Discover more from Make More Pie
All My Relations
Road trips, Josh Drum, cherry kolaches
Coming to you from a porch in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stop #3 on the three-week road trip. There have been no snafus, and have I eaten a lot of pastry? I have, also at the behest of Bill Schulz, who apparently knows that the answer to, “Do you want video of me eating a lot of pastry on the road?” is, “All you can send!” These will run next week on Mornin’!!! Until then, I give you a woman eating her first kolache, from Yeast Nashville.
In Nashville I also went to what might be the most beautiful bar I have been in, The Patterson House, where everything gleamed, the bartenders were attentive but not too, and the lighting made everyone look twenty-six. I met people there I’d known only from Twitter, and we made friends with the guy one seat over, who, after our second drink, hustled around the corner to pick up a make-your-own ice cream sandwich, which we dissected at the bar in order to figure out how to make it better, as he is thinking of opening such a spot in the Florida Keys, through which I will driving in eight days.
Here in Tulsa, my daughter just finished up her last day in the set-dec department of the upcoming FX series Reservation Dogs. She, too, has been doing a lot of cross-country driving in the past few years and we agree that driving alone is the bomb. I have nothing against having a passenger (or riding shotgun) but there’s a pleasure that’s hard to explain in putting in those miles by yourself, especially when someone or something is waiting with urgency at the next destination.
“Take your time but hurry up,” Will Sampson (pictured, r., in header photo) told his son Tim sometime in the early 80s. Will was performing in the Burt Reynolds theater in Jupiter, Florida and wanted his truck, which was in LA. Tim made the drive, he said, in a day and a half.
Will and Tim were both full-blood Creek (Muskogee), and each grew up in Okmulgee, where Rez Dogs is being shot. I wrote here previously about the shoot:
I ask Tafv, is a lot of the crew Native? Oh, yes, she says; very much yes, and also, that they are the children and grandchildren of the filmmakers and painters and artisans who were trying to make film and art back in the day. Also, that on Friday, the first day of shooting, Sterlin Harjo (the director) gathered the entire crew and said, "We are going to have a blessing for this shoot." And the drum came out, and a hundred-plus people (not all Native but many) stood and wept, Tafv said she became hysterical, because it was all there, what had come before, all the relations...
And you know what they're making? A FUCKING COMEDY, about native kids; it's fun and funny and all-teasing and also there's hard stuff, and as Tafv told me all this I cried, it’s what the people I’ve known in this world have been striving for, art where they are more than, as Harjo put it the of the blessing, “props”…
I knew I wanted to write about this and so started checking out some of Sterlin’s other work, including sketch comedy he did with a crew called the 1491s.
Two nights ago, I watched his 2015 feature, Mekko. The movie made me remember a lot of things that happened in Hollywood, when Tafv was a baby and Tim and I lived in a house with a yard shaded by a big avocado tree. It was the era of Dances With Wolves and a lot of young guys, and fewer girls, were coming from the rez to try to get into movies. Eight or so of these guys were at the house a lot, they helped each other out as they could, as did two characters in Mekko, who help one young guy new to the streets. The character reminded me of Josh Drum, whom I had not thought of in a long time. Josh showed up in Hollywood in maybe 1991. He was tall and beefy. Many of the guys drank a lot and so did Josh. He was around 30, smart, shy to come inside the house. He and I would stand at the curb in the sun and talk about art and music and what he wanted to do, but his eyes were almost always just past my shoulder, as if there were an insinuation there, a destination telling him, take your time but hurry up.
The antagonist in Mekko put me in mind, too, of people I knew back then, but I figured it was because I’d seen actor Zahn McClarnon in a lot of other shows. Then I ran into him at last night’s Rez Dogs pre-wrap party — he plays an utterly goofy cop in the series — and realized he looked familiar because, he told me, he and Tim and a few other Native actors lived together after Tim and I split up, and I remembered; how I used to drop Tafv off there; that she learned to ride a bike on their street. As a honky tonk band played eight feet away, Zahn and I talked for a long time and then he asked, did I remember Josh Drum? I did, and how he was always looking at a star, and that star was death. Yes, said Zahn, and that one of the last times he saw Josh, Josh lifted up his shirt to show him the dialysis tubes, that Josh had laughed and said, he poured the vodka directly in there.
Friends doing other things: Jeff Miller gets further kudos for his sushi restaurant Rosella, from New York Magazine’s Adam Platt.
Michael Moynihan takes to the road in Texas for Vice News and asks, “Is Trump Still the Future of the GOP?”
Reason Magazine’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown covers one of the most terrible and stupid prostitution/sex trafficking stings I have heard of.
Until Austin, where I head at dawn, big love and anticipation of the next kolache xx