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May 6, 2019: Wearing Yet Another Hat

I am really tired. It’s going to be a challenge, staying awake long enough to write this dispatch. This is because I got up at 6:15 a.m. this morning. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. This is no way to live.

I got up early so that I could go with Felipe to a town sponsored event called “Drive your Tractor to Work Day.” It was the third annual. About thirty farmers drove tractors from the outskirts of Palmer to the town center, where the Depot is. It was farmer’s hours, for sure. Breakfast was being served, and because I am a farmer, I ate my share of scrambled eggs, potatoes and whole wheat pancakes.


I was Felipe’s production assistant today. I pointed out people that he should interview, and after he interviewed many, I pointed him in the direction of the Palmer Historical Museum where he spent a few hours, interviewing Richard, the archivist. I then read a book about the early colonists. We ate lunch at Vagabond Blues and then he was interviewed by Amy Petit, who works for the Alaska Farm Trust, on Radio Free Palmer.

Quite interesting, to see Felipe both interview others and be interviewed. He is the story and at the same time is working on his own story. This is literary nonfiction. And me? I was constructing my own story, which I am now telling in this dispatch.

Felipe’s way of doing things and mine are radically different. He has a video camera in hand and gets his information this way. And yes, people talk. We are of that age. Me, I talk with people at length, as I did in working on When you Come to a Fork in the Road Pick it Up. Then I spend a lot of time thinking about what was said, and writing, and revising.

Felipe did say that he got an editorial assist when writing Long Road Home. He said his editor was ruthless. Me, I am my own editor.

There was a part of me that did not like being a production person. I would of course, much rather be doing what I was trained to do, which is to take notes and write.

This difference is going to make itself apparent in the way we tell our own trip stories. I will write dispatches this summer and also post photos on Instagram. But I am not going to carry a video camera, rather just a small camera.

It occurred to me tonight that Felipe, in having a support vehicle, is going to be restricted to traveling on the road, this with his wild mustangs. Pete and I will park our trailer and travel on trails. I actually prefer this. We also know our horses – his horses right now are an unknown variable since he’s put in just a few weeks training them.

I was glad to give him an assist because he’s such a kind and thoughtful person, and also very much invested in what he’s doing. So, today, putting on yet another hat was a good thing for me to do.

Next: 125. 5/7/19: Treating Animals Kindly

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