Stranger On A BUS

Busking Tour Fall 2001

Santa Monica Pier and Promenade

indent spacerThroughout nearly 7,000 miles of bus pass travel I only tossed in one round trip excursion - from Oakland on 10/26 overnight to LA, UCLA in WestWood, and Santa Monica's Library, Pier, and Promenade, then back to Oakland/Berkley overnight by Sunday 10/28...oh, and here's the story of the first sea shell, coming up soon...

indent spacerAs was previously arranged, when I arrived at the Oakland bus depot, on the 26th, I simply put my luggage in a locker, went up to a café in downtown Berkeley for Java and proceeded to acclimate a bit, found a new bench to busk upon near the west gate of UC Berkeley, went up to the Sproul Plaza area and Telegraph Avenue, checked out People's Park one more time, generally to get the Road out of my head ...finally I called an Oakland friend, who came and picked me up....we went to the locker grabbed the luggage and proceeded to her place to meet the household one more time. After a great updating news session, and fine evening meal, it was back to the bus depot for the overnight to LA!

indent spacerI chose once again, to go to the UCLA campus via Sunset Blvd. It's quite a trek on the bus! I got lost downtown making the transfer, and had to walk through several blocks to Hill, near the transition between the old downtown LA buildings (a lot past their prime....) and the new skyrise build-up - from grungy-grimey back East look to scrubbed sidewalks Oh-So-TIDY! Then the long ride through ethnic enclaves with billboards in so many languages and scripts! Through the Hollywood thing (past Sunset and Vine - where a guy that made it into Hair! and I hung out in the Summer of LOVE!), past the Troubador w here I first heard James Taylor back then, on out through Bel Air, Beverly Hills to Westwood. A walk down through the campus to a coffee house for some Java joe. Outside I sat to play but couldn't find very much of a groove.

indent spacerSo, I walked to where the Santa Monica buses run and headed for the Library there...decided against Venice, (here's some links to Venice) tried to contact a fellow I met at the Woodstock re-union in August, who had to be working overtime...I took the chance this would happen, and no contact happened....oh well - next year in Bethel!

indent spacerThe Santa Monica pier beckoned. Lots of people mid-afternoon...balmy see breeze....that great view of the mountains above Malibu. I reached into my jacket pocket for one of the shells I found at the Atlantic in Myrtle Beach, and tossed it into the surf of the Pacific...whew-ee! Say HEY!!
indent spacerHopefully the B & W pix of the surf breaking on the pilings under the amusement park will come out well enough to post here. It was very relaxing in a Zen sense to watch the sea gulls get airborn from the beach soar above the pier and float on the breeze no more than 20 feet from my head! Simply put these little vignettes are priceless beyond measure...whoever wrote the Tao Te Ching understood.

indent spacerBack up in the narrow park that overlooks land's end, I found a place to set up and busk....soon a young Japanese couple came up wanting to snap a few seemed they hardly spoke English, and used gestures to get me to understand...I did the same, directing the fellow to stand behind me with his hand over my shoulder opposite my guitar....they both seemed elated with being able to capture this moment of our lives together in this great big wide world of ours.

indent spacerThen to the promenade, where lots of shps and food places stretch along several blocks. Busking mimes, jugglers, rap artists, street side bands playing the Grateful Dead's Steal Your Face and the Band's The Weight. I felt content to get some more Java at a Border's bookstore, and some Pizza (yummy!).

The ride back to the bus Depot and the return trip overnight were thankfully uneventful.

Ole Double-dy Clutch!
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