It's not every day you can identify where something started. I've been lucky that way. I discovered rock and roll the day I heard a song called "Stairway to Heaven" on my Sony ball radio on WABC radio. Thank you Cousin Brucie!
Writing: stories, screenwriting, fiction, the whole deal? It all began with the scene in The Graduate when Ben meets Elaine's boyfriend at the Berkeley Zoo. Karl! Katherine Ross and Dustin Hoffman forever etched in my heart. When Elaine and Karl stroll off arm in arm and Benjamin Braddock gazes mournfully at the chimps in the monkey house to the heartbreaking refrain of "Sounds of Silence" (on the harpsichord! oh-so 60s), I was toast. You laugh, you cry, all at the same time. Hello writing career. Where do I sign up?
This is not the precise moment I discovered my passion for the road, but it is darned close.
That's "the Barn" and me atop my first apartment after college in 1981. We're in Berkeley. I was living with my girlfriend Jodi. Larry came out to visit. We played tennis, smoked weed, and took Jodi out to dinner at a restaurant called Ciao on 230 Jackson Street in San Francisco that, for some odd reason, I remember like it's yesterday. I lost track of Jodi a million years ago. The Barn is, sadly, gone. But way back then, Larry and I somehow convinced our mothers to let us drive cross country in high school between our junior and senior years. We used my mom's Chevy Nova. My dad gave me a carton of Newports as a going away present. Our CB radio "handle" was Day Tripper. We logged 10,090 miles in 2 months.
I cannot embark on a road trip without thinking of The Barn. Tomorrow me and my boys set off on a 2,400 mile jaunt from Palm Desert, CA to Brooklyn, NY. Oddly enough, yet again, I am setting off in my mom's car, as we haul it back east after her winter away from the cold. The boys chose this trip eyes wide open. We love our road trips. The Barn and I kept a hand-written log in a scratchy blue notebook liner. I'll do the same @kennyrcarlton on Instagram. Stay tuned. We are wheels-up Tuesday morning, 6 a.m.