It was the summer of 74′. I was driving into Tulare about an hour south of Fresno. The temperature was unbearable. Even with the windows shut you could smell the cow manure hanging heavy on the air. At Neilsen’s diner people were talking about Nixon resigning. It was a lousy week of car trouble, heavy drinking and barely just enough cash to get me through this road trip before heading back to L.A.

You could see the heat waves rising on Hwy 99. I passed a teenager with a sign that said Portland. It could’ve been Willy Loman with a sign that said ” You gotta dream boy, it comes with the territory”! I had an appointment with The Owl & the Pussy cat shop. The store was well known throughout the San Joachin valley and the owner Lucy was as beautiful and sweet as the fruit that grew in this valley.

I had a variety of styles. Mary Quant mini skirts & hot pants knockoffs. Peasant blouses and Granny dresses with the frilly pie crust neck.  She loved it all, and wrote a whopping $20,000 order. I thanked her, and told her how she turned my week around.

I was rolling my clothing racks back to the car when I came upon two clean cut young men dressed in blue suits, white shirts & ties holding bibles. They stepped into my path and said, “Sir have you found god”?  I told them that I had indeed found god. I turned around and there was Lucy in the sunlight waving goodbye. I pointed to her and told them, “That’s god waving to us right now”! and continued rolling the clothing racks to my car. They seemed startled with my answer, and started to walk towards her. When I drove away, I saw them through the store window. Lucy the patron saint of salesmen, and the wayfarers.

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One comment on “LIVING ON THE SELVEDGE: Tulare Ca, 1974

  1. Fred Takemiya says:

    For those of you who might be reading this. Read the earlier posts. Good stuff. Watch this guy, whatzisname, Rizzo? Ratzo? Be sure to read the one about “Big Frank.”

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