A Few Excerpts From The Book "Then There Was One"

Also read excerpts from the book "South American Odyssey" and "Journey To The Lost City"
The Ultimate 70's Road Trip
...Now I’m no psychologist and I’m not exactly sure what talking in your sleep indicates but last night I dreamt that I was in a camera store looking at a light meter. The meter was stuck and I was slapping it saying, “Get down, get down!” At this point I awoke. Now I don’t know what Murray was dreaming but he was saying aloud, “Bug, you idiot, off my road, you idiot!” I think we’re both nuts.
...For the first time in our lives, we both took a helicopter ride. It was an amazing feeling being suspended in mid-air in a huge plastic bubble. I got some great pictures (I hope) as I sat by the open side, and believe me I did up the seat belt! The view we got of the Super Bowl V field all painted and ready to go is a sight I will never forget. The ride was extremely bumpy, beyond turbulence, and noisy as hell but it was well worth it.
...Houston is famous for the Astrodome, Dean Martin’s song and the Manned Spacecraft Center. We were unbelievably fortunate to be at the Manned Spacecraft Center today. Even with a half hour delay we felt pretty special as we sat in the press theatre to watch the lift off of Apollo XIV. I am in awe of this whole surreal situation that we find ourselves in at this moment. I reflect back to just a few short months ago that I graduated high school and now I’m sitting in Houston command control watching a lunar space launch! How do you say anything but WOW!?
...Murray is feeling a lot better so he started to drive and just before we picked up our film we had another accident. Ah shit, we just got hit by a street car! It’s going to be expensive, but you must admit, it’s different. That’s twice now that we’ve been creamed when we weren’t even moving. Tell the truth now; how many people do you know who have been hit by a trolley in Mexico City and how many people do you know who’ve checked into a roadside motel with cameras, suitcases, money and no car?
New Mexico
...Working like a jack rabbit with a lit highway flare up his bum we took down the tent and packed the campsite into the car. We had left the dishes in a pan of water on a picnic table overnight and they were frozen solid so we broke them out of the ice and dumped them into the back seat. The snow was blowing with blizzard force by now and we had been caught totally off guard so my hands and feet were frozen. It was getting colder and crappier by the minute so we took refuge in a cave.
...As we stood there taking a last look at this magnificent vista in front of us, we turned and looked at each other and said, “Where the hell is the car?” You’d think you’d be able to pick up a bloody red car but all we could see was cactus and desert and we really didn’t have the foggiest idea where it was. We walked in the direction that we agreed it should be and believe you me, it was disappointing crossing terrain we had never laid eyes on.
...After another disagreement with Eric, probably about absolutely nothing, I decided to go for a walk in the desert near our campsite. It was just getting dark and as I wandered away from the tent I hear a voice commanding: “Halt, who goes there? Advance and be recognized”. I remembered that phrase from dozens of war movies and complied with the command. To my surprise I ran into two young U.S. Air Force members. They had a big jug of some God awful wine and they offered me some. We sat around and drank. I found out they were on leave and were to ship out to Vietnam in a few days. As much as they kidded around I knew even then that they were worried about what might happen to them. The Vietnam War was still raging in 1971. I sometimes wonder what ever happened to those two scared kids.
...At about 5 PM our worlds collided and Murray and I had a huge fight. He went down to the lake to brood and I went into Vegas to brood. By the time I got back, we had both reached a decision. It seems unavoidable, this has happened before and it will happen again. Each argument we have just seems to get bigger and bigger even though we seem to argue over stupider and stupider things. We’re both trying to change one another to adapt to our different personalities and it isn’t going to work, therefore, tomorrow Murray will fly to Vancouver and I’ll stay here. I guess that will shorten my trip significantly.
California - again


...A few minutes later the sheriff came by to register all the campers. He was wearing the cowboy hat, the bandana, a star, boots and a gun slung low on his hip and tied around his thigh. I thought for sure I’d hear the Bonanza theme in the background and as he was registering me he farted. No kidding. Now isn’t that wonderful? I thought it was going to rain. Imagine that! I’m sitting in my car, minding my own business and the sheriff comes up to me and farts! Welcome to California.
Nevada - again


...I gave up and went in to Circus Circus where I knew they would be filming again so I watched for a while. They were shooting in the casino where the leading bad guy is at a slot machine. He turns and nods to an unknown accomplice in the casino. The same scene was filmed again from farther away, again with the man at the slot machine. Two girls in the picture are at the roulette wheel where I was watching the girls play so if they’re in the shot, then so am I. Of course the whole scene could end up on the cutting room floor, as a matter of fact, one of the assistant directors came up to me and asked me to move over a tiny bit because I was blocking one of the girls.
...On my return trip my brakes fell apart. Hey is anybody keeping track of how many times this has happened? I headed toward Brent’s to have them adjusted and on my way to the station I heard a siren behind me. I saw a policeman motioning me to the right so I pulled into the right lane assuming he wanted to pass. He kept motioning and it was only then that I realised that he probably wanted to talk to me about the three orange lights I’d gone through. I explained that my brakes were bad and I couldn’t stop (this is going to help) as a matter of fact I was just on my way to get them fixed. He was very nice to me and being from out of state helped I imagine. He let me go with a warning, “Now be more cautious, and get those brakes fixed!”


...In 2009 Murray and I both read the Ewan McGregor/Charley Boorman books “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down”. We found them immensely satisfying because in a very real sense they are us and we are them. Our trip is something that Murray and I will always share and always be thankful for. It certainly changed us, both good and bad, but mostly good I think. Our splitting up was destined to happen and we ultimately grew from it and cemented a lifelong friendship that started all those years ago in high school.

...I often wonder if we did the smartest things by jumping into cars with absolute strangers to go to town and visit cities or if it was the wisest decision to follow people to their homes to make a phone call. However, no harm came to us and we simply had faith in our fellow man at the time as it was a different world then and it never occurred to us that these choices might be bad. I’ve never gone camping again to this day and I still smile when I relive the feeling I got when we stayed late the next morning in a motel just to watch that colour TV.

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