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Getting Started.(How it happened and George and me on our break-in visit to the Outer Banks, Nov. '07.)
The trip started with the NY Gilbert and Sullivan 2008 program flyer sometime late Summer. It didn't get dumped in the junk mail bin along with the rest of the stuff in my box and I didn't file it away in my "Cultural Opportunities" folder to languish with the Mozart Festival and other series events I never get around to. A colorful duo--Penzance pirate and comic Pinafore admiral in full dress--just said, "Do it!"
Maybe I was the first to call. The fellow on the phone sounded surprised, told me what a bargain I was getting and gave me first row aisle seats for the 4 shows in January. The tickets, when they came, got taped on that big Multiprint sign by the window, the real result of an unexpected urge for travel.
By the time cold weather started in earnest, there wasn't much outdoor work to do and bookings fell off with the falling leaves. I started thinking. When? Right after Thanksgiving. Lee Anne and Dave were coming up and I wouldn't miss that. How long? As long as I could manage, certainly at least as long as my "October" trips years ago, a full calendar month. How? I had just finally sold the '73 International (sad, tears) with camper. Besides, that would have been chancy on a long trip to who knows where. A trailer? I went so far as to outfit the '89 Peugeot for trailering and brought Neil down from Cadyville to look at Scotty to see what it needed. (No help. The structure was too old and weak to take the stress of travel.) I looked and looked with the idea somehow of finding the '74 Green Thing and the old 50's Airstream (you remember). What I saw was all too big, too fancy, too expensive.
In Placid one day in October for the dump and shopping, I spotted a smart looking black Suburban in a used car lot. I passed it by, but then changed my mind on the way back. Now, I have never kept up with what's happening in cars. The latest one I own has 15 years on it (the others are older), so I had no clue. It looked new to me. Turned out it was a '98 he was selling for a friend that got transferred to London. Asked $6500, offered $5500, accepted by email the next day. That's all I needed! I got Fred Drake to strip out the seats, build up the floor, wire a 110v supply plus a switched 12v battery line to the back and paint out the color accent to bring the styling up to date (Click for photo series, The Black Thing customized and styling updated November '07.) Bert helped me build storage boxes in the vacant spaces, a folding table up front for George and a computer, plus pine boards inside to secure the battery bank, fridge, microwave, heater, table and other gear. Nothing loose to move around.
Thinking ocean and remembering Micky and Bill Kellogg's Chincoteague, I made the Outer Banks for a two week breakin trip. (Click for photo series, The Outer Banks ocean at Ocracoke NC and Portsmouth Island November '07.) The rest is history--right here on these pages.
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