Archive for February, 2013

Travels with Bernie

February 27, 2013

Krazy Cross: Rest Stop Songs


This is the first in a series of posts of an undetermined number that follow the theme of “Looking for a Rufous: What a Life? What a Life!”.

I met Art, sometimes called Krazy Cross at the I-5 rest stop north of Wilsonville. I was on my way back from a job interview in Salem had stopped to get a cup of coffee or at least take a few pictures since I had brought my Nikon with me.

He was strumming and singing with his guitar case open for donations. I tossed in a bill. He had some hand-printed signs in the case too (see the pictures I took) and a copy of a newspaper article published in March of 2010 in the West Side Newspaper, a Salem paper. More on the article in a minute. . . . .

I didn’t know anything about him, although he was very willing to share information about his past and in fact was very talkative. However, I wasn’t prepared to take notes, and I thought I might be able to get a copy of the paper later. The following week I drove down to Salem to West Side’s office. As it turns out, I got to meet the columnist who wrote the 2010 article and a follow-up article published in October 2012. His name is Pat Wilkins, and he writes a column for the paper. I also talked to Chris McCartney (no relation to Paul, although we talked about music and the Beatles). Chris is the Managing Editor of the West Side Newspaper.

Pat and I had a very interesting conversation about his background in journalism and the people he had met and worked with, including some famous people. But this article is about Art, not Pat.

In newspaper lingo, Art or “Krazy Cross” is the “hook” for this blog post. I will only recap Pat Wilkins’ articles, although if you wanted to read the entire original article I’m sure Chris would be happy to send you copies of the paper if you called him.

Art’s dad was Spider Severance, one of the 13 founding members of the Hells Angels based in Purdue, California. Spider died of a heart attack while being interviewed in New York where he was attending the funeral of another Hells Angel member. Art followed in dad’s footstep and became a Hells Angel. For a paycheck, he became a long-haul trucker driving big rigs. Like many in this life, Art’s life had its ups and downs, mostly downs for a long time before the curve turned up. More on that later.

Upon reflection I think, well, we all have rough spots in our lives and should take the good with the bad (sounds like advice my dear old daddy might pass along). Despite that idea, I should note that Art’s life if not tragic was at least very interesting.

There’s more, much much more, but I want to save that for the next post about Krazy Cross.

Prosperity & Responsibility

February 24, 2013

“Look up toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” (Anonymous)

When you first look up on a clear night, you may see only dark, but the longer you look the more starts and constellations you see.

Similarly, if you look for or seek prosperity even if you’re really focused on it, you may not always find it, perhaps not ever. But if you look for the good in your life, the more you will see. In a sense, you become heir to health, wisdom, and other blessings that can fill your life, things that are truly “priceless” unlike the MasterCard commercial.

When you take responsibility for your life, you participate in life and contribute to it and (importantly) you contribute to the lives of others. By doing so, you accept the gift of life, give thanks for it, and live it in fullness.

Here Comes Your Train

February 13, 2013

If you only had 23 minutes to write it all down before you left this earthly existence, what would you write? Would it be a lot of “I love you’s” and “goodbyes” or perhaps a belated last will and testament that might not survive probate? Perhaps it would be a brilliant and scathing diatribe on the failure of the American political process?

I am a writer so I think I would write at least one page if not more. I think most people would not have much to say, thinking, “Jeez this is it, I’m done, what’s left to say”. I often wonder about condemned people, what they think about before the last neural firing winks out. Think of all the good dying scenes in movies. Personally, although I served in Vietnam, I’ve never in my entire life seen anyone die, including my parents.

Well, this was my “23 minutes” so I’ll say goodbye and to those who I love, “I love you”.

Not to worry, I’m still here as long as I can keep typing and running, just pondering what it might be like at the end.

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