We drove back from Santa Barbara yesterday. Got home after 11pm, past my bedtime certainly. Nephew’s team played in the consolation round of the tournament, winning their final game in a penalty kick phase after one period of overtime. I was aghast that they had 9 and 10 year old boys facing the anxiety of the penalty kick, an anxiety so severe and existential that a book has been written and a movie has been made about it. However, like many things fraught with the potential for existential anxiety it turned out to be just fine. Nephew was first up on his side and made his kick. I may have cheered and pumped my fist in the air, which might have caused my son to look at me with that special, “My mother is a doofus” smile. But it was worth it.
We stopped for dinner in Pismo Beach. I had seen for years a place above the freeway called F. McClintock’s. Decided yesterday to investigate. Turns out it was a Dining Saloon. The 30-foot cowboy statue out front should have provided a strong clue. The menu consisted mostly of medium-sized and larger-sized pieces of beef. Those patrons who were not wearing cowboy hats were on the heavy side. Makes you understand that the American diet was made for cowhands, who must use up 10,000 calories/day wrangling cattle and riding around on bumpy horses. My daughter said, “Mom, why are there cowboys at a beach town in California?” She didn’t know that central California is all about cows and just happens to touch the ocean at Pismo Beach. She will learn.
The waitstaff was incredibly cheerful and the beef was delicious and a good time was had by all. I was a little put off by the head of a hairy pig that was affixed to the wall above me, but I got past it.
When we got back on the road the sun was setting. The skies got darker and darker until it was night. Somewhere in the middle of the drive, somewhere with no towns, not even any cows, we hit a radio station playing Motown. My son is a Motown expert. Even he heard songs he didn’t know, but mostly it was the usual suspects. The Supremes, “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Junior Walker and the Allstars, “Shotgun.” Mary Wells, “My Guy.” I can’t think of too many things better than Motown on a California freeway late in a dark night.
Little boys and girls playing sports happily, cowboys feeding the rest of us meat, and Motown on a freeway. I say bring on the amber waves of grain. It’s kind of corny but I can’t help it. Some times I just love America .