“Y’all come,” they’d said, those mountain musicians who were themselves far from home and chatting it up with the cute young folksingers. “Here’s how to find my house.”

It seemed like a good idea, and what’s more, I had just borrowed money from my mother to buy an old vehicle. It was nothing like Joe Maphis’s motor home—okay, it was a VOLKSWAGEN KOMBI—but still I figured I had a home now. It didn’t go much above fifty—fine, I was a lousy driver. It was an empty, windowless shell, horrendously noisy. But I’d soon have it fixed up nice and homey.

And the bus drove weird(ly): every time you changed gears, you were supposed to wind it up to ear-splitting revs before your shift, which I obediently did while disbelieving it. Clarence looked anxious: “Shouldn’t you be shifting down p’etty soon?” “Oh no, no, this is right.” “If you say so.”…

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Traveling musician

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