Archive | December, 2011

Countdown to April 23rd

30 Dec

The trip of a lifetime. I’ll be 72 on April 20th and three days later I’m expecting to leave Escondido, California to spend six months on the road. I plan to visit 24 states and cover about 7400 miles.

I have been on the road before, as a jazz musician in the late 50s and early 60s. But, in 1965, I got married and settled down in Santa Monica, CA to help my wife raise our children. From 1966 until 1975 we had four children while living in Santa Monica.

Then, at the age of 37, I decided to become a fine artist. We sold our house on 22nd Street in Santa Monica and moved to a small town one hundred miles south of the LA area — Escondido, CA. A town of 65,000 at the time. We had our fifth child in Escondido. Then I began to study fine art with an old friend, Steve Scott.  I had a background in graphics and photography, so that was helpful as I began my study with Steve. Within a short period of time, perhaps three months, I realized that fine art was not for me, and went back to what I knew best: screen printing and graphics. That was in the summer of 1977.

Being the restless guy that I was, I had to go on the road again. So, in 1980 we rented our three-bedroom house and moved to Dublin, Ireland — that’s right… from Escondido to Dublin. What are you doing Mr. Bresnik? — are you “mad” (as my Irish wife would say).  Yes, I’m not the full shilling and tend to do things that don’t make much sense. So, we made the move with all five kids to Broadford, a small town south of Dublin. At the age of 40, I took the whole family on a one-year sabbatical to Dublin, Ireland — probably THE most interesting and enjoyable year of my life, so far.

As time goes by, I’ll relate some of the very interesting events and happenings of that magical year in Dublin with my Dublin-born wife and our five exciting children — yes, that was a GREAT experience.

But, for now, back to the trip of a lifetime. A strange thing happened in July of 1981.  After one year in Dublin, we returned to Escondido and continued on with our journey. I went back to screen printing with my dad in LA and we lived in Escondido. For the next twelve years, I would drive to LA (100 miles) on a Tuesday and return Thursday night. I made the bulk of my income in those three days and then spent four days in Escondido. Here’s the strange reality — after all my movement (and it was selfish on my part) — after all the traveling I did throughout Europe and the Dublin thing, it all came to an end.

Since July of 1981, I have lived in Escondido, period. Over the last thirty years… yes, thirty years, I have not left Escondido for more than two weeks at a time. Yes, I’ve done some traveling, both with my wife and on my own.  Have visited our daughter and her family in Ellicott City, Maryland; our son John and his family in Brooklyn.  Have been to London to visit with our daughter and her family — they live about twenty minutes south of the city center in Chislehurst in the Kent area. In 2002, I took a short trip up to Vancouver, BC and then a float plane ride over to Nanaimo to meet with Diana Krall’s dad — that was an interesting trip (I had met Diana Krall in December of 2001).  Then we took two trips to Mazatlan and managed to get talked into buying a timeshare — that didn’t work out very well. But, I enjoyed Mazatlan.

At any rate… the bottom line is that I have not spent more than two weeks away from Escondido for over thirty years. So, before I kick the bucket, I’d like to see the USA without a Chevrolet (so far I haven’t been able to get that 55 Chevy).  I’ve been talking about the “USA trip” for several years and Sylvia said to get it done. It’s now or never, mostly because having had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery, it’s really a day-to-day lifestyle. No guarantees — got to get it done while the old ticker is still ticking.

So, that’s where I’m at (as they say) — one trip of a lifetime… coming up… start up date is April 23rd and duration is expected to be six months. What will I do during six months on the road?  Plenty. I’ll go into some detail later, but the primary activity will be meeting and playing with musicians, mostly piano players, meeting with many friends and relatives; playing the piano in churches and presenting “A Perfect Plan” — a visual presentation of the Christian gospel. Attempting to sell my Route 66 postcard art prints and images. Camping out. Driving. And, missing Sylvia — my FANTASTIC wife of 46 years. Why doesn’t she come along?  She can’t stand road trips — driving and driving and driving. She hates the small talk at campsites, and the whole concept just does not appeal to her. But, she wants me to take the trip I’ve been talking about for all these years.

OK — that’s it for now.  Will get back to you later…..