Today was a full day, if you consider a 5-hour drive a full day. Along the way, three trucks with wind generator blades brought everything to a full stop while they turned onto the highway ahead of me. What a project! Folks jumped out of lead vehicles to hold up stop signs, and the turning radius of those trucks is not so good on an ordinary broad intersection.
I wasn’t personally held up following them, however, since I got a cellphone call about an interview and post I wrote on the current owner of what was once drummer Gene Krupa’s 1940 Packard roadster. I think I wrote it for my past website venture The McHenry County Vintage Car Gazette several years ago. (That was archived by an Internet provider, with permission, because he felt the posts were too notable to let go offline.) A young man was calling because his boss had bought a very similar vehicle without much background info in 2009 for a “low” price, and he’d seen my article, which made him wonder what he had. “Provenance”, it’s called. With it, you can command big bucks. Without it, it’s just another old used car. He wanted to know the owner’s name in my interview (to match it up with who he bought his from), and darned if I could recall. I stumble over my own phone number, fer cry eye. I had to explain that some articles started out on a word processor, and some did not. In any case, that would be back at the ranch in Wellton AZ, to which I won’t return for many months. After I hung up, I also realized the possibility that I may well still have the original audio recording of the interview, which may or may not include the owner’s name. This evening, I found the article which includes the then-owner’s name and my dim recollection of what type of business he owned/owns, and advised him to try to look up and contact the guy to ask who he sold it to – possibly an intermediate owner who did not really know just what he had. Could be that if the owner passed away, the car’s info could have been lost or ignored by the estate. The caller’s car has the same body color and the “incorrect” bumpers that Krupa had fitted to his, so the article’s similarity to the caller’s car is excruciatingly tantalizing. Thing is, I also got another call a few years ago on the same article, and how these guys managed to dig up my number is a puzzler. Persistence pays.
Anyway, Chanute’s Santa Fe Safari Campground was already pretty crowded by 5 PM, and the Intrepid looks like a minnow among trout there. A couple of the camping trailers are soberingly ancient and huge, making even the 40′ motorhomes look compact. Transporting them must be a thrill. This place was advertised to have bathrooms and showers, but my tour so far netted one men’s room with one-open stall toilet next to one open-stall shower. I’ll do a larger walk before the heat sets in tomorrow, but I think that’s it for the entire camp and athletic field area. I’m two days ahead of schedule, so I may stay here in the partial shade for those days, since I have free water and electrical hookups. My final destination required reservations, so there’s no point in showing up early.