Ben Jarvis of The Wild Feathers: Notes from the Road Entry 2

Day 4: The New Trailer 
Little Rock to Atlanta 

Waking up with humorous stories from the night before is always nice. It can add to the sense of comraderie when everyone hops in the van and laughs about what drunk fool did what. Talking about other people, of course. What girl threw up, what dude had to be carried out, etc. It can especially lift your spirits when you find out your trailer is a thread away from busting an axle and the only option is to get a new one…

So we spent 3 hours in Cabot, AR getting a new rig. She seems like a damn fine one to me. The highlight of the trip of course was meeting the owners of the trailer dealership's chocolate lab, Missy. Always good to have some four-legged friend time on the road. 

So now it's a day off with a 10 hour drive to Atlanta. Hunker down. 


Piss Bottles

I've been in a van a long time today…Night has fallen, so my mind went strolling. Thinking about piss bottles. Bear with me. When you spend hours and hours everyday in a van carrying six dudes, eventually someone's going to piss in an empty plastic bottle. I remember the first time I ever heard of this concept.

Probably 12 or 13 years old. I was at a summer fishing camp in south Georgia. My final day at camp was the same day of a concert in Atlanta I was to attend. Looking forward to that show all summer long. My dad was to fly in a tiny three passenger plane down to the camp to pick me up so we could fly back to my hometown in order to make the drive to Atlanta in time for the show. Upon taking off, the pilot realized a malfunction in the landing gear, and was forced to land the plane right after take off. But not before they had to get the wheels out somehow, they were stuck. According to my dad, he was in charge of physically engaging the landing gear to get the wheels back in landing position. Furthermore, he had to hold the landing gear lever in place with his legs. They were confident the landing gear would hold, but if it did not, the lever could have viciously snapped back and broken my dad's legs. Not too mention the possibility of just flat out crashing the plane on the runway. It held. They landed. No scratches. Everyone was safe. But now my dad was forced to haul ass via automobile in order to at least have a shot at scooping me from camp and making it to the show. He didn't make it. Missed the show. Which was upsetting, but I was glad he was okay. Scary day. When I got in his truck, there was a Gatorade bottle full of his urine on the floorboard. He told me he had to do that while driving to try and make it on time. I found it gross and heroic.

The pilot of that treacherous flight that summer day was Colonel Seagraves. What a title and name. Colonel Seagraves. I took many flights with my dad and Colonel Seagraves as kid. Colonel Seagraves was probably flying the plane off his charm alone. He smelled of cigars and always had something witty to say. Usually wearing a peach colored collared shirt and white shorts, he appeared to always be on vacation. Brown and gray hair could not be set in a more immaculate part. Old, tan leathery face, around a friendly smile and the clearest, bluest eyes of a bombardier in his prime.

Of course, I cannot know for sure if this is an accurate description of Colonel Seagraves. Maybe that's just how I reconstruct his memory. The past is malleable, no doubt, and often history and story are synonymous, interchangeable. So then perhaps my dad did not really risk his life that day, maybe that's just part of his story. And maybe he just pissed in that bottle because he was lazy. I'd like to think not, and go with my original version.

And I'd also like to think that's why you don't think too hard about piss bottles.


Day 5
Birmingham, AL to Wilmington, NC

Plot twist. Change of plans. We intended to drive from Little Rock to Atlanta yesterday then finish the drill to Wilmington today. However, after all the time we spent getting the new trailer and crawling through a detour around a wreck on I-40 for a couple of hours, we stopped in Birmingham. More like paused in Birmingham.

Got in at 2am and back on the road at 6 so we can drive nine hours to make a radio appearance in Wilmington. That's how it goes sometimes.


Day 6
Wilmington NC to Charlotte NC to ???

Maybe I'd have lots to say right now, but I ended up drunk as Charles Bukowski last night. That can happen to you in a flash when the venue gives you a cheap bottle of whiskey. I'm not sure if I met Danny McBride (of “Eastbound & Down” fame) last night, but some of the other guys did. What a funny motherfucker. And now it feels like one of those Xlerator hand driers is going off in my head. You know, the ones in the bathroom that blow like hell and make an earpiercing racket. Sometimes you just gotta get drunk. You get all fired up from playing your heart out, laugh shit up in the green room with your boys in the band, go back out to the crowd, they're all wanting to hang out and drink. So you drink then.

I wish I'd gotten to see more of Wilmington. Which has nothing to do with being drunk, we just were not there for very long. Barely there. I think it's a coastal town. The crowd at the show was definitely nice and loud. I literally rocked my bandana off. Had my red bandana tied around my left wrist, but at the ending of the last song it was rendered unfurled and flew off.

Great show tonight at Tremont Hall. I had my picture taken with NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson. I sent it to my parents and they flipped out. Cute.
Now we are driving through the night to stop somewhere to sleep for a little bit. Getting up early to finish the drive to Annapolis MD for a radio event. Rip split burn.


Stay tuned as the adventures with Ben Jarvis and The Wild Feathers continue...if you missed the first entry, catch up and read it now

Posted May 15, 2013 05:15:34 pm

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