Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kansas City, MO 6.12.2010: The Joshs

We entered into Kansas City, Missouri twice on Saturday, the first time with a former student of Dad’s from St. Andrew’s Academy in Sewanee, Tennessee who put us up across the border in Kansas—this was our first night in a house since leaving Louisiana—and let us watch as many World Cup games as we could possibly see while we were at her house (we particularly like the beauty pageant sash on the USA team’s uniforms). Anyway, we finished up at Arthur Bryant’s, a BBQ place that’s been written up several times in the New Yorker, and apparently there’s a whole book written about the restaurant, and went to the house to nap off the pork induced food coma, so that we could head out for more bar-be-que at anther local place in Kansas City with Josh Mammen, Josh Parish, their respective partners Julie and Amy, and Josh Mammen’s three obscenely cute children.

Turns out, both of them work at Kansas University and see each other almost weekly around campus. Josh P. works in the technology department making sure that the system runs smoothly and fixing whatever problems people such as doctors have, who still can’t figure out how to use a computer. I think technology must agree with his system, because he looks as fresh as a daisy. However, perhaps this is universally true for those who work with computers—the glow from the screen exudes fumes from the fountain of youth—and if that is the case, I should demand to hit up these coffee shops with wireless more often. He and Amy have been together ever since they met at St. John’s College in Annapolis. Amy works for H&R Block in marketing and told us about how she managed to finangle a four day trip to Vegas out of a one-hour meeting with a client, which included a midnight showing of Cirque de Soleil.

Josh M. spent plenty of time getting about as educated as most of us can only dream of, getting his BA, MD, PhD, and I think there might be a few other letters thrown in there. While advantages may include a high level of expertise, a good salary, and the pleasure derived from learning, he also has a lab with minions that slave away at whatever whim he might have. For me, that in itself would make the whole process worthwhile. Well a high level of education was not enough, so Josh also now has what seems to be a wonderfully happy family with a lovely wife and smiling children who don’t cry and are at the very least bilingual. Jealous? Me too, a little, but I’m on the great American Road Trip.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A few images from the road

I have to learn to upload these pictures in the opposite order that I want them to show up, but here are photos starting from most recently taken to oldest.

Here goes: Kansas fields at sunset. I think Kansas is a very beautiful state.

We run across a fashion show on the streets of Kansas City, MO after dinner with Josh Parish, Josh Mammen, and their families. That update upcoming.

After a huge lunch of BBQ in Kansas City, MO--We picked up some sauce for you, mom.

Prairie Chickens might be an endagered species, and the igod (Dad's name for his iphone) could probably tell us, but we haven't looked it up yet. In Kansas.

Emile hanging his hammock at our campsite outside of El Dorado, Kansas.

Hanging out at the aforementioned campsite before cooking a very vegetarian meal of pasta, portobello mushrooms, creole tomatoes, onions, and probably several other vegetables.

Fried pies in Oklahoma. We checked out the breakfast sandwich pie, peach pie, and cherry pie.

Emile squatting on the bus in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Dallas 6.10.2010 Amy Adams Tassos

We drove into Dallas wanting to hate it, whether from past experiences, what it represents, or maybe just because its in Texas. But Amy Adams Tassos (1993) works in a really pretty neighborhood which she told us was the gay section of town, so the houses were all well kept up and nicely decorated. We met her outside of the labyrinthine Presbyterian church where she works at about two in the afternoon, and man was it scorchingly hot with a heavy dose of humidity (the sun was out the day after a torrential rain that fell across the southwest and killed about 13 people in Arkansas—we were camping near Tyler, Texas and were caught in a piece of it). So we were standing in a parking lot getting grouchy when Amy showed up and banished all bad thoughts through her immediately evident positive energy and the glow that she gave off, perhaps from the expected August arrival of her 1st son and second child. Samantha, her daughter is, at the moment, a two year old who terrorizes her day car.

Amy took us all out to a “down and dirty” Tex-Mex restaurant called Mia’s. She’s worked at the church almost since she got out of college. Amy was working for an advertising firm which paid next to nil and the church offered to double her salary and give her benefits. Her husband, whom she met through her cousin, works as a head hunter for the major technology firms, such as amazon.com. So life is good in Texas. Her twin sister, who also attended ESA, but only through middle school, is now a horse physical therapist for cutter (cutting?) horses which are predomintately in the rodeo these days, but were previously used for keeping the cattle herds in line. When we asked Amy about her participation with the outing club, she told us about a scar that she still had from a stick stabbing her in the arm. It must’ve been a pretty good wound, but that was the only trip that she ever went on. Anyway, dad said later that she was the most pleasant person he’s ever had in his classroom, “I can even remember where she sat,” and I can tell why.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Matt Rainey and his bride-to-be Sally 6.9.2010

Our first visit was in Alexandria, LA where we met up with Matt (1994) and Sally for lunch at the Critics Choice about an hour after we had eaten a huge breakfast chez Trant consisting of a delicious quiche, biscuits, hash browns, and watermelon. Regardless, we managed to push through our respective lunches.

Now I can see that I’m going to become a purveyor of gossip if there are readers who actually know these people, or readers at all. Now, for the news on Matt.

Matt is finishing is residency this month and planning to open up a private practice in Ville Platte, where he’ll be able to catch KBON on the radio and see his 5 year-old son, William, whom he has nicknamed his “hurricane baby” (Hurricane Ivan, I believe). He’s also opening up a clinic in a town near Ville Platte which lacks any kind of doctor, and he told us he’d be open to barter in trade for medical service. That includes chickens, potatoes, or pies, although Matt says he’s now on a Mediterranean diet which does not include pies, but allows for a drink or two nightly and lots of fish (although strangely he ordered a philly cheese steak sandwich, which I gather is not Mediterranean).

Anyway, before Sally arrived he told us their story: One night he was out with a bunch of buddies in New York City where he was doing his last year of Med School. He was getting onto the subway to head back to Brooklyn and sitting across from him was this girl that he thought was pretty cute. Since he was feeling pretty “frisky,” he struck up a conversation with her. After they talked the entire ride to Brooklyn which somehow took two and a half hours, he got her phone number at the end of the line. The next day he took her surfing on Long Island, a sport which he took up while in school in Granada (the island), and she either liked surfing or Matt enough to stick. They’ll be getting married on August 28th.

Then Matt brought up a story of an outing club trip: Dad had taken a group out to the Rio Grande over Mardi Gras. Most of the trip had gone smoothly at first, but one uneventful day, the group heard a scream from a little ways away. The crowd ran to check out what had happened and saw one of the students, Chris Richard, rolling around on the ground, pants down, screaming in pain. Turns out he had been using the bathroom, and his leg must have fallen asleep or something and he accidentally sat down on a cactus, which must have accounted for the screaming. For some reason or another, dad had brought a plethora of tweezers on the trip. Thus armed, several students sat around and pulled the needles out of his behind. He fainted. For the next few days he couldn’t paddle, but he eventually gained back his strength, although it couldn’t have been too comfortable because once the group got back to Lafayette, he had to see a doctor for the little infections that he had on his bottom on account of the cactus needles that had broken off and remained embedded in his skin. We’ll be visiting Chris in Humbolt Country, California.

Other news: Scott Rainey, Matt’s brother is expecting his second child in about 6 months.

Dad’s words to us after this lunch: “Scott and Matt were something like brothers to me.”
Us: “Brothers? Aren’t they a lot younger than you?”
Dad: “Ok, maybe more like sons.”

Goodbye Louisiana

Last night we threw a pretty sad and dingy going away party at the Bulldog in Lafayette. Sad because we forgot to tell anyone that we were having the party and dingy because it was, well, at the Bulldog. Our grand plan was to park the bus outside, sleep off our $2 Amber Bocks and hit the road at 7:30 am the next morning, stopping for breakfast at the Trant house in Grand Coteau. John-Henry was the only one of us who stuck to the plan, although he “woke up several times in the night, soaked in sweat.” The rest of us spent one last night in air-conditioned glory and woke up late.

Goodbye Louisiana! We will miss the 4th of July figs and persimmons ripening on our trees, the mid-day thunderstorms which grant us brief respite from the heat, the two-step and waltz, and even the cat that attacks when fed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Itenerary, sort of

Here's the cast as I know it so far:
Cabell Tutwiler
Katie Tutwiler
Isabelle Tutwiler
John Henry Trant
Emile Legendre
(maybe) Ben Trant


Leave on the 8th or 9th of June
--get out of Louisiana/Deadly heat of the south as soon as we can
--12th ish of June arrive and spend several days in Colorado, possibly Boulder, Estes Park, Salida, wherever we can find Ursula Quoyeser and her two boys.

6.18.2010: Arrive in Missoula, MT which will be our home base until the 18th.
6.28.2010: Leave Missoula
--Hit up Seattle, (maybe Vancouver, maybe Alaska), Portland, Humbolt County, San Fran, etc
7.21.2010: Arrive in Santa Barbara, CA
--head to Los Angeles or Vegas

And any date/location is subject to change except for the Missoula dates.

If you are along the route somewhere and would like us to stop, let me know! We can also accommodate you if you need a ride or want to go on one of our outdoor adventures. Although that will necessitate some sort of donation for the Tates/Tutwiler fund...

Angie Broussard has provided us a list of known alumni, so we will be putting together a map and will try to be in touch with those on our path and set up events.