Monday, May 30, 2011


At The 4,204 mile mark of the trip, one of my more curious neighbors decided he needed a closer look at my new traveling companion. He grasped his coned hat, lifted him from the dashboard and…dropped him. With nary a whimper Santiago was now a double amputee. Without a leg to stand on as it were, he was no longer fit for guard duty. He has been ministered to furiously, casts were applied, prosthesis was invented, but alas, yet he has failed to respond and thrive. As we leave Virginia now and the family reunions behind he will remain here having asked in a touching letter of resignation to retire from his duties as vigilant guardian of La Coachasita and the rest of us and remain here on limited duty.

His wish has been granted and he has, with some repair, now been raised upright once again. He will be tended to and stand watch over my nephew and his family. The grounds are vast and a place has been found in the garden where he can watch nearly unobserved. It pleases my great nieces that he will remain behind to be here and greet them as they come home every day. I am happy that he has found a new home and that he was good enough to recommend a more than suitable replacement in his Uncle, Juan, who I am told while perhaps lacking Santiago’s jaunty demeanor has his own style and way. His bona fides are impressive and references excellent. He seems a good fit to see us home.
That is now Gnome 1st Class J.W. Street on the right side of the page. He will be off limits to neighbors, and work from the safety of the dashboard. Further requests for closer inspections of my companion will be courteously denied.
I hope the Memorial Day Weekend found you in pleasant company and good weather. While rain has been threatened here, none appeared only 90-95 degree heat and humidity which descended on Friday and has oppressed us as an overweight person sitting in a canvas camp chair.
We are off to continue our excellent adventure tomorrow, turning West now uttering a silent prayer to St Elmo that the weather back will be kinder than the weather coming in. Our initial destination will be a quick pass at Gettysburg and its battlefield, a place known well to me and which was the subject of one of my first posts on this blog. Then it will be semi linear through southern Pennsylvania with two or three stops along the way. We will not head north this trip but travel on through Ohio, southern Illinois and whatever comes next.
Be well, continue your good works, and stay in touch


  1. Sorry about losing your companion, but he is in a better place (for a garden gnome), no? Hope you were able to give La Coachacita a bath and scrub. Good luck on your continued journeys.

  2. Adios, Santiago. Vaya con dios.

    I have it on good authority that someone asked your new guard, "Are you Juan?" and he replied, "Yes, are you Juan too?"

  3. I am picturing you broken down somewhere in southwestern Pennsylvania....