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July 2014, vol 10, no 2

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Jeff Streeby

Road Trip: 1974

Late one Saturday morning we all climbed into my old junker and went for breakfast at the usual place where we decided on the spur of the moment that we would try to see how many Sambo’s restaurants we could drink coffee in during the next 24 hours. We hit every one in Kansas City and then headed north on I-35 and every time we saw a sign we stopped. We got to Des Moines just when the bars closed and kept to I-80 still stopping at every Sambo’s sign and made it over to Iowa City Sunday morning where we drank more coffee and turned south and each of us taking a turn behind the wheel we traveled through dozens of little towns until we pulled onto the I-70 and still hunting for Sambo’s signs, we turned west.

We were back where we started Monday morning with almost no sleep and only time enough to shave and get to work. It was a hare-brained quixotic gesture that set the tone for the next two or three decades. I always wondered if any of us even bothered to count how many times we stopped. Now it’s too late to ask and that is itself just one more predictable cliché.

heading home,
I split the horizon wide open to find
the same things