Been listening to AWOL, updating music on the profiles. Past couple of days have been thinking about my Dragon Brother-- His name not important, lets name him Higgins or Higs; if you knew him a long time like I did. I met him during sophmore year at what you would call high school in the wilds of Western Massachusetts not far from Brattleboro Vt., where we got our gallon jugs of Almaden wine either red or white. Didn't matter we would chug them down in one sitting than go on our merry way wherever that took us on the campus. Wild and high, brother Kindred.
Last time I saw him was in England, Middlesex county to be exact. Some how we learned that we were in England at the same time. He had heard that I was at a college in Arundel, Sussex where the Duke of Norfolk' s castle is. This is incredible. I "borrowed" the colleges van and stomped on the gas pedal and drove out to royal lands in middlesex. This was before the days of google maps and gps,hand written directions were the tool of the day. I doubt the gps would have found his house.
It was a wood cutters cottage by the forest. The track to the cottage went across a moor with embankments on both sides 20 foot high! A very narrow track indeed. The landscape could have been taken out JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit". Higs had found himself a place to hide away from the world and become a master craftsman in the restoration of very old clocks and furniture. Coming to the end of the track I saw him in the afterglow of evening tide, puffing on his pipe and quaffing beer from his pint glass. I had actually made it. Higs collected old string instruments especially banjos from the mountains and played them. He would get together with Arlo Guthrie of Alice's Restaurant fame and several others from time to time and jam well into the night but that is another story for another time.
We watched the twilight roll in not saying much enjoying a pipe and a beer. All at once he caught me up on how he got married to his high-school sweet heart. We fell silent again understanding. Then it was time for me to go. That was the last time I saw him.
The next 15 years I was out of touch from anyone from that life. In foreign lands and seas plying my trade. One day lonely and bored, looking for adventure and excitement I contacted a high school sweetheart. She had a pretty sweet job. Dog sitting for the wealthy in Marin County while they were away on the coast of Portugal. I brought some old discolored pictures of those days. I asked her how Higs was doing. She looked at me with sadness in her eyes. "He died" I asked her how and from there I don't remember what was said the shock overwhelmed me. He had died soon after I had visited him is all I remember.
So Higgins this is for you Dragon Brother. Well met Good night dear friend.
It is a beautiful morning. I am looking for a ghost town I read about. roaming in the backwoods of Santa Cruz County, Not having much luck finding it. A boomtown, Forgotten when the gold rush hit. I found an old road that was beside a narrow-gauge railroad. I decided to walk up it to see where it went. The forest was very quiet, morning sun showing through the redwood boughs. I am wondering if I am walking on some body's property. It feels very creepy, Sweat starts to drip down my back both from the heat and the uneasiness I feel. A random rusted sign nailed to a tree many years ago "property of northern pacific". The creep factor increases tenfold.
It has been an hour of walking in the morning heat, I hear distant singing on and off, getting closer then falling away. Looking to my right, there she is, playing with her Doberman. Dressed in turn of the century school clothes. Hair was done up in 2 long pigtails. Her face is a bit blurry, eyes flash gold. The young girl and dog ran behind a fallen redwood and vanished
Walking a bit faster, not really knowing what I saw. Thinking about it then it hit me. I turned around. Nothing there. I heard the dog just behind me and the girl giggling. Not daring to look back on continued on to the gate at the fence to get back to the proper road. Suddenly, the dog's snot was around my fingers. Then nothing. I hear the dog and girl behind me leaves rustle twigs snapping getting closer. She starts her singing rhyme and giggles I had to make it to the gate before they catch me. I am not able to go any faster, frozen at the moment...