It's 40 years to the week if not day that I set off for Costa Rica. First I got a rideboard ride from NYC to Oklahoma to meet up with Mark. It was in a VW Thing, which doesn't have real windows only vinyl sheets. Whoever was driving had to do so half into a sleeping bag. I seem to remember that the driver stopped to get the heat fixed because it was so miserable.
In Tennessee I was excited to order biscuits with gravy, which I did whenever we stopped until the driver decided he had to try them. Ugh! he spat. No wonder crackers are so dumb. Which was a non sequitur as well as offensive.
Mark & I flew from OK City to Austin. His mother, I remember, dropped us off at the airport several hours early. There wasn't even a coffee shop there. We stayed with his uncle then took a Greyhound to San Antonio & from there to Laredo on the border. We crossed for the evening to Nuevo Laredo (no fuss in those days) & I remember not being able to decipher markers of class: were we in a well-to-do neighborhood or a poor one? That was the beginning of my education.
Update: Mark just emailed to say, "Actually it was Lowell Dunham who gave us that ride to Will Rogers World Airport (only OKC would name their airport after a guy who died in a plane crash) which gives you one degree of separation from Borges, Garcia Marquez and all the other other Latin American writers who stayed at the Dunhams' house." He's probably right, since he's always right, but why do I so clearly remember him saying his mother always got to the airport a million hours early?