Tags: amarillo


Trí Bliana

Today marks my 3rd year of living in Seattle. I moved up here from Amarillo, Texas, the day after my 35th birthday. I saved up $200 a month for 8 months, then I spent the last month at my parents' place so I could put my rent money with the rest, and all told, I'd saved a little over $2,000! But what a tantalizing stretch of time! Every time I looked around in that town, it took all my courage and determination to not just bolt! Christina, you know how I feel about being somewhere you don't want to be. Well, it just felt like I was waiting to be released from jail! Sorry if that sounds melodramatic and trite.

It's not as if I was living on bread and water, in fact, considering I was working in a fast-food joint, I never had to worry about eating, since I could take home all the chicken I wanted from what the customers didn't want.

I was also living in a studio apartment(that went for $326 a month. Beat that, Seattle!) that was within two blocks of a library, a record store, a clothing store, three restaurants, a bank, a grocery store, and work. Also, if I wanted to visit my parents, they were only a half-mile walk, and about that much further if I wanted to see a movie.

Sometimes, at night, I'd go out to the side of the apartment complex, where there was a nice patch of grass and a pine tree, listen to Joni Mitchell, and watch the cars go by. I'd look at all the signs at the gas station, the grocery store, all the corporate electric signs, and draw comfort from them. Yes, heresy if you're an artist, right? But this gave me courage. Especially the gas station signs. This represents travel. Travel represents freedom, to start a new life, to explore.

And so, 3 weeks before I left, I bought a ticket from Greyhound for $69.00, but my Dad talked me into letting him drive me up there. We started at 5 AM, went up Hwy. 287 to Denver, then into Cheyenne and Casper, up through Billings, where we stopped at my Godparents' house so I could say "Hi!" real quick, then it was on through Western Montana into Coeur d'Alene. I had only slept for a short time before we started, but I was determined to stay awake for the whole trip. I love long road trips, and I have to see every mile of it! So before we made it into the Idaho Panhandle, I was asleep at the time, fortunately, when Dad hit a rough ice patch, and nearly lost control of the car.

So, finally, into Washington State, through Spokane, then miles and miles of snow-covered farmland, utterly boring, until we got to The Cascades, and good Lord, the mountains! Against a background of absolute white, the mountains looked as if they had been chiseled out of the white! At last, we arrived in downtown Seattle at about 2 in the afternoon, Sunday, Feb. 27, found a gas station, where I bought a map, and called Mom to let her know that we had arrived safely. I then gave dad a few hundred dollars to get home on. After that, we stopped at the Northgate Mall, where I roamed around and stretched my legs. Then we got something to eat on Aurora, where I promptly bought a paper, and found the place I'm living in now. My landlord at the time was nice enough to let my Dad spend the night before he took off. That's the kindest thing I've ever seen Gene Yiu do. About two weeks later, I got my job at Walgreens, and the rest is history.

I love Seattle. I feel married to it. For almost 20 years, it was my dream to come back, and I'm happy to have lived it for this long, and I hope to never have to leave again.


Shocking News

I had a friend in Amarillo named Steve Bowles. He was/is(?) an artist and an arts
organizer, and I had him over to my parents' house a few times, when I was living with them.
He had a large book collection, one of them quite rare, an Italian printing of which his copy was one of only 1,000 in the world.

There was a 7-year-old boy that disappeared on the North Side, about five years ago. No one has yet found a trace of him.

I called my friend Deanne Sunday night, and she told me that the police suspect Steve in the boy's disappearance. She told me that he threatened her husband one time because he refused to let him in the house.

Amarillo is a strange little city. Home of STanley J. Marsh III, creator of Cadillac Ranch, owner of KVII-TV, looks like Colonel Sander's evil twin, an alleged pedophile, who puts "art signs" in people's yards, whether they want him to or not, 200,000 stories, how many twisted and dark, hidden from the prairie sun?

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