Whilst in Utah in autumn of 2016, I took a trip with my pals Marty the potter and Rod Ash (RIP), and his son and nephew, to beloved Diamond Fork hot springs (6th water, Spanish Fork canyon area). Indeed a special place to me. I hadn’t visited in many years and since then, the umm… cultural traditions had changed somewhat (nekkiedness not as prevalent or accepted, nevertheless…).
Anyhow, along the journey (beginning at Marty’s place in Provo) I snapped these pics with a Lomo La Sardina (Sardine can) camera loaded with expired film.
A few days later, I made my way to Las Vegas to visit brother Anders and stay at the classic El Cortez hotel in Fremont area of town (off-strip). A few snaps ensued as evidenced below (unedited):
Brief summary of topics discussed in this meeting:
* “Swimming like Sperms” on Orem High swim team
* Saving the Plankton
* Running Paul Moody for school president
* The very-tiny overlap in the Vend diagram of Jani Radebaugh and my TEDx talks
* Matt Harding‘s choice of hats and flavour of blues
* Andy Harding living in Olympia (where i spent years)
* Water ballooning BYU zoobies from the roof hatch of VW bus and other vehicles
* Christopher Lee in a spaghetti western (soon to be major!) and had an awesome ‘stache
* Jayson Lee‘s swinging Mike Brady-esque house
* Sweet Danny Harris (RIP) and fck cancer
* Jamie Tucker and Daniel Reneer, like me, evidently dealing with confusing health conundrums #solidarity
* Cory’s hair in the Jr Prom photo (is Petruchio an Italian deli meat? or did he steal Art Garfunkel’s toupee?) with Tiffany Sparks
* VW bumper meets Granny’s Nova’s door
* Aforementioned VW bus is now a psycedelic suana “planted” in Big Cottonwood Canyon next to teepees
* Amnesty International concerts (and what happened to benefit concert and activism? while Desert Trip banked dollars down the road)
* KOHS radio #Legendary and FCC license violations
* Martin Luther King Day holiday (lack thereof) protest and subsequent first amendment conversation with Principals
* The Trinity miracle (and the fence to keep her safe)
* How swimming season is over in LV when temp drops below 90
* What it was like to be pretty much the only 20 year old guy in Utah
* Visiting missionaries on their missions and assisting with rule breaking
* Wandering off mission #rogue
* REM, U2, Ramones, Replacements,… also played records by The Specials, “Life in the European Theatre” compilation with XTC, The Beat, Madness, Echo and Bunnymen, The Stranglers…
* Jack Kerouac spoken word (also Jello Biafra spoken word) vinyl
* Dive bars, tiki bars, tacos
* Mark Swenson‘s marathon addiction (intervention not needed)
* Driving Limo to school and madcap hijinks
* Being a confused Canadian who didnt understand girl’s choice (or other) dances — later Napoleon Dynamite answered much of this for me, also football games and pep rallies
* The accidental prestige of attending Utah Tech College (now a fancy University)
* Steffi Rastafari in Ohio raising kids and building community from scratch
* The difference of supporting soldiers and supporting war (briefly)
* Not talking about politics and religion (so many other stuff to discuss)
* Several Kiggins extended family members
* How I’ve shot a gun like twice in my life (Chris and Cory somewhat more frequently)
* My brother Bob Olson‘s secret clearance status which is so secret i cant mention it here
* Getting held hostage in New Mexico in the VW mentioned above
* Wandering and wondering elsewhere – Escapades in the Philipines, French West Indies, Palau and so on…
* A load of other topics which i’ll recall upon hitting enter
* Name checks for so many renegades and survivors (including YOU!)
For my part, first time i’ve seen Christopher Lee since prob 1988 and Cory DeMille … abrief viewing at UVCC campus in between Grateful Dead show in 1991 and when he provided safe harbour for me stuck in Vegas during a difficult time a few years back.
The conversation picked up at a rollicking pace which brought great joy to this haggard old dude. Was a burst of happiness for me (also Cory chose exceptional bevvies (i like em malty and dark).
Thanks for the hangout lads. Let’s keep em more frequent moving forward. Also, what did i forget? #medicalMJ
Optimism is what I misplaced. Prob in a drawer with Magic & Swagger. In process of finding all of these powerful tidbits #healing#Grateful
Jan. 7 2014
Prepping for a north-bound train trip from country hideout to city tower love > then soon thereafter > LAX & Vegas via road #family#concern
Jan. 7, 2014
I resolve to face all challenges and adversities calmly, cheerfully – and with a bowl of oatmeal – as demonstrated in this post-apocolyptic situation in which i clearly saved the world and regrew the forests, all while looking sharp in my the plaid and specs.
Resentment? Bah! Suffering? Happens! Hugs? Still free!
As Lion Claw told me, “If you worry, it’s a problem. If you don’t worry, it’s a problem. So stop worrying and start living!”
The next few days will require me being soft and open to live, understanding other people’s points of view and motivations and moving peacefully (and restfully) through the stream and let the current of the story pull me along.
Jan. 9 2014
Am bound by aeroplane to Los Angeles to meet up with brother number one.
Together we will drive to Las Vegas to meet our other brothers and father for some family discussions of importance.
Brother’s wife has prepared pumpkin soup, Japanese-style, for when I arrive.
In 1992, when I first arrived in Japan, my brother fed me the same kind of pumpkin soup (though I’m sure not as good as this evenings version) and I wrote a haiku about that first night in Japan.
The poem is painted on rice paper in my mix of Eastern and Western art sensibilities.
The poem is especially appropriate for me as I need to feel the texture bottom of life right now.
Messages to future self.
Jan. 9 2014:
From Kris Krug:
Got my ole sick friend dropped off at the airport to go take care of his sick dad. When it rains it muthafuckin pours. Good luck out there @uncleweed! *hug*
Moments later >>
Jan. 9 2014:
And just when I thought life couldn’t get any weirder, I’m on the plane just about to taxi and just got some more strange, news that affects me greatly, yet I have no ability to control.
When the going gets weird, the weird go pro.
Updated (in retrospect) Jan. 9, 2018
This dispatch came up in the flashback… To be clear, what happened was:
My dad had told us a couple weeks before that he had terminal cancer – he wanted to have one last visit with all five of his sons at once (keep in mind, we all live all over the place) in Vegas, which he love despite not gambling, drinking, smoking, strippers etc. -something about the “dry heat.”
Also, brother Andrew with moving into his own place so I had to dual purpose of giving him a bit of celebration and moving help (Nina include it with the help).
At this point, I was in pretty deep with my own illness but booked a ticket to Los Angeles where I would plan to meet up with older brother Bob Olson and drive to Vegas for the rendezvous. Kris Krüg dropped me off at the airport in the rain, got my wheelchair, through security blah blah blah. Keep in mind airplanes and travel in general is pretty tough for this guy but determined to do what my dad wanted.
Just as the airplane cost, announcements about buckling up and all that, and I reach down to turn off my phone to receive a call from step mom said dad was back in the hospital and unable to make the trip.
At that point, I had the choice of either making a big commotion and asking/demanding to be let off the plane and then likely being arrested or barred from flying for an indefinite period, or hunkering-in and do the trip. “You buy the ticket, you take the ride“ the good doctor said.
Of course, I did the trip, and let’s just say it was challenging. Sure all the brothers showed up but there was no place to stay as the timeshare condo had been canceled when dad was unable to go #EyeRoll so we were scattered around various makeshift hotel rooms, couches and the like.
We went out for a night, and tried to smile through it but the vibe just wasn’t right (for me anyway but maybe for others).
We (or I) were confused about what was going on, what comes after a parent dies and the like…
Note the Las Vegas trip is the worst possible environment for a guy in my condition who deals with massive sensory overload from even mildly stimulating environment. Let’s just say I overcompensated.
Brother Bob bugged out towards home the next day, Dan & James at some point after helping Andrew move into his new house… details, although completely unnecessary, are fuzzy but I just remember laying on the little grassy field in front of it with my head spinning with ridiculous pain and anxiety.
My return ticket wasn’t for several days later so I holed up in the Excalibur hotel with black out curtains drawn and fogged out on the prescription meds I was taking then.
Then got shelter at Cory DeMille’s house Where he kept an eye on me, played our favorite all time records then somehow I was at the airport and back to Vancouver but honestly I have no recollection of this part.
Dad would die a month later, 3:30 AM while I held his hand.
Anyhow,.. Didn’t mean to be cryptic with this announcement, but it was realtime on the airplane as I was wondering what the fck to do. Thank you for all your support and kind comments several years ago.
Note to above:
Locating photos i also recall a few more things which are of course obvious but a little foggy:
we took a “dress-up as cowboys” photo which Bob paid for a gifted to each parent – Dad’s was displayed at his funeral
we went to Hoftbrau Haus and tried to have fun with sausages
we went to fancy Paris patio restaurant where Anders worked at the time – they treated us well and we ate much nice food
importantly, i purchased lederhosen and was very pleased with this whole idea, immediately changing into the fine garment and parading around as is my manner
Oh, and en route in LA where Bob was attending UCLA, i stopped by the library where there was a special exhibit about Gabriel Garcia Marquez