California’s Trip

Posted on December 5, 2006 by Sara Hickman. | Comments Off on California’s Trip

There was a dusty, orange-colored sand storm. It lifted itself high into the air, hundreds of feet, and swirled in front of the rising sun, the mountains, and the jewel blue morning sky.
Kristin and I were in a rented PT Cruiser, and I was doing my best to keep the little car on the road, the wind was so bossy. We watched through the windows in awe, the magnitude of the dust mixed with the early sunrise was breathtaking. The crops of lemons to our left were swaying, almost dancing, to the rhythm of the grit and sky.

This was on our way from Ojai, Sunday morning about 7:30 am, back to LAX to catch our flight back to Texas. This is one of the amazing things of travel….one minute you are amongst thick, lush flora and fauna, gianormous mountains out your back door, then next…you are landing in another part of the country for new, and different, sights.
Maybe lots of concrete. Maybe a horse farm. Maybe we stay in a building built in 1820 (Pennsylvania), or settle in next to a quiet brook and an evening’s cup of cocoa, a fire warming the room(Texas). Sometimes it is just a plain, ordinary hotel room with nothing to say, that looks out onto a brick wall, traffic whizzing by, honk-honk-honking of endless horns (New York). I’ve even stayed in hotels where I ended up sleeping on the floor as gunshots rang out in the parking lot (New Jersey.)

Ojai and Los Angeles were shows of wonder, shows of light. Let’s start with L.A.

I was jubilant to return to a city where so many of my dearest friends reside. Friends who have been with me, and I with them, through thick and thin, laughter and loss, good food and bad. As Kristin and I sang from the McCabe’s stage, all these memories flashed through my mind. Meeting Andy Williams upstairs, all those years back. The times around L.A. where I had played with Black Frances, or Michelle Shocked, or Marvin Etzioni, or Phil Parlapiano, or Nanci. Looking out in the small crowd, I was happy to see faces I recognized, faces I didn’t. One man hollered out, “I’ve waited 12 YEARS to see you!” That was something! I made sure and gave him a big hug after the show. Who waits for a singer/songwriter for 12 years anymore?! Gosh!

Afterwards, a whole crew of us meandered next door for food and fun, and I had a chocolate martini. My. I have never had one before, but, hmm. That was dee-lish!

We stayed with our friend, John Black, and his house is just lovely. I kept referring to it as a “cathedral”. It was organized, and painted in calming colors, and just the kind of bachelor pad that makes you feel welcome…Next morning, we had breakfast with more dear friends, Brian X and Robert P. and saw Dell, who was waiting tables, and who I had tried to set up with one of my friends from the stage, right before I sang “Simply” . My friend, who will remain nameless ( unless you were at the show…see why you should come out to shows? You never know what you’ll miss) had requested the song pre-show, and Dell, who I asked her name during the show, also asked for “Simply”, and she had an empty chair next to her, and my friend is single, so I thought, why not move the two of them closer? Huh? Why not? What’s it hurt? One song? Really. But my friend would not budge.
So, next morning, we went to her restaurant to say hello and my unwilling friend was with us and we all had a lovely meal, smiles abounding. No connection, though, if you are hoping this magically led somewhere….

Then saw Bri’s house and met his bunny. Brian and Stacy saved it off the streets of L.A. … yes, it was a gang bunny! She was soft and sweet and spotted galore.
Saw slides from Brian’s camp he runs for mentally challenged adults…You can see slides, too, if you go to “Adventures Elite.” Check out the Hawaii shots…Brian and Stacy took four special needs adults there for a camping getaway. Brian and Stacy are too of the most loving people you could want to know. The slides tell the stories, you’ll see.

Saw one more friend in Santa Monica before we had to hi-tail it outta there. My friend, Jon M., and his super groovy wife and his adorable kids and his neat art filled home.
Robert P. drove me over in his big ol’ caddy. That was fun. (Robert is looking good, all buffed up and hair slicked and black shades a la the Matrix. Ladies, start your engines, that’s all I gotta say!)

Kristin and I said our goodbyes, hugs and kisses to all, then hopped in the wagon and headed down the road to Ojai. Or up the road, I guess. You know what I mean.

Got to Ojai just in time to have Chinese food with sweet Rain, who is going to be a big star in about a year from now, mark my words. Her songs are wondrous, and her voice is soothing and chalky. You’ll love it. Anyhoo, we changed clothes (me and Kristin, Rain kept on what she had on), did a sound check with phenomenal Dirk and Matt at the sound helm, played the show in a tiny theatre full of super-charged love…Maybe about 50 people or so? I met Caitlin and her family…her dad, Brian, played percussion on my “Shortstop” cd, and he is really, really talented. It was a delight to see him, and meet his wife and son, too. We sang, and the audience sang, and my guitars did a lovely job.

I have to go take a walk, just some quiet time for me. Today I take io ice skating with her Brownie troop. Last night, Lily and I went with friends and saw the Dixie Chicks.
So, I need a little time to wander, wonder…

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