Do I imagine that most people I meet are scared of me, or am I actually scary?

Thoughts.

The Speare Bearer: Group of homeless guys I performed my Hamlet sesport scene for on my way out of San Diego, CA yesterday, 04/30

Really kind group of guys. They had nothing but kind, encouraging words to say. One fella said “keep doing what you’re doing.” I dunno why, but it makes me kinda tear up just to think about…
The Speare Bearer: Is that NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton and his friends Chris, Josh(????), Lauren, and Richard at a fund raiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)??? Yeeessss… Did I get to meet him and hang out??? Yeesss.. 04/29

Thanks to my good friend, fellow bike tourer Glen Gullickson from Bicycle Outfitters, in Seminole, Florida, who actually sold me my bike. He got me in contact with Mr. Walton, and the rest was awesome.

Mr. Walton was super kind, and very generous with his time, which MANY people asked of him. It was great to see greatness in person and to see it handled with class, wit, and grace. And he’s a TALL son of a gun by the way.
Ralf: What would you say makes a player great? Is it- Bill Walton: Brains and heart. Ralf: You wouldn’t add talent to that? Bill Walton: (Shrug) … Everybody has talent. The best players are the smartest and most commited. The ones with the most passion, and who have the grandest vision.

Gonna be rolling into San Diego early afternoon.. Been invited to participate officially at the Youth Shakespeare Fest.. But I still don’t have a place to stay. Gonna be in town 4 nights. Anyone have any leads???

The Speare Bearer: California, 04/19.

Praise God.

From Buckeye, AZ, to Quartzite, AZ. I NEVER want to do that again.

15 mi to California.

Please donate. I need to eat. A LOT.

So Micha Espinoza, the voice and acting professor on the ASU faculty, who was kind enough to invite me into her class, shared her discount code with me to attend a one night only Shakespeare revue starring Kevin Kline and three other lovely actresses called “The Lover and the Poet”, presented by the Southwest Shakespeare Company at the Mesa Arts Center.

I knew before the evening began that I was supposed to meet him. I’d read quite a few books and articles on Shakespeare, especially Shakespeare in America, and encountered Mr. Kline’s work so much in my studies, as one of our preeminent actors, Shakespearean or otherwise, that it only made sense if I ended up at this show, in the middle of my tour that I was meant to meet one of my forebearers. Speare Bearer meets forebearer.

It was a really fun show. It was a bunch of mashed up Shakespeare scenes about love that Mr. Kline and his lovely cast performed. It was definitely a stunning night of watching an old master at work, and really have a good time with the language, and the audience. I watched with eyes wide.

The second half of the show was an extended Q&A, hosted by Jared Sakren, artistic director of SW Shakes, who was classmates with Kline at Julliard, where you really got the full breadth of Mr. Kline’s unbridled timing and wit. I mean the guy is quick, he’s sharp, and a ham, in the best, most charming sense of the word. In retrospect it was terrific to see a performer who had nothing to prove, have so little ego, and just a real delight to perform.

Well I just knew the Q&A time was fated and I couldn’t blow it, so as soon as I gathered the nerve, I got up and went to the mic. When it was my turn I introduced myself, explained my project briefly, which did turn a few heads, and cause a few titters and murmurs, that I had ended up there through Miss Espinoza of ASU, and I asked Mr. Kline to talk a little about one of our mutual influences, Joe Papp, which he did graciously and eloquently.

Afterward, I kind of lurked around, in the lobby, where some folks recognized me and stopped to ask about my project, and kept an eye out for an opening. After a bit I got on my bike and did some lurking around outside hoping to catch Mr. Kline at the stage door. No dice.

Finally miss Espinoza texted me that she’d try to maneuver to get me into the after-party, but no promises. And after a few breathle minutes of waiting she did indeed emerge and escorted me back. At the after-party I met some interesting folks, including company members, the Artistic Director, Mr. Sakren, and his daughter. The whole time I’m really trying hard to play it cool, when finally Mr. Sakren brings Kevin Kline over. What a gracious man. He was really curious about my project, had lots of questions, and gave me all his attention, as he did with all his admires who vied for an audience with him. He took my card and told me he’d look me up and that he hopes to “see me out there.”

As a man, I’m not ashamed to admit I nearly swooned. But again, because my phone died, I didn’t get a picture. Dammit.

The Speare Bearer: Riding toward Kenny and Erica’s, Phoenix, AZ, 04/12

Along the Arizona Canal. Beautiful.
The Speare Bearer’s Ride: The Flat, The Furlough, & The Fonz, 04/10-04/11

The first town into Arizona, a SMALL town called San Simon, rolling into town, and trying to hustle a performance at the local K-12 school (unsuccessful), I caught a fresh flat on my already slow-leaking back tire. I thought I had a spare inner tube but I didn’t, and even if I had enough patches, the tube was beyond patching, and there def weren’t any supplies in town, or in any town for at least 40 mi.

I met a girl there walking the road named Jessica, also a traveling artist/performer (REGRET not taking a picture of her), who had cuts all over her body. She told me she was in town because she’d been tortured by a sadistic, occult gang in the last place she lived, which put her into a coma, which led to several out of body experiences where she met Jesus. So she was kinda just wandering and hanging out trying to figure things out, believing she had been led by God to come to San Simon (which could be translated to mean “Saint Peter”). Then she advised me that if I was stranded in town, the truckstop down the road would let me spend the night inside.

I got to the truck stop, asked around, put up a sign to get a lift westward, and people were kind enough to give me money, but I was asking for a lift, not money, and almost EVERYONE had a truck, and NO ONE offered me a lift in 12 hrs!

Jessica came back around to the truck stop that evening. She was staying with some other folks in town, but she hung out with me for about two hrs as she tried to make some money off the passers by, and told me some more crazy stories about her life. Even though we just me she had a beautiful spirit, was very fun, and very sweet, and I actually believed most of her stories. It was actually a real comfort to have her around.

After Jessica left for the night, I resigned myself and set up camp in a corner inside the truck stop. Didn’t sleep too awful.

The next morning I tried again to hitch a ride, and finally after seeing me hang around for almost 20 hrs, a mangy, rough lookin, older dude with the kindest eyes you ever seen, who carried a pistol in his jeans, finally took enough pity on me, and offered me a lift into the nearest town where I could get inner tubes. I asked him his name, told me people called him, The Fonz.

As we drove he told me about his life, the he was part native with a grandfather darker than me, that he’d been a professional tree climber for 15 yrs, that he’d seen combat in the military (Korea?) which left him estranged from civilization after his discharge for almost 15 yrs due to severe PTSD, that he’s still estranged from his mother and sisters, that after not seeing each other for almost 30 yrs he’d recently rekindled his romance with his high school sweetheart. He told me that he was a devout, God loving man who’d been legally dead 9 times in his life and had several out-of-body experiences, where he could see people trying to revive him and was only alive because he pleaded with God for another chance. He spoke kind affirming words to me from passages he loved from the Bible, and about how God has been gently leading him through his crazy life. His pistol was sitting between us the whole time, but somehow I wasn’t nervous at all. He dropped me off at a gas station in the next town after we got me some inner tubes and I gave him $20 for gas, and he took off back towards home.

I it was only then I realized the tubes didn’t fit my tire and it was 90 mi to the next town that would have tubes that did. The desert is an intense place.
The Speare Bearer’s: ARIZONA! 04/11