We arrived in Vermont. It was Fall, a totally different feeling than the Fall at Emerald. In California this would be harvest time for the marijuana crop. We’d all be gathered in a big room, wearing our plastic gloves, clipping buds, separating seeds, and packaging up the weed. It would be tedious, excpt everyone would be high, so there were frequent outbursts of hilarity. In Vermont it was very quiet, time to get the woodshed filled.
‘Sythia has a cousin, Nell, in the town of Upper Granville, about in the middle of the state. It’s a tiny hamlet on a dirt crossroads in the middle of nowhere, and we loved it. They said we could stay with them until we got our feet under us. Nell’s husband Eric is a chimney sweep and at this time of year he’s busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger (that’s how people talk in Vermont), so I offered to help him. He asks if I’m afraid of heights. I say “No,” and by the end of the next day I’m hired as an assistant sweep.
I didn’t feel like my trip was a waste, because I felt more strongly than ever that “that boy’s alive.” I was re-elected as Attorney General of Rhode Island. The next big decision point would be in three years about whether I wanted to make a run for Governor, or even go to Washington. Pretty good for a kid that once wrote Casserole Blues.
I heard from Jeroo about Greg’s visit about an hour after he left the club. I was really touched that he would care enough to fly to California looking for me after all these years. I wanted so badly to be in touch, but after so many years, so much water under the bridge, and with his being a public figure, there was just too much at stake. I figure with all the shit I’ve pulled– identity theft, falsifying military records, fraud, tax evasion, driving without a license–getting caught would result in me being locked up and them throwing away the key.
Things fell into place quickly for us. Eric and I swept the chimneys at the home, estate really, for a guy who he referred to as Doc Millionaire. In shooting the shit with the guy, he mentioned that he was looking for a property manager for his spread. Part of the deal was that he had a carriage house where the manager could live. ‘Sythia and I checked it out. After our hippie house in Emerald. this looked like the Taj Mahal. Deal!
Kids, work, politics, relationship … Cassandra was even busier! I look back on those years and wonder “How did we ever do all that?” Every few months I’d check in on The Spawn of Grendel’s website. Judging from their tour schedule, they were moving up in the music world, but they never scored another hit as popular as I Tried Girls.
And every few months a package would show up …
Del: A couple of years went by in a flash. I was cleaning chimneys, playing gigs, fixing instruments, buying and selling equipment, and giving lessons. ‘Sythia was now assistant manager at the local co-op. And it turned Doc Millionaire was an incredibly appreciative and generous guy. Vermont felt like home. And like every jerkoff who finds a new home, I started bragging about in my music by writing Vermont-oriented songs. One thing I noticed is by the end of February, everybody is crazed for spring. By the end of March, Spring still hasn’t come and weird stuff starts happening. This lead to what I regard as my Green Mountain magnum opus. Other people refer to it as “the song that never ends.”
The Tale goes on…
And our on the road tale does too…amazing music in NOLA = Jumpin’Johhny Sansone, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, bass legend George Porter, Jr., great folks and food like nowhere else! On to much quieter, natural beauty of Dauphine Island, Alabama.
New Orleans is definitely a place at the confluence of food and music!