Better Living Through Science

Nothing else I did on Wednesday seems worth mentioning when compared to the Glore Psychiatric Museum, so let's just get right to it, shall we? My dear and perceptive friend Beverly had mentioned the Glore Psychiatric Museum to me while I was planning my trip and as soon as I heard about it I added it to the very short list of places I absolutely had to go, and boy howdy am I ever glad I did!

This is Dr. Glore who having worked in the mental health field and witnessed the horrors of the system first hand, was determined to preserve and document some of the outlandish and even horrific attempts that have been made over the centuries to "cure" mental "illness." Plus, he liked aviator style glasses.
The Glore is a prize specimen of a rapidly dwindling breed: a museum with character, one you can tell was fashioned by real people and not just some team of fancy Noo-York curator types making illuminated wall labels. We're talking rampant use of early 60s-era manequins, bad wigs, Ken doll dioramas and fancy special effects like using cellophane to represent water. And the real beauty of it (to me at least) is that because the Glore has so much soul, it's much more compelling and effective at getting its story across than a glossy high dollar interactive exhibit would be.

The museum occupies several old wards on the grounds of the St. Joseph State Hospital in Missouri. There are three floors packed full of fascinating exhibits. It was so cool to be able to take a gander at ancient technological devices I'd only read about previously, like the iconic fever cabinet or the much feared ECT (shock therapy) unit. This gal, who is killing some time in the fever cabinet, seems to have hair that holds up pretty well to all the heat and sweating - and that's the exact reason to invest in a good haircut my friends.
A good number of the items on display had been in actual use at the St. Joseph Hospital over the years, but there was also a room that served as a sort of chamber of mental horrors, displaying replicas of restraint and attention getting devices that had been used in the 17th and 18th centuries to treat patients. There were coffin sized metal and wood cages, a huge turning device that spun a patient around until they became hysterical, and even a 10 foot high enclosed wheel that a patient would be placed in for punishment. If the patient moved at all, the wheel would turn and force the patient to keep moving in that direction to stay upright (see photo of suffering Ash Blonde below - the wheel is in the background). The Salem Witch trials were of course examined thoroughly (very popular with the tourists), with a very convincing manequin evoking the horror and beauty of being burned at the stake ALIVE! I had to ask myself when I saw her, "Where on earth did she find a hairdresser that could do a shag haircut in the 1600s?"

This below display is subtle, but hilarious. The text reads, "Replicas of 18th-19th century leech storage jars". What cracks me up is that when you look at the vessels, you can just imagine some craft class at the St. Jo Community Center where the girls got together and made replica leech jars for the museum. Fancy gold lettering, even! Faux leech jars. How can anyone possibly get bored with this planet?

Freezing water seems to have been a popular tool of disruption through the ages, and there are numerous displays depicting icy dousings. This gal had to sit in a tub of cold latex and then get saran wrap draped over her head to get her attention. At least her nails look good.

It was clear the little hussy seen below needed to be tamed - just look at that eye make up! You know she was trouble from the get go!

One of the most visceral (pun fully intended) exhibits at the museum is a large (3 foot by 3 foot) mandala of rusty screws and bolts and buttons and safety pins and earrings - all manner of oddments. The business-like recorded voice that crackles from a device that looks a lot like a 60s alarm clock informs you that each and every item in the display (which has been lovingly sewn into a festive sunflower like shape) was removed from the stomach of a female patient who was a chronic swallower. I could be more graphic than that, but trust me, it's not in your best interest. Just enjoy the nice collage. A dutifully typed listing of each of the items removed from the woman's stomach appears in the case along with a unpleasantly mysterious substance which I'm sure at one time was glue but after many years of aging unfortunately more resembles the actual contents of this deceased woman's stomach. "The patient died during surgery" the voice reports unflinchingly. My guess is the poor woman couldn't face her favorite aunt after the whereabouts of her missing earrings had finally been determined.

The third floor of the museum houses the inmate art display and has quite a few fascinating items. My favorite was a board covered with some of the crazy scribblings of a man who write them and then quietly slip them into the back of the dayroom t.v. When his secret was finally discovered, there were 525 scraps filled with lunatic ravings, packed into the cabinet of the television. He sure seemed to admire Nixon and Agnew too.

After I was satisfied that I'd seen every square inch of the museum (I called Mark three times during my tour to report on things I'd discovered) I stopped by the gift shop, picked up a souvenir brain for Mark, and left with a deep sense of satisfaction at having found something I often long for, but seldom get to enjoy.

How many days will I be allowed to dwell in this place of roadtrip nirvana?


Special of the Day

I apologize if I'm causing chronological confusion by writing about a day that doesn't necessarily match the date of the blog entry. Since I'm a little behind, I've camped out in a Motel 6 room in Lincoln, Nebraska and I'm going to catch up on my writing so we won't have that problem anymore, damn it!

On Tuesday morning, I left Columbia and headed off toward northern Kansas City (the Missouri flavor) so I could visit Leila's Hair Museum in the suburb of Independence. As I eased onto the interstate, I was ecstatic to see a sign ahead that listed a Stuckey's Rest Stop a mere 25 miles away. Now I'm a child of the 60s and I was raised stopping at every Stuckey's along the way, whenever we travelled by car. If you've never been to a Stuckey's, it's the bona fide mothership of rubber tomahawks, copper jewelry with fake plastic turquoise, pecan divinity and godawful taffy. They're few and far between these days so I never pass one without stopping if I can help it. When I went in, I discovered a whole revolving display of state shaped magnets and greedily snatched up all the states I'd be driving through or had already visited (save Arkansas, which for some strange reason they were sold out of). I find it perplexing that there would be a run on Arkansas, but oh well. When I returned to the car, I happily applied the shapes of the states that I'd already traversed to the back of my car in roughly geographical order and stood back to admire the display - wonderful! The others I tucked safely away in the glove box for application at the appropriate time. I'll have quite a map by the time I'm finished.

When I stopped to get gas in the little town of Concordia, I decided to take a look around the old part of town and see if I could scare up some lunch. Bingo! Topsy's Restaurant on the main drag! Perfect.

My teenaged waitress seated me in a booth next to the pie case and I began looking over the menu only to find the usual small town diner options - burgers, chef salad, blue plate special. While I was considering the choices, a small fortune cookie fortune sized piece of paper tucked in the corner under the protective plastic shrouding which entombed the menu caught my eye: fried brain sandwich with choice of potato $2.25. After the shock of it wore off, it dawned on me that this might well be the only opportunity I get in my lifetime to eat a fried brain sandwich. I start reasoning with myself, "Well, if they offer it as a special, it's got to be popular and the cook probably knows what the hell he/she is doing since that's not exactly something you can get from Sysco. Plus, how can I go wrong for $2.25?" I asked the waitress if she'd ever tasted it and she got a funny look on her face like it was inconceivable that I would even ask, "Some folks really like them" she offered helpfully. "They dress it up just like a hamburger with mayo and mustard and ketchup. Just pretend it's a tenderloin!" How could I say no?

Turns out the sandwich was delicious. I fixed it up pretty much just like you would a burger, with one important difference. Brains. And what I've found is it's the brains in fried brains that people don't much cotton to. As I swallowed about my sixth or seventh bite and tried to identify the flavor I was experiencing, a wry smile crept over my face when I realized that what it most tasted like was a veggie burger. I bet you couldn't tell one from the other in a blind taste test.

I rounded out the meal with a piece of raisin cream pie which turns out to be just like banana cream pie with a few raisins and no bananas. It was tasty, but cloyingly sweet and creamy.

Topsy's turned out to be quite the culinary adventure. It's great when a hunch pays off so richly. I left Concordia with a belly full of brains and whipped cream and headed off to the Hair Museum.

I don't have but this one picture of the hair museum as pictures were allowed only in the foyer, not inside the museum itself. It was a very curious place. The subject matter was very compelling to me, but the experience was unsettling somehow. The lighting was harsh and the color palette suprisingly monotone. The Museum houses the largest and possibly the only collection of items made with human hair. A large part of the collection is made up of floral wreaths, oftentimes each flower being fashioned from a different member of the family tree. There is also an impressive collection of jewelry woven from Victorian tresses.

While the content and concepts and presentation of the collection (some of the shadowbox frames that housed the hair wreaths were just exquisite) were all well executed, strangely I found it hard to escape the cultural norm that seeing dead people's hair is creepy. And you can't avoid it in the museum - everywhere you look is hair, hair and more hair.

The charming docent that took me around the museum made me smile to myself when she told me that she had in fact quit Miss Leila's Beauty School because she discovered during her training that she didn't like touching other people's hair. The concept of people that are severly mismatched to their jobs, like a postman with a fear of dogs, have always been fascinating to me. Can you imagine working in a hair museum every day when you didn't like other people's hair?

As I pulled away, I saw Miss Leila drive into the parking lot in a big white Eldorado with license plates reading "HAIR". She's apparently in her 80s and wears a close cropped platinum flip. I was a little sorry I didn't get a chance to meet her.

More road, more root beer. How could you not stop for a root beer float at a place like this?
After the hair-owing (for you, Marty) experience at Leila's, I headed off toward Lawrence, Kansas, reputed to be a city much like Austin except for the size (which is much smaller). On the recommendation of Erin's friend Way Mona who has lived in Lawrence for many years, I checked into the wonderful Eldridge Hotel right smack in the middle of town. Way Mona wasgracious enough to meet me for dinner and we had a great time. We had a tasty meal at one of the many many fabulous looking establishments along the main drag and then walked up and down the street in the mist to soothe our stuffed guts.
When I turned in, the sheets felt like satin. I slept the sleep of the dead. Zzzzz.....


Cee-ment and Butterflies

After spending a deliciously quiet and relaxing Sunday morning writing on my laptop while lounging in bed in my fancy spa quality bedroom at the O'Donnell mansion, I mustered the interest to mount an expedition to Cement Land, the latest project (in progress) orchestrated by Billy Cassilly of City Museum fame. Cement Land is being constructed at the site of an old cement plant that sits very near the Mississippi in an old industrial area in extreme north St. Louis. When I arrived, I made several slow passes around the perimeter of the property to see if I could see something interesting or find a way to get in. A great deal of money has obviously been spent to erect a good solid fence with a triple row of barbed wire on top, so my hopes began to fade as I pulled into gate after gate only to find no signs of life and no possible way to enter. Before I departed, I stopped to take a picture of the fence that had been constructed along one side of the property using the barrels from old cement mixers as posts. As I got closer, I realized that the barrels sat on top of a berm (which I suspect is actually cement factory tailings) and there was no fence or perimeter (and more importantly a distinct lack of a "No Trespassing" sign) where the barrel fence ended. I climbed up the steep incline and was rewarded with a sweeping view of the whole compound that had been hidden from the street. From what I could see, they weren't very far along on the project and there wasn't a single sign of life except when a little creature would skitter off into the weeds ahead of where I was walking. I headed toward a tunnel entrance I had seen from the road to see if it held anything of interest, but it was welded securely shut. The best part of the entire walk turned out to be the return trip - as I walked along the small pond that was adjacent to the tunnel entrance, I noticed that every single leaf and stick that was above the water was covered with swarms of Vishnu blue damsel flies - more than I've ever seen in one place. It was absolutely gorgeous, those vibrant blue matchsticks, hovering over an ochre and green and brown backdrop. I stood in the quiet and watched enraptured for many happy moments.

I climbed back into the car, a happy camper, and headed back to the O'Donnell homestead to meet up with Ile Ann and go to a Butterfly House that's quite near their home. Not only was it lovely to see all the butterflies fluttering delicately about hovering over all sorts of lovely flowers, but I learned a LOT of really interesting facts about butterflies at the same time. For instance, did you know that scientists believe that butterflies have the widest range of color perception (they can even see ultraviolet!) of any living creature? I always knew I wanted to be a butterfly, but now I'm even more determined. The Butterfly House also had displays of different insects and I found these gigantic milipedes particularly appealing. This little fella is all curled up sleeping, and he must have been having a good dream, because all the legs curled around his head started running just before he snuggled down deeper into his own coils. He was beautiful to watch.

After one last short visit with Ile Ann and Eugene (during which I received a wonderful care package for the road complete with a delicious ham sandwich, blueberry Pop Tarts and some cantaloupe chunks that Eugene had cut up for me), I left the O'Donnells and headed toward Columbia via the Missouri wine country. Eugene had advised me on a couple of good routes to take, so I meandered along lovely two lane roads and passed through lots of picturesque Missouri hamlets. In one of them, this sign attracted my attention and I had to turn the car around so I could take a picture.
The Zerna's have a large meat market that sits directly behind the sales office that you can see above. How convenient is it, I ask you, to be able to shop for a new car AND smoked thick sliced country bacon at the same time?!? One stop shopping when possible has always been my philosophy. Plus, as Erin pointed out, these people are bound to be experts at manifold cooking! Too bad I was there after business hours had concluded.

As I glided back onto the simple two lane blacktop snaking through the rolling green of the country, the light started to golden and I rolled the windows down so I could smell the air and the grass and water. The clouds had been making elaborate displays all afternoon long, but all of a sudden, there appeared a vibrant and perfect sun dog! I love sun dogs and this was a really good one. A sun dog is an optical effect whereby ice crystals in clouds create the illusion of two mock suns, one on each side of the sun if you're lucky. This one had both dogs, and both were bright and persistent.

I took this close up of the left hand dog and I love how surreal it looks:

As I drove along, eyes riveted to the dramatic cloud display above me, I happened to look down at the road just in time to see a turtle shaped lump in the middle and swerve. The Missouri river was within cannon shooting distance, and the abundance of fields filled with standing water indicated that a great deal of water had moved through the area recently. This poor little fella had probably been away from home for awhile. I retrieved him from the asphalt and ferried him over to a watery ditch nearby. He stayed shut tight the entire time, although I could feel movement within the shell so I knew he was alive and kicking. What a nice thing to have happen. Getting to save a turtle is a gift.

I drove until dark and found a place to stay in Columbia as fast as I could. I'm eager pretty much every evening to get to a hotel and get comfortable so I can settle in and do some writing. I'm really enjoying my blogging.


St. Louis: City Museum, Country Living

I left my colorful flophouse appointments in southernmost Illinois (although it had been the scene of the third iteration in less than a month of a compliment relating to the quality of my fine looking legs) just before noon Saturday and headed back across the river into St. Louis.

I was in search of the City Museum (http://www.citymuseum.org/about.html) which is housed at the former site of the International Shoe Company in downtown St. Louis, damn near in the shadow of the Arch. The City Museum is the brainchild of arist Bob Cassilly and is a fantasy playground awash with color, whimsy and cheek. It's clever but not slick, hip but not elitist and incredibly fun without all those pesky and unnecessary warnings.

Cassilly and his team of artists (rumored to be around 20 in number) have covered almost every square inch of the old factory with interesting and beautiful objects, a good bit of it salvaged industrial objects repurposed for beauty and wonder. Above, for example, bread pans have been used to make a curvilinear (I just had to use that word) wall surface that encloses the bathrooms, standing approximately 100 feet long and 10 feet high. It catches the light beautifully and shows off the intricate mosaics that surround it.

Slides, tunnels, passages, crawlspaces, secret entrances, pathways and overlooks riddle the entire 3 story complex. Imagine a three story gorgeously rendered Habitrail for humans! It was a beehive of activity when I was there with ecstatic children swarming everywhere. I tried to imagine the passion I would have felt as a child about being let loose in that place. I would never, ever, have wanted to go home. Now I have the knees of an old lady, and I instead merely walked around in wonderment, bedecked with an enormous smile for at least the first hour I was there.

There were diorama tributes to the corndog, the world's largest pair of underwear and a Midwest spatula collection in one area. That's where I sat and drank my beer. Yes, beer. How civilized is that to serve beer at your museum?! The museum also stays open until 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. I think that's the coolest. I really want to go back for a nighttime visit.
One of the most popular attractions at the Museum is a long, long 2.5 story slide that shoots the rider down a peaked tunnel of conveyor belt rollers that have been painted in different colorful patterns. As you barrel down the chute, you can extend your hands by your sides and turn all the rollers as you go by. It makes a great sound and a dazzling visual display, especially if you look behind you as you go. I went down twice and would have gone more if those damn kids hadn't gotten in my way!
I very much enjoyed my visit to the Museum and was very inspired by the character and beauty of the place. I once again found myself in deep awe of what people can do when they put their minds to it. I'd even go so far as to say my faith in humanity was a bit restored.

After leaving the museum, I drove out to far western St. Louis (almost in the country!) to visit my friend Erin's family. We had a very enjoyable dinner (classic midwestern: pork steaks, potato salad, green salad and biscuits - fabulous!) and not long after we'd cleared the table and watched a bit of baseball, the downdrafts of an approaching thunderstorm tossing the trees outside caught my attention. The first tendrils of lightning and a rush of cool air coaxed me immediately out onto the deck to enjoy the first good storm I'd seen in a long while. Erin's dad Eugene was nice enough to bring me a rain slicker so I could throw it over my bulk and sit under the eaves with my legs sticking out in the rain. It was beyond fabulous. Tick off another amazing day and I'm beginning to think I'm charmed.


The Day of Oh So Much Wonder

I am sitting in my low rent motel room just northeast of St. Louis, contemplating the extraordinary nature of this golden day and enjoying a delicious repast of Cheez-its, Diet Pepsi and fresh roadside peaches (this photo is for you, dear Dave). It's hard for me to believe how fabulous my day was - I feel like I must surely have exceeded some limit on fun that's supposed to be in place.

Brooke and I slept in a bit this morning after another ultra late night and headed off toward Billy Tripp's place shortly before noon. As we drove toward the town square of Brownsville just down from the Mindfield, we spotted an elaborately lettered sign which stood sentry at the driveway entrance of a beautiful old home. The sign promised all sorts of delightful produce. Intricately planted flowerbeds lined the driveway and beckoned us toward the back verandah where a cornicopia of home grown produce was arrayed in colorful and orderly rows. The real find, however, was the delightfully effervescent proprietor Doris. She had Brooke and I ensorceled from the very beginning. Doris just loves people and it's obvious in her open and generous demeanor. Brooke and I had a ball chatting with Doris and meeting her dog Dumplin'.

Doris has owned Dumplin' for 8 years, and calls him her "little man," which I found very apropos - Dumplin' very definitely has the countenance and bearing of a little man, and a sweet one at that.

Brooke and I couldn't resist picking out all sorts of delicious things from Doris's verandah - fragrant cantaloupes, ruby red tomatoes, slim young cucumbers and a single green pear. After I vanquished my opponent I Don't Know, I relented and had Doris measure me out a pound of shelled purple hull peas. I'm currently cyphering on how to best cook them on the car manifold in the next day or so, so if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. In fact, please feel free to use the comment feature of the blog so EVERYONE can enjoy your suggestions.

After Doris tallied up our shopping spree, she reached inside a well worn but beautiful cigar box she uses as a backyard cash register to make change. When Brooke and I remarked on how unusual and lovely the cigar box was, Doris beamed and explained with obvious fondness that it had belonged to her dad and that she thought he'd be tickled with how she was using it.

It was obvious from the smile on Doris's face and the light in her beautiful eyes that she had enjoyed our visit as much as we had. I left having a deep sense of being in love with people and how amazing they are. Doris is the very essence of why I go around meeting people - she's a real gift to humanity.

We waved fond farewells to Doris and got back on the trail to the Mindfield. I had read the evening before that Billy lived in the shop behind the Mindfield and didn't mind meeting folks if he wasn't busy, so I drove through the gates with high confidence and a hopeful heart. As we walked up to the shop, Billy appeared in the doorway and greeted us with a shy grin. We introduced ourselves and told him we had visited the previous evening and had wanted to meet him, which seemed to please him.

Brooke and I spent the next couple of hours shooting the breeze with Billy, a good bit of which unfolded in comfortable chairs perched on the lovely second story deck overlooking Billy's private salvage yard. Pretty much every sentence Billy uttered added to my respect and admiration of his mind and character. The three of us chatted easily and deeply, and the time just seemed to evaporate, unlike the glistening sweat that continually beaded my brow. Dang it's humid in Tennessee! I can't imagine how Billy musters the courage to stick weld in this weather.

By the time we left, Billy had showered us with gifts (including a copy of his book) and just as we were about ready to leave, he asked Brooke to read a bit of his writing aloud for us to enjoy. It was a magical moment, the three of us gathered together on the remote island of Rural Tennessee Metal Shop, listening to a river of melodious words, enthralled with the nowness of what we were experiencing. These are the moments that truly make my life extraordinary and I enjoy each and every one of them.

After consulting with Billy on a good place to stop and have lunch, Brooke and I left on a mission to find Helen's BBQ - a local favorite according to Billy. His instructions carried us along a country road where we found a dilapidated building whose homliness did not seem to daunt the continual flow of eager customers one iota. When we entered the dining room, we found a gentleman sitting at one of the three tables, chatting gaily with the steady stream of customers. I asked the gentleman (whose name turned out to be Reginald) what he would recommend and he didn't hesitate a moment before nominating the pork shoulder, which suggestion I gladly heeded. In return, I was served a fragrant mound of fork-tender shredded pork sauced with "hot" sauce (which actually was a tiny bit spicy), pork and beans with real pork, slaw and some white bread. I drank TWO Fanta Oranges with my meal I was so parched. BROOKE, on the other hand, ordered BBQ bologna! She was served a sammich that featured a 3/4" thick slab of bologna, skillfully grilled on the BBQ grill. It was delicious too, even though it didn't rate quite as high on the visual scale as some of the other meaty delicacies.

Soon after lunch, Brooke and I were sadly forced to part company - she in the direction of Blacksburg, VA, via Nashville and I in the direction of St. Louis. After I watched her drive away into the distance, I busted out my map to figure out where I was headed. I found a little road on my map that snaked right along the Mississippi and thought it looked well worth a try. As I was studying the vicinity, I noticed a tiny dot labelled "Nutbush" along my route. "Hmmmm...." I wondered to myself, "Isn't Tina Turner from somewhere around here? Could it possibly be the same Nutbush *she* sings about?" And just at that moment - I swear - right on cue in my wonderful movie, a Tennessee state highway sign appeared by the side of the road like a undeniable portent.

After a brief stint on the Tina Turner Highway, I crossed over into Missouri and headed north toward St. Louis. My plan was to stay at a downtown hotel and visit the City Museum late - they're open until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights! Driving by myself through the confusion of criss-crossing freeways took it's toll, however, and I ended up in Illinois before I knew what had happened and decided to stay there for the night instead. I was way too tired from all the fun I'd had to have any more, the City Museum would just have to wait.


Taking care of business

Thought I was just using literary license, lying about the Moon Pies and Champale, didn't you? As we prepared ourselves for receiving the splendor of Graceland this morning, we broke our fast with what I'm sure is the food of some gods or other. Unfortunately, I had consumed at least 2/3s of my pie when I read on the wrapper that putting it in the microwave for 5-15 seconds made it taste out of this world - and sure enough, it did!

How could it possibly get better, you ask? Why, with batons, naturally! Brooke performed for our mealtime enjoyment in her specially selected Graceland ensemble.

After our extraordinary culinary adventure, we ambled across the street to begin our journey through the great pipeline of humanity that runs roughly through the modest Tennessee mansion called Graceland.

Elvis was, I'm sure, at one time a flesh and blood man, but he is now mostly an institution. As I waited for Brooke and Aaron, I sat in a quiet corner of the garden and counted - roughly 500 visitors an hour streaming through those hallowed grounds!

We drank deeply from the well of Elvis, and were not only satisfied, but maybe even a little overwatered. By the time we made our final stops in the massive complex that supports the tiny mansion across the street, I had grown a bit jaded and was rapidly running out of patience for the whole thing. It didn't help that it was sweltering and sauna-like outside, nourishing a continual sheen of summertime sweat hastened by the slightest movement. We bowed to the King and exited the palace, driving off into the sunset.
Brooke and Aaron were pointed in the direction of Blacksburg, and I had read on one of my favorite websites (Roadside America) about a place just east of Memphis that sounded mighty intriguing and well worth a look, so we travelled together eastwards just as the sun began to sink in earnest towards the horizon. It would be race to get to our destination in Brownsville before the sun set, but we were determined to make the detour and see what we might find.
The pictures and description of Billy Tripp's Mindfield that I had read earlier in the day had in no way prepared me for how wildly I was about to fall in love.

A fellow named Billy Tripp has apparently spent the last 20 years building this massive structure in tribute to his mom and dad and in the name of tolerance.

Brooke and Aaron and I spent several happy hours scrambling all over the place (but never climbing, as Billy has installed clear and numerous signs requesting that visitors do not do so), learning its secrets, becoming intimate with its complex structures. By the time we had reluctantly agreed it was time to leave, I had begun to think of it as a temple, and one of which I have seen few equals. We sat quietly in the vestibule of the enormous structure as lightning flashed in the distance.
I resolved in my state of profound awe to see if I can find this Billy Tripp and see what makes him tick. I have the sublime freedom to stay around as long as I like, so I simply must see the Mindfield during daylight hours and try to talk to the mind that made it. Brooke, in her generosity of spirit, has chosen to stay behind and join me on my morning quest to find Billy.

What a grand adventure!