Updated 6 August 1998 URL is http://our.tentativetimes.net/cholame/jeff11.html
This account is guy-talk and uses guy-language and discusses bodily exudations. If you will be offended, please go read another page. Thanks, ye editor.
"For us Cholame was the last day of a long weekend. We weren't on the road while, or after, drinking the whole fifth of 151 Bacardi (you can see it standing up proudly on the back of my roadster, empty). We just didn't take quite big enough "naps" between slurping sessions. We went to Reedley, a little farm town near Fresno, the day before. I have lots of cousins there, so they showed "Frank the city feller" how to shut the local bar down. I was having none of it.
A Cholame Run Account
by Mike Nelson
I starting coolin it about midnite 'cause it's a long drive to Cholame, and if you get there at 6:30am you'd be in the movie. These slimes are still staggering around slurping everything and telling lies at 3am and there's a giggling girl there somewhere. I'm trying to sleep on the couch. My eyes pop open!. It's time to jam!
I kick Frank, load my crap, warm my engine, and am ready to git. The rest of the world is totally dead. I turn off my engine, go back in the house. The great white whale is beached in the middle of the front room floor. He's a 300+lb iron- pumper and there's no way. I can't get my roadster out 'cause he's in front, so I find some 2x6 planks out back and lay them on my cousin's "just planted" lawn so I can go around.
I go back in and kick him once more and tell him I'm goin' around and splitting. He somehow figures out that it's indeed time to de-comatose. He grunts, spits something, and staggers out the door. Off we went. It was still completely dark.
I watched in the rearview mirror as we zipped by the endless rows of perfectly lined-up grape vineyards. It was "just right" outside for "roadstering" and Frank's chopped, black 34 looked good, except about every mile or so he'd go off on the shoulder and make a little poof of dust, then every half mile.
Then he just stopped in the middle of the road. I went back and woke him up, and he pulled over on the shoulder, got out, and laid down with the passenger door open, feet in the dirt, his butt in the air, and his head stuffed under the steering wheel. "Just let me snooze for 2 minutes, then I'll be ok".
So I jam to Visalia, get three giant bear claws, and 2 big cups of truckstop coffee. When I get back the door's still open, but he's gone. It's easy work to track him via the bouquet...... He left a extraordinary pile (or 2) of quivering stench in between the perfect rows of grape vines. I guess I just 'had' to shine my flashlight on it. He laughed and started chugging coffee. I gave him 2 bearclaws and we split.
I can tell he's waking up because little by little we're picking up speed. It starts getting light and by now we're racing each other a little, nothing serious, but having a good time. Pretty soon we're taking turns passing each other at over 100, and we're at the gas station at Kettelman City (Interstate 5).
Seems like it took about ten minutes....Frank pulls up alongside and says "didn't you give me 2 bearclaws?", I said yep, he said it must have flown out the window. I notice oil all over the place from my engine. An exhaust header bolt had vibrated out. I found one somewhere else on the car that wasn't so important, and used it. That's when I noticed a man and lady pointing at Frank as he was getting gas. They found the bearclaw; it was stuck on his butt. He'd been sitting on it for quite a while.
The rest of the drive to Cholame was uneventful except passing a sled every once in a while. Of course Frank went to Paso Robes immediately for another 5th and ended up crashing on Hwy 101 on the way home (it was late afternoon). He didn't hurt himself, just fell asleep and crunched his new fenders and bumper, etc. I went home on I-5."
I'm inviting Mike to add his own warning against drinking and driving. He is such a good writer. I feel exhausted, as if I had been through the whole weekend with him.
To the James Dean Index
JUMP AHEAD to the account of a Christmas 1996 crash in Indiana.
or JUMP BACK to Mike's pictures from Cholame
Thank you for visiting. You are car-crazy visitor number to this new single page since 6 August 1998