the book. There is not enough
paper for the cover here so Emily might
finish it when we get to Albuquerque
tomorrow. I found a Kinkos that let
me plug into their Ethernet network
for an hour or so tonight. $15 an hour
for internet time.. I'm starting to
appreciate the access that I had as
a student in Iowa.
I spent the day sitting at the desk
in my room in front of my laptop, I
kind of felt like John Tutturro in Barton
Fink, except I don't think that the
devil incarnate was living next door.
October 17, 2001
without being there
Every time that I have driven through
Flagstaff Arizona the glowing red sign
of the De Beau youth hostel offered
me the promise of an affordable room
and an interesting group of people to
hang out with for the evening. Flagstaff
is one of the closest real towns to
the Grand Canyon and the two Hostels
in town are mostly filled with European
travelers making their required pilgrimage
to the largest hole in the world.
I stayed at the De Beau when I drove
through on my way to Utah after Temporama
3's southern state adventure. Most of
the people I met had let their Visa's
expire and we volunteering at the De
Beau as a way to pay for their rooms.
Some of them would lead tours to the
Grand Canyon for spending money and
others would do under the table work
in town. There were always 8 to 10 people
in the common area playing pool and
drinking beer. I only stayed for the
night but I wanted to stay forever.
When Emily and I arrived today I gave
her the appropriate rights and lefts
from my passenger seat and we rolled
up to the front door of the De Beau.
There was a "do not enter sign" on the
Door and a note instructing patrons
to the Grand Canyon Youth Hostel around
the corner. Apparently the owners of
the other youth hostel bought the De
Beau last year and only use the rooms
when their hostel is overflowing during
the summer months. We asked if we could
have a room the De Beau anywise but
the hostel was half empty so we stayed
in the main building.
When Emily and I were in Santa Barbara
we walked into a copy place that had
a sign on the wall that said "the first
five copies are free". So we went back
to the car and collected various items
to make our five free photo copies from.
Our a plan is to make a book with the
Gocco Machine that I bought in San Francisco.
I think that I will give the machine
to Emily when we finish the book. While
I am sitting her typing she is making
the first test exposures on the Gocco
Screens. I think that we might stay
here an extra day.
I am going to get as much posted to
the site as I can, there is no phone
line in the room, so I'll have to ask
if I can plug into the main line downstairs.
If you've been following along you can
see that I have been less than regular
with my postings. I'm not sure if I
am cut out for the day to day demands
of maintaining a travelogue Web-site.
I'd much rather just hang out with the
folks I'm visiting. ThatŐs why I want
to stay an extra day here, then I can
get some work done with out having to
worry about writing about another person
that I visited. This will be the first
"Day Off" I've taken in a month.
October 17, 2001
We arrived in Las Vegas last night after
we turned a 5 hour drive into 8. We were
both kind of sun and heat exhausted. Emily
was so excited to see the lights of the
city when we drove in. Its strange b/c it
was just the day before that we left LA
and were so happy to be sleeping in the
mountains. The drive through the wasteland
of eastern California made us both appreciate
the prospect of a clean hotel room with
a heated outdoor pool.
John English sent us a list of all the
things that we needed to see in Vegas, including
all the old neon signs on Freemont Street
and the great "Welcome to Las Vegas Sign"
at the southern most edge of the strip.
He recommended that we see a couple of the
original motels on the strip and we ended
up staying at La Concha, which is right
across the street from Circus Circus. It
has a great neon sign and the room we stayed
in was recently renovates (sort of) The
hallway was filled with carpet remnants
which looked like they came from a now demolished
hotel, thatŐs what they were installing
into all of their rooms.
We walked around for a little while and
I made notes about what had changed since
the last time I was here. It was 9:30 by
the time be tried to get something to eat,
but most of the affordable casino restaurants
closed at 9 so we just kept walking around
in a heat exhausted daze wondering what
the hell we were doing.
One of the places that we stopped was the
new Venetian Hotel witch is supposed to
look like Venice. In the basement of the
shopping mall the Guggenheim has built a
Las Vegas style "Art" museum complete with
the most expensive admission I have ever
seen. They did have a student rate $11 just
about the same price of the paperback catalogue
in the "free admission" Guggenheim store
on the basement level of the mall.
The inaugural show was the "Art of the
Motorcycle, brought to you by BMW Motorcycle
Inc, for more information on all of our
fine automotive product please visit www.bmw.com"
A rather long title for an art exhibit,
I thought. I heard one of the executives
interviewed on NPR last week who said that
he expected the new museums to bring significant
revenues into the Venetian Hotel Casino.
Well they didn't get my $15 but I did get
to look at some of the BMW motorcycles that
BMW put on display throughout the Casino.
It was kind of like visiting a BMW showroom
in Venice. I am working on a proposal for
the next exhibition at the Vegas Gugg..
See instead of paying $20 to see "The Art
of Armani, brought to you by Armani, introducing
the Guggenheim Museum Clothing Line for
You could pay the same amount to see the
"Walm-Art" exhibition. I propose transformation
of the basement of the Venetian Casino Mall
into a fully functioning Walm-Art super
center, complete with out of state labor
to install the show, and an entire minimum
wage workforce. All of the items in the
store will be marked with an official "Vegas
Gugg" sticker and will be available for
purchase. The Mini-m-Art museum store will
feature an assortment of Vegas "Gugg-a-Mart"
merchandise including a hardcover exhibition
catalogue/sales flyer which will also be
available for purchase.
A good night sleep might make me think
about whether or not I should post this?
October 16, 2001
15 minutes on the interstate was enough for
me. I couldn't imagine spending the next five
hours on the exact same four lane road with
nothing to see but corporate chain restaurants
and triple length tractor trailer trucks.
We found a side road to drive on and headed
out into the desert.
About thirty-minute into the drive I looked
over at the temperature guage and noticed
that it was in the red zone. Just about to
overheat, so I turned the heat on high and
started to roll the window's down. This is
how the rest of the drive would be, heat on
high and windows rolled all the way down.
The first thing that I noticed when I entered
the state of California was the lack of exit
#'s on the interstate. In the western states
you can always figure out where you are in
a state by checking on the exit #'s usually
they are oriented in descending order from
east to west so you and always tell what kind
of mileage you are in for when you enter the
state. Even in states like NY where the exits
are simply numbered at least you know where
you are on the map.
No in California you have to pray that street
on your map lines up with the name of the
exit. On the side road that we took today
there were no mileage markers and for the
first 50 miles of the trip there wasn't even
a single sign telling us what road we were
on. For the most over regulated state in the
nation you might think that they'd at least
have equitable road signage to the least regulated
We stopped at a point in the desert where
it seemed like the road in front of us look
exactly like the road behind us. The first
thing that we noticed was how hot it was,
which seems a little strange but we had been
driving about 90 miles and hour and even with
the heat on the car was pretty well cooled.
The second thing I notice out their was the
pure and undisturbed silence. Maybe it was
just the relief from the deafening noise of
wind in the windows, but as we walked around
I herd nothing but the sound of my feet and
my heart beating.
It was so quiet that I could hear the digital
noises that my camera made as it focused on
the landscape, not the familiar mechanical
sounds of the lens moving, but the nearly
inaudible sound of electrons moving through
the circuitry. I haven't heard it since but
I know I heard it then.
Somewhere on state route 62 it runs dead
straight parallel to a railroad track. We
must have run along side 50 miles of raised
track and nearly every open foot of the embankment
had words and names and date running up and
down the bank: Steve loves Susan, Billy 9-88,
Andy Lisa forever, all written in the black
colored rock of the embankment.
Emily has been a great partner on this trip,
she seems to get along with everyone that
we have visited, in fact Katherine said that
having Emily with me made her feel more comfortable
about my visit. After I spent twenty minutes
reading Emily the various names and phrases
from train tracks as she drove, we pulled
off the road and cleared a fifteen-foot space
for the addition of TEMPORAMA to the rocks.
Look for it about 113 miles from the Arizona
October 15, 2001
Ginny bought three $25 dollar bills from
me. And today we all went out to lunch and
tried to spend them. And as you might expect
they wouldn't take our money. My friends
in the Printmaking department at the University
of Iowa made the money as a party favor
at their house one weekend. Apparently printing
money is kind of an inside joke in printmaking.
Every few years or so The
Secret Service catches somebody in the
printmaking world printing money.. These
were one-sided $25 dollar bills are far
from mistakable currency.
We ate at a Millies Diner in Silverlake
, they've been open since1923 and still
serve only fresh ingredients. Sadly most
old time diners use mostly processed and
prepared food to cut costs. Millies makes
everything from scratch, no food service
rolls and wilted iceberg lettuce here. I
continued my self imposed fish attack yet
again but the french fries were to die for.
After lunch we met up with one of Ginny's
friends who is and Architect. We let her
in on some of the new words that we came
up with during John's "Googie" tour yesterday.
Concrefication - the process making everything
Concreficst - One who believes in making
Concrefy - to make everything concrete
Concreficsm - the movement made up of Concreficsts
October 15, 2001
We left LA today. Sort of. Emily volunteered
to make the 45 mile drive from Hollywood
to Claremont California. We left at about
4 o clock thinking that would give us
enough time to make dinner at 5:45 at
Two hours later we were still sitting
in bumper to bumper traffic, just a mile
or two from where we were supposed to
be. I have never seen traffic like this,
even in NYC, which is supposed to have
terrible traffic. I can't image sitting
in this type of traffic every single day
on my way home from work. We've been in
LA for three days and I was beginning
to think that the hype about LA traffic
was exaggerated. Well I stand corrected.
I was gripping the wheel so hard that
my fingers ached and I wasn't even driving.
Katherine is in the Claremont Divinity
School, and she bought my Latham Homes
T-shirt from me. We had dinner with a
number of her colleagues from the program;
they were each from different Christian
denominations. I quickly announced that
I was an atheist for political reasons
and we had a highly intellectualized discussion
about Christianity Today! Katherine's
roommate gave me a copy of her "Process
Theology" textbook which apparently will
help me reconcile my atheism with contemporary
After dinner Katherine and I had an opportunity
to talk about why she participated in
my AMLFS project. She explained that she
bought my shirt to use it as an example
in an upcoming Sunday Sermon. She said
that she saw parallels between what I
was doing and what Christ had done, he
sold all of his possessions and wondered
the countryside too.
Yeah I said, but Christ gave the proceeds
to the poor and I have a laptop computer
and a Car and for the most part I have
given the money that I raised to Mobil,
Amoco and Exxon. But we talked a little
more and she explained that the parallels
that she saw had more to do with the idea
that I have been provided for along this
trip. That I sold off my worldly possessions
and now depend on mostly on strangers
for my accommodations on this trip.
I told her that Jen Mijangos said something
similar to me when she Feng Shui'd my
car. That people hold onto object because
they are afraid of not being able to provide
for themselves. Only Jen believes that
if individuals truly evaluate their relationship
to objects around them that they will
come to the conclusion that they indeed
will be able to provide for their needs
in the future.
Katherine believes that if you have faith
in Christ that your needs will be taken
care of. That if you drive into LA without
a place to stay that the calls you make
will be answered, that you'll wake up
without an alarm at 6:50 am on September
11, and get an early start on the road
out of NYC, that the food will be served
when you arrive even if you're an hour
late b/c of traffic.
I'm not sure where I stand on this,
but I know that Katherine is very sincere
in her beliefs. She has changed denominations
three times since she realized that she
wanted to be a minister of Christ, each
time in order rectify her personal beliefs
with that of the church that she planned
on ministering for. She is Lutheran now
and seems to be at peace with that denominational
I've decided tonight that although I
still consider myself a atheist for political
reasons that when talk to people of faith
again I'll tell them that I might consider
joining their Christian denomination if
it allows African American lesbians to
be ministers. I figure that answers most
of my problems with bulk of the Christian
faith right now, can women be ministers,
are you racially integrated, and are you
homophobic? I guess I'll ask the kids
at the "Ready Table" how many African
American Lesbians are ministers in their
October 15, 2001
When Katherine invited us to spend
the night in Claremont, Emily and I
made momentary eye contact and it was
easy to see that she felt like getting
on the road and camping somewhere between
there and Las Vegas. I felt that way
too. I have been staying with people
for the last two months and apart from
my brief nap in Shasta last week, I
hadn't camped since the first weeks
of my trip.
We drove east and west on I-15 and
started climbing up into the desert,
we stopped at the fist camping triangle
on the map and tried to find a place
to pitch our tent. We couldn't find
the campground b/c there are no exit
#s on California interstate so it was
impossible for us to figure out which
of the unnamed exit was the one with
the campground at it. We drove up and
down a section of road that was part
of Old Route 66, but couldn't find a
place to camp, so when got back on the
highway for a while until we found a
well marked exit with camping nearby.
We found a place about ten miles off
of the highway called Silverwood State
Park and got the tent set up by 10 O'clock
It was so nice to see the stars again.
The giant U-turn had been made. I've
been driving West for the last month
and today we finally fully turned the
car to the east. Away from the bright
lights of the West Coast and towards
the lifeless lands of the estern California
desert. So far away but not quite, I
still had cell phone coverage so after
the tent was set up and we were sipping
hot tea, we checked our email as pack
of Coyotes hollered back an forth across
the valley. Cell coverage in the California
dessert? Of course.