Diane Cable


1979 Sketch Book, hardbound, black, 14" x 10 %" June 2, 2011

This sketch book was my companion upon the departure from Athens for a trip to Boulder, Colorado, via the Greyhound bus.

A number of friends from the El Dorado had word that The Grateful Dead were going to be playing at Red Rocks, Colorado. Some of them, being "Dead Heads," decided to "up and go west." I, however, was not a devoted fan of the Dead. After several of my good friends had left, though, I decided I would go on an adventure and join them. My plans were roughly to stay from September until January.

This was the continuation of the Wayne "error"—it would be the last "chapter" in his name until July, 1980. Wayne was a Grateful Dead fan; he had been to Boulder before; had fond memories of it, so he decided to go on with the "Dead Gang" when they left.

Hitting closer to the truth, this left me in Athens alone. I thought I would be fine. Certainly I did not have enough money to go. But, after two weeks, I decided to make the trip as well. I had never been out of the East, as it were. So, considering this another adventure, I put together the money (I've forgotten how), checked out the bus schedule, and left Athens on a bright and clear September morning.

The journey, via the Grey Dog, would take three days and three nights, practically non-stop. How was I ever going to do that, I wondered. The idea occurred that I should make a few marijuana brownies that would at least add some bliss to the long ride.

Some two hundred miles along the way, past Atlanta, I decided to imbibe in one of my special, secret treats. At the stop in Atlanta, a man had taken the seat beside me. My only hesitation, being the polite person I was raised in the south, was that perhaps I could not bring out anything to eat without offering to share with the person I was with. This, of course, was impossible; what trouble that would be! I decided it was quite alright to forego the southern politeness, open the aluminum foil that wrapped my little treasures, and eat at least a half of one of the brownies. From there on, the trip was quite pleasant; I slept well. America was a very beautiful place and Americans such varied and interesting people.

But St. Louis was a major stop over. I knew we would be crossing the plains in the early, early morning hours, to see the Rocky Mountains rising in the west. The seat I took on the bus was directly behind the driver; I wanted to have a front row view of the snow covered heights as they would come into view.

The bus was only half full of passengers and all were asleep. This was lucky for the driver behind whom I sat. I had the last of my brownies the previous night, perfectly timed for a good night's sleep and the journey that would allow me the rising sun showing off in the great distance just the most vague line of dark blue along the horizon with the occasional point of white here and there as we made our way across Kansas.

The driver was lucky because I was the only one awake and the only one who could possibly see that he had had his own indulgence in the "illegal." I had finished off my tranquil drug the previous night. The driver, however, was not "finished" with whatever drug he had taken to keep him awake. The bus made the long, long straight drive at a goodly speed but slowly, slowly and at with such imperceptive drift (for the sleeping passengers) from going almost off the road to the right and then crossing the center line to the left. The driver slowly maneuvered the bus back and forth when it just was at the edge of going too far! I presumed he thought I was asleep, too; but I sat watching the plains roll past and observing the miracle of the driver's control.

I was hypnotized when, at last, the Rocky Mountains beyond Denver could be seen as the giant mountains they were; snow covered and all. I did not have a camera; I did not want a camera. Should I have had a camera, I would never have used my sketch books as much as I did.

Denver was disappointing in that it was just a shiny city dwarfed by the peaks behind it.

At the bus station, I almost missed the bus to Boulder; it was pulling out as I flagged it down. It seems our bus from St. Louis was running a big behind schedule, afterall.

I had absolutely no idea where I was supposed to meet Wayne. He had vaguely mentioned the office of the Antinuclear and Environmental Interest office. When the Boulder bus stopped and turned around to return to Denver, I found myself standing in front of a small strip mall on Pearl Street—there was a cafe there named "Mother's" that I would come to know well enough. And just beyond the cafe was the Office of Anti-Nuclear Movement and Environmental Interests. I went in to find a man, looking something like the homeless type, sleeping on the floor. He awoke to tell me that Wayne would be there shortly. What luck!

Drawings I would like to point out as significant:

Page 1: I had visited my parents in Salisbury, NC, before returning to Athens to go on to Boulder. While there I saw what their marriage and relationship had become since the youngest of the brood had left. They were like little wind-up toy figures, fenced in a small space, without intimacy but with hostility. I could only watch and then, thankfully, leave.

Page 3: A lovely drawing, I think, of a lovely person and good friend, Denise. Obviously I had stopped in Asheville for a few days, visited the art department, and got in on a drawing session where Denise was the model. I cherish this drawing because I have only seen her once since then, some thirty-two years ago.

Page 4: My brother, Ed, lived in Asheville in a small apartment. He, my other brother, Grover, and myself, were most comfortable in austere settings. He was not at his apartment but as I glimpsed into his room, I knew I had to take the time to draw this special spot, by the window, with book—ready to work when he returned.

Page 8: This is how I envisioned myself: "On the Road." Thankfully I didn't have to hitchhike at any time.

Page 10: While preparing for the trip, I would do some drawing. This one represents a "primitive innocent" on a raft, facing rough waters ahead with only a pole for control. Looks dangerous and uncertain.

Page 32: The Trailways and Greyhound bus system provided a little known service for the handicapped, especially for the blind. They gave a discount for such passengers and assistance from start of the trip to the end of the trip. The driver of each bus would be informed of a blind passenger. The driver would go to extra lengths to check on the person, help them on or off the bus, and make sure they would meet the party that had come to get them. For me: an excellent model—never aware of my presence (if I were quiet enough) and not necessarily interested in the "likeness" of the drawing when I was finished. I had travelled often by bus in the late 70's, not having a car. More than once I would see such passengers and try to draw them. They floated along with the movement of the bus, within their own sightless world, waiting to arrive.

Page 39: This was the Wayne Era; this is a pen and ink sketch of Wayne.

Page 59: An imagined self-portrait, walking toward the bus station and away from Athens. P

age 60: Adieu to Athens!

Page 61: This is how I imagined I looked. I had two shoulder packs, a jacket, an old hat, a rag doll my mother had made for me years before, and of course, my sketch book (this sketchbook). I carried the bare minimum of necessities (except for the doll, of course) and stashed what few other things I had at a friend's house in Athens.

Page 62: Regardless that I slept well on the bus, there were moments when sleep was quite illusive. I pulled out my sketch book and drew something of a memory I had of Dad and our family, many years before, out on a picnic on Haynes mountain. While crossing a pasture, Dad came face to face with a bull and a herd of cows. He clapped his hands and all the cows ran off up the mountain. The bull did not; it stood where it was. Facing Dad it lowered its head. Dad turned toward us and told us to get out of the field and out of sight. I don't know what happened after that because we were hidden behind trees.

The memory of Dad making sure we were safe inspired this image: me tucked away safely behind a tree, under a quilt, while Dad went off to face the bull. After drawing this, I went right to sleep.

Page 63: Boulder was a haven for college and university students but also a haven for the homeless. There were many drifters that came through the town (heck, I guess I was one, myself, to some extent) down on their luck or just used to getting by on getting by. The Hari Krishnas were goodly in number there and very generous. Every Wednesday they would feed the poor and homeless with homemade food: pinto beans, corn bread and some green vegetable of sorts. I would give a donation and get a meal myself. They were very nice people. They had their retreat (?) in the mountains west of Boulder.

Page 79: Free concerts on the town green, near the Naropa Institute, were quite common. I so much enjoy drawing musicians while they are performing. They make good models and I get to listen to excellent music while I do my work.

Page 84: Street musicians who would play in the evening along Pearl Street for handouts were numerous and, without fail, they were good musicians. This young, lovely woman was quite memorable. I'm glad I was able to get her name in the drawing: Pam. She played light jazz akin to Joni Mitchell. Very good stuff; not maudlin or sentimental, in order to make money. But her music seemed to be of her very own making. I have several drawings of her in this sketch book because she was out in the warm evenings often.

Page 106: Wayne and I lived in an upstairs apartment just off Pearl Street; over a weight-lifting gym and across from what was called the "Liquor Mart." We had good neighbors in a family of squirrels that came to our back door. The mother we named "Pooh" and the father "Mr. Pooh." The two young offspring were "Pooh I and Pooh II." They came up to us as if our very best friends. When we didn't have peanuts for them, I would give them peanut butter off the tip of my finger. I got bit once by doing this.

Pages 108-111: These are Wayne's entries in this book. He worked as a cook at a great restaurant called "the Good Earth." When not cooking, he would be sleeping, running, or working on some ideas he had for solar energy and ecological housing. He was brilliant but baffling; a good, good friend, though, overall, and remains so to this day.