While en route to watch Craig Breedlove lay down a disappointing 400 mph run, I am in a press shuttle along with a van load of other reporter/feature writer types…

Ethnically and nationalistically speaking, the press corps is pretty diverse with print and electronic stringers from the BBC, ITC, a French newspaper, the Reno Gazette, etc., etc. It was a real multi-national rainbow coalition; everybody introduces themselves to each other. I asked one guy – he was definitely artier looking than the rest of the corp and I thought his name was “Arjae” or something – where he was from and I thought he said, “Spain,” so during the course of the van ride I tried to engage him in a discourse on Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War, while feebly trying to wire that machismo trip into the Mach 1 pursuit on this godforsaken lake bed…he looked at me very bewilderedly and didn’t say anything… I figured he didn’t speak English all that well and left it at that.

Later, at Bruno’s Coffee Shop in Gerlach I overhear him ordering a cheeseburger in perfect English; “WHO do you write for?” I ask. “Spin,” he says. “O-h-h, SPIN!” I reply…

Turns out “RJ” lives in my neighborhood in L.A. – we probably hear the same car alarms going off. So we have a burger and a chocolate malted, talk about the neighborhood and get along famously – poor kid didn’t know much about the pursuit of horsepower but his piece in SPIN Magazine wasn’t half bad.


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