We can see mecca. There is smoke on the horizon as we head east, the plume of smoke emanating from the burnout box way up yonder. This is a portent and a promise of some seriously high-octane hot rod action, and a chance to get the dirt on Leasher and Infinity from the Goat.

BZ and I are not alone in our pilgrimage: A bottleneck of hot rods, economy cars and motor homes crimp Famoso/Wasco Road, from the west off of the Highway 99 offramp and from the east off of Porterville Highway.

I find a Lefty Frizzell song on the AM radio. It was the one about “She’s Gone, gone, gone…,” anchored by a ton of reverb and a lo-fidelity fuzz bass. I didn’t need the numbers on a road sign to tell me we were getting closer to Bakersfield.

“Ahhh, this is real American honky tonk,” I say.

“Yeah…None of this modern county music that sounds like it was recorded at a super collider in Switzerland.”

I think I understand what he means, and I agree with him. As usual.


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