“I’M IN, BROTHER!!!” was what came over the receiver of my phone. Finally my month and a half of begging, pleading, lobbying, and finally physical threats had worked. Tim and Jim, the band was back together!
That sentence was followed with...“But, I have a few health issues and such you need to know about."...ugh. So, you did tell me Tim…but you know how I listen when I have a project I’m geeked about.
My simple inspiration was to go out and see what’s changed along a sleepy East-West Route in a world that’s changed so much since 1999. I wanted to take along the guy who ten years ago I barely knew when we first started down the same road, and in the last ten years have spent almost 8 weeks in a car with doing other books.
This time was going to be different; I knew that ahead of time. I knew the pace, the frantic pace that had to be maintained to finish in the slim window of time. I knew there was way more involved in shooting video than shooting stills. I did forget, most people are not as mono-focused, obsessed freaks about their work as I am. The project at any cost! The capture of the image is the most important thing! Nothing and no one has a chance if they get in the way of me getting that shot. Hence, some unceremonious shoving out of the way prior to this trip of me, and by me…sorry about that ma'am, character flaw removal is in the works.
We were doing loooong days, lots of miles, couple hrs of sleep a night, not exactly the most brilliant diets, though healthier than the original RT66 adventure. I know Tim wasn’t impressed with my blatant and taunting disregard for any and all speed laws, and my demand for “better” and "more" all the time. It all took a toll.
As we cruised west, meeting our interview subjects and blasting along to meet the next checkpoint, we talked, we reminisced. Tim has had a lot of words locked up in his head that have not had a viable outlet. I listened most of the time on this trip. “C’mon”, “Are you F’in kidding me”, and “Jesus, man” were common responses as I heard his stories.
I’ve come to believe that the "Road Trip" is a great and wonderful creature. It bonds people together, it can make or break a relationship, you learn a lot about the people your with, and it’s inevitably filled with adventure. In the case of this project it’s the common thread that binds all the characters, places, Tim and myself together. It's the real backbone of this whole story.
It took ten years and two trips down Route 66 for Tim to get his feet into the Pacific Ocean. When he did, I realized that the two things that may have changed most in ten years along Route 66 might just be the two fools who drove too fast, and too far to get here.
I dropped Tim off at a hotel near LAX...I had bought him a ticket for the following day back to Chicago. He thanked me for getting him out of the house, then called me a few well deserved expletives, which I responded with my own. A hug, a "so long fucker" from both of us and that was it. That was the last time I saw Tim.
This is the last Route 66 Blog "Webisode". Work now gets into gear on the full length documentary. I'm really happy I did this project, glad Tim was there, without whom, this would never have happened.