I'm writing this from a restaurant in Chicago O'Hare airport, waiting for my connection to Dayton, Ohio.  I'm nearing the end of this first leg of my time opening up for George Throrogood & The Destroyers and Brian Setzer.  

I still uphold and maintain the same romantic sentiments I have about solo-travel as I wrote about in the first installment,  But this very short run has been very difficult at times. Just me and the rented Nissan Versa.  I nicknamed him Percy on the very last drive we took together,  just before I surrendered him back to his rightful owners underneath a nondescript concrete monster at BWI airport that I shall nickname 'Dollar Rent-a-Car'.  FYI Percy was more than a Dollar.  False advertising.

Percy and I did lots of talking during our time together.  Sometimes he felt small next to Brian and George's tour buses. I told him not to sweat it.  I've been in lots of them,  and the view from your bunk is normally someone else's sweaty bunk,  with a sweaty foot sticking out of it.  I had a great view out of Percy's front window as we ambled up and down the East coast.  Plus, Percy isn't as thirsty as a big bus. 

Often,  we both swore at Sandra,  the GPS. 

But more than anything,  we talked about Dad.  

He would have loved this trip,  we could have done it together. We kinda did. He'd have liked Percy too.  I'd still have driven though. The drives would have taken a lot longer otherwise.  

He'd have loved loitering around these big arena stages,  sparking up friendly conversations with people trying to work.  They would have stopped to talk though. They always did.  

So here I am,  en route to the next show,  and it's your birthday, Dad. So I have a beer in front of me to toast to you while i'm writing this, trying desperately to hold it together so a whole bunch of strangers don't look at me like the Airport Weirdo.  

Too late.