Antparty United

In 2004, Jack Shepherd, Patrick Resing, and Jan Frel embarked on a journey across America that would change them all forever. Starting in Bethesda, Maryland, the boys trekked through the Southern states on their way to L.A., then turned right around and came back via Utah, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. Their faithful vehicle, a 1986 red Saab affectionately nicknamed The Saab Story made it all the way with them on their two-month-long Odyssey with a reasonable number of its parts still intact. There are some really quality bits in the middle when they lose their brakes, their sanity, and eventually, Jan.

This is their story.

*For convenience of reading, the posts are laid out in chronological order from top to bottom.


The Trip Begins

3/31--Phil Campbell, AL--Dismals Canyon Camp Ground
+ Unclaimed Baggage, dude!
3/30--Atlanta, GA--with Simon C. of "the Simon Chung Show" fame
+ Five Points Pizza and pinball
3/29--Clemson, SC--with Chad, one week from defending his PhD
+ Pizza and no pinball
3/28--Richmond, VA--Gustavo and his beautiful cat, Samba
+ Standard Richmond stuff


Scottsboro Blues

Scottsboro Blues
Well, I'm shaking like the devil, cuz I aint been eatin'
Yeah, I said I'm shaking like the devil, cuz I haven't been eatin'
Cuz all this benny poppin' is giving my heart a beating.

Well, I won't be drinkin' no milk no more,
Said I won't, won't be drinkin' no milk no more,
Cuz all this hard luck pining ain't gonna open that Scottsboro Store.

I pray that tomorrow I'll have me a pair of new shoes,
Unh huh, I pray that tomorrow I'll have me two shiny shoes,
Because you know that with all this driving I'll have Miss Iss Ippi Blues.

Ider Alabama: Unclaimed Baggage

Day 4: Ider, Alabama.

It's proving difficult to tell whether the quick succession of sun and rain, of florid vistas and Family Discount Warehouses is causing my mood swings, or simply mocking them. Such, presumably, is the nature of road-trips, and of amphetamines. The next stop is "Unclaimed Baggage" in Scottsboro Alabama, where Pat, Jan, and I hope to claim an
We stopped in NC to fill the trunk with fireworks
unclaimed video camera and some vintage T-shirts for a small fee. Last night was Hot-lanta, where the peep-shows are decidedly not $1 a go as advertised, and where the pizza and pinball is sub-par. I don't think we really did Atlanta justice, but we made a surprisingly good time out of it. This is my first trip across this country, borne, like all good voyages, of joblessness, and a lack of direction which has happily reconciled itself into one imperative: West. Or Westish, in our present situation, as we want to see the Southern states on our way over. This particular Southern state has had its moments-- we're crossing the Jackson river as I write, which is a winner. Pat is talking about bare-knuckle boxing, Jan, about boiled peanuts, but they seem to be enjoying themselves. Bea's Bar-B-Q, Coon Creek Outfitters. Will I have a clearer mind when I get back to Washington? Will Graduate school start to seem like a solution instead of a postponement of an indefinite problem? Unclaimed baggage, I guess. H&R Bait and Tackle, Horses for Sale. Across the Jackson again, a windy river. Mad Creek Mini-Storage. In Athens, I spoke to a Professor of Comparative Literature at UGA, who advised me that I should apply to a better program than the one over which he presided, and, as I had feared, that I might be better off doing Classics. Athens, I have decided, is my kind of town. Carob's Chicken Basket, Wright Coin Laundry, Jones Fabricating (?!), Tim Allen rents Sod-Cutters. Scottsboro is not my kind of town. Where the hell am I going to live when I get back to DC? Unclaimed Baggage.

Kent County, AL, is a dry county

April 2: Bolevar Co., Mississippi

I've never known an entire county more in need of a drink than Kent County Alabama. But despite it's being populated by sad, sad, sober Alabamans, we made a fine night of it. Budweisers were procured with difficulty, 20 miles across the border in Florence, and we set up our 2 man tent in Joe Wheeler (apparently a Confederate General) State Park. There being a $10 charge for an extra tent, it was an exceptionally cosy night.
We did a good chunk of Mississippi yesterday, stopping only briefly for a revivifying game of home run derby in a softball field (Jack: 9 runs, Jan:7, Pat: 3-- I took those punks to town). We made it into Lafayette just in time for the 7:30 showing of Dawn of the Dead, a movie which has zombies in it. The State Park we stayed in was presumably also named after some Confederate General, but I forgot to look at the sign. I suck bad at driving stick shift.

Not much to drink, but there is bowling in Kent. We took action shots.