portfolios: Between Here & Cool
It all started with a title. Like Ed Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Between Here and Cool arose out of a phrase stuck in my head like a bull nettle stuck to my sock. (Rub cow manure on a bull nettle sting, my grandmother would say.) I had to do something with it. Traveling the back roads and blue highways, it was 5,926.4 miles between here and Cool—between Cool, Texas; Cool, California; Cool, Iowa; and home again. Boldly, and sometimes foolishly, I encountered the American landscape, its dreams, its inhabitants, and pushed my own automobility far beyond what I ever thought possible (actual and metaphorical). In the grand tradition of the American road story, I documented my 18-day experience through image and text, relic and road-trip ephemera, yielding to that insatiable desire we have as human beings to get in the car and go—even if we’re going alone—and then to tell about it. What happened there, in a short list: 1 moving violation (warning); 4 rolls of film loaded incorrectly or wound improperly and thereby effectively ruined; 30 minutes lost while being thoroughly searched at a Border Patrol checkpoint; 2 more Border Patrol checkpoints; 1 wedding ceremony; 1 friend’s birthday (missed); 1 evening with motel furniture propped up against motel room door for added security (long story); more than 1 long story; 2 “loads” of laundry washed in motel sinks; 1 evening worrying about the upcoming 3 days in the Grand Canyon; 3 days in the Grand Canyon; 18 souvenir t-shirts; 22 souvenir coffee mugs (Wyoming has the best coffee mugs.); 32 delightful strangers; 1 Firestone 15" 195/65R15 tire (flat); 2 mechanics; 16 postcards mailed home; 8 postcards mailed to Mama; 5 postcards mailed to Grandmama; 46 (roughly) dropped calls; 6.2 miles run around Area 51; 1/4 lb of Green’s Creek Gruyere (I left my cheese in Marfa.); 17 stops for gas; 13 honks from passers-by; 14 motel beds; 54 meals; 6 cameras; 1 light meter (lost); 56 rolls of film; more than 1 way to go; more than 1 dead end.