Atlanta and Outta Gas
After I got home I realized I hadn’t reported on our stop in Atlanta, so I thought I’d tell you about that. At the end of of trip, we met with The Agent, so that will be my next post- much to report on there.
Atlanta was our first stop. I arrived a weary dog tired doctor and about outta gas. After no petrol at two stations, Marfar suggested we circle the wagon and regroup for the night. Atlanta’s slogan for the month is ‘Too Busy to Hate,’ and we found it right on. I had heard it was a tough city, but it was all hospitality for us.
At the Holiday Inn South a young lady named Ayanna greeted us with all kinda Southern charm, and told us where a tanker was due in and we could get gas first thing in the morning. We didn’t want to burn up fuel, plus we had no idea how to get around, but Ayanna gave us directions where to park and catch the MARTA to downtown. When in Rome it pays to listen to the Romans. In Atlanta, MARTA is the way to travel.
My agent wanted me to make my tour and try not to write too much, but to draw, play music and try to take in events that might stimulate creativity. He says there aren’t but a few human truths that have stood the test of time, and an artist should work with their medium to try and find them.
The Agent has started to sound like my wife. He says when I doctor too long it makes me boring. Well, the Atlanta High Museum of Art was an inspiration. When you look at the works of artists from Europe and the early days of the States, you can’t help but realize these folks dug in deep to try to find truth. My guess is they were starving artists when starving wasn’t cool. Those truths the Agent talks about have been around a long time before modern commercialism, for sure.
Maybe I wasn’t starving, but by 2:00 this artist was hungry, and Eddie H. the Café Guy and Rebecca’s home made soup took care of me. And in Atlanta, if you ask for Co-Cola no one asks if you want the competitor. They might have been short of gas that weekend, but you can get all the Coca-Cola and sweet tea you want. I knew I liked Atlanta.
At lunch I thought some more about my agent’s words. I wondered how I could ever be an artist. My guess is all those wonderful artists did some powerful suffering. Me? I’d never missed a meal, and didn’t want for a blessed thing. We might not have grown up rich, but we were comfortable, and my Mom took me to the library every week. Dad saw to it I could have all the education I wanted. If I hadn’t amounted to something, I’d a had no one to blame but myself.
Joe DiMaggio once said a rich kid never made it to the majors. My bet is none of these artists whose art made it to the Atlanta Museum were rich kids. How was a guy like me gonna go deep and create any kinda art anyone would want to read? It’s like the Moose once said, “You gotta suffer to play great bluegrass. And Doc, you ain’t done no suffering.”
I thought about that. What are the truths I want to find? After much reflection I have just now begun to understand why I am compelled to write. I once went to a songwriter seminar, and someone asked a panelist Paul Craft how he created a good country song. He said, (paraphrased) “You have to reach way down inside yourself and be sure you were honest and gave it your best.” I like that.
All I ever wanted to be was a country doc, and treat people with dignity. And therein is the conflict in my story. Those of you outside the doctor world might not understand at first, but you’re gonna get to see it up close. A guy like me can do some suffering in the modern doctor world. Like mrschili alluded to, when it became a business guys like me became dinosaurs. The fact is there’s plenty of suffering that goes on for a modern doc who cares cause the system does it’s best to drive the compassion right outta you.
But don’t feel sorry for me. Indie is the one who took it on the chin bad. They liked to have beat him to death. And you know what? It didn’t change Indie one bit. He remained the same. And that is what I like about ole Indie. My guess is that’s what y’all are gonna like about him, too. Cause Indie, flawed as he is, tells the truth. An that, through Indie’s story, is what I wanted to find and hope to show.
I’ll be back soon to tell you all about the agent and the direction of the blog for the next quarter.
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