in america ~ florida to texas 1968
lambton and scoresby – new york to florida, florida to texas, texas to baja, baja to california, california to washington state – then to bc canada, then montreal. then exit.
Lambton was the first to notice the gangs working their blunt scythes on the Alabama roadsides, chained up and striped old boys tiredly hacking back the thousands of narrow miles of sunstruck highway weeds, all their heads down and and in slow motion fifteen-hour labour and living jail sentences long enough to define eternity.
A pity that Arthur Stace was confined to Sydney because here in America was the meaning of the word that had confounded him for his thirty-seven years.
Some cut away in a leisurely backhand wide sweeping stroke, others favoured a shorter forehand choppy dash at the headhigh mixture of wild cotton, cattle corn and scrub marijuana – Once graceful men sold by justice to the devil to play away.
Here a goofy-foot, there a natural.
Scoresby was for stopping and fossicking by the roadside for a little weed, being a lad of Sydney habits. Lambton though wanted to shed the three miles to Mobile and eat.
The truck stop’s parking lot was down the side of the building and by the long window where everyone inside could see the car arrive and read the NJ plates and watch the two hairy young men ease out and stretch then wander over to the wire door and when Scoresby pushed it open all talk inside the cafe ceased and to a man the twenty or so truck drivers inside swallowed their eggs and browns and breathed in a load of venom and held it fast.
This was the state where busloads of Freedom Fighters were stopped and attacked by Klansmen using iron bars, clubs and basball bats a few years earlier – men just left their Sunday church services. Done with praying.
This is where the murder of Martin Luther King two months earlier had been celebrated for days, and here was a couple of Australians heading their way west to Blessed Rincon via the Deep South.
Just looking for a feed.
Scoresby was for eggs and bacon, being a lad of Sydney habits. Lambton though wanted to shed the thousand miles to New Mexico and he ordered coffee, to go.