Somewhere in Nebraska – “The House of Sod” – August 19, 1999

The Sod Museum was the highlight of our day. We stopped for gas at exit 211 in Nebraska and stumbled upon it, right there in the parking lot of the Texaco. It’s not that The Sod Museum is a wonder to behold or anything—save, anything that isn’t 100s of miles of flat road becomes wondrous in Nebraska.

A tiny, tightly wound woman met us at the museum door. Her hair was the color of Sunny Delight and her dark jeans were abundantly pleated in the front. She wiped lunch from the corners of her mouth with a cloth napkin and invited us in. She pointed out artifacts and posters and talked a mile a minute. “Those two jackets up there are bear skin,” she said, “and that one on the far right, that’s buffalo!” She laughed at our perplexed expressions. “All three of those coats are well over a hundred years each and that there is a giant mammoth tooth,” she pointed to a Rubix Cube-sized rock, “And all these artifacts were found right here in Nebraska, except those moccasins there. Those are from somewhere else I can’t remember. And outside you’ll see a giant buffalo sculpture made out of 4-miles of barbed wire and a house of sod with a roof of cactus. Go on out and have a look-see.” I love it when people say ‘have a look-see.’ Many find it redundant, but I find it endearing. The five of us thanked our hostess and drifted like tumbleweeds through Nebraska’s predatory heat to go ‘have a look-see’ at the house of sod.

It’s hard to believe we just finished a stint of 3 weeks at home—was it just a dream?—It feels as though we never left the road. While it certainly was a luxury to play a show and drive home, to my own bed, my own plants, my own books, my own closet with my own clothes in it, and to be able to take a bath without wondering who was in it last or to listen to music without headphones because no one else will hear it and tell you to turn it down, I missed the road.

In the 300-plus miles we’ve traveled thus far, away from Colorado, toward Chicago, we seem to have fallen pleasantly and without resistance into our comfortable road lives.
Kenny’s driving. Delucchi has his head propped against a pillow in the front row.

Soucy and Bri are eating junk food on the back bench….

and I’m riding shotgun.

There are bugs on the windshield and cramped, cold legs folded under me. The smell of cole slaw (or whatever it is that Kenny ate for lunch) permeates the air and Steely Dan’s “Here at the Western World” is on the stereo.

I am grateful— grateful for my life, my van, my band. I’m grateful I get to make music for a living and I am grateful that Brian is in the van and not on the road with Freddy Jone’s Band. I was worried he’d bail, but he’s good to his word and that means a whole heck of a lot to me.

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