Throught The Dessert with the Stones (Excerpt)

It was 1986 when Greg Taylor decided life was limited in small town.


After all, he had thoroughly blasted it with Led Zeppelin back in the 70s, and there just wasn’t much more to do. He had the hair – check, mastered the guitar – check, saved some money….well ok, not saved any real money, but he had $350 and that would at least get him there. Jobs should be plentiful, right?

So with a feeling of both exuberance and a tinge of sadness – he went down to finally announce to his grandmother, Denice, his intentions.

“You know Gran, I think I’m ready now,” said Greg.

“Oh are you sure?” she asked staring at his walnut-stained hands. He had been earning money by sanding and refinishing her furniture when she decided that painted furniture was so 1950s and it was time to get real again in the 1980s with Walnut Stain #253.

“What?” asked Greg, looking at his fingers. “It’s like, all over me and a few shirts too.”

Grandmother Denice smiled. She never intended to make this easy for him. Really, he had no business in California. She knew what went on there, she had spent time examining that Robert Plant poster in his room, the one with the shirt open. She knew that lifestyle was no way to live.

“I have some oil that might take it off,” she said. “It’s made by Nivea.”

“I don’t want to smell funny,” said Greg thinking he sure didn’t want to spend his last few days in town smelling nice and fragrant like Gran.

“Now what will you do out there?” asked his grandmother for the umpteenth time.

Greg took a deep breath and smiled. “I’ll go out and get a job, I bet they have people who are building out there. It’ll be fine,” he said.

“But you don’t know anyone, not a soul,” she said.

“It’s ok, other people have done it, it works out,” said Greg.

“That music…it’s so….loud,” said Gran.

Greg laughed. Gran was no Motley Crue fan, more like Elvis, early Elvis, throw in some Bobby Darin.

“It’s supposed to be,” he said.

Gran vs. Greg. First the hair: cut it…cut it…cut it.

His uncle Troy, cowboy hat and all,summed it up standing in his white shirt in the hot sun: “When in Rome, do like the Romans!”

Ha Ha, who cared, it was only a small simile. How could he possibly explain to Gran that he hadn’t been the same since Eddie played the Cotton Bowl?

“Don’t worry Gran,” he smiled and touched her shoulder.

She smiled back, after all he was handsome and tough.

“You whoo!” said a voice.

They turned to see Camille Winson coming up the walkway.

“Mrs. Foster, I was just coming by to see how you were feeling,”said Camille.

Gran cast a look at Greg. He looked back. They both knew what Camille was You Whooing about.


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