“Where you from,” he asked
I was in a Walmart parking lot, and the guy asking the question was a skinny , dark fellow in a reddish/orange t-shirt.
Where I am from is becoming a more interesting question anymore. This was last Thursday, and the generator in our RV had got fixed by about 3pm, giving us the time to drive from Las Vegas to Bakersfield by that evening (sometime around 8:30, give or take). Officially, our mailing address is a dropbox in Sandford, North Carolina (the Reverb Nation site actually insists that this be the address officially listed there, creating the interesting consequence that, according to Reverb Nation, I am the number one singer/songwriter of the Sanford/North Carolina area, even though I have not as yet actually been to Sanford, let alone play there).
Our new official place of residence, as it were, is Bestos Road, on top of Casper Mountain, in Wyoming. Our friends Rebecca and Geoff own this wonderful cabin and have allowed us to roost there on occasion – it’s a lovely base to have while the road trip continues). The two months we spent on the mountain at the beginning of this year is the most we are likely to be in one place anywhere over the next year (and, if it works out with out landlords, we plan to spend three months of winter on the mountain next year, while I record some new tracks, among other things).
But, for the sake of convenience, I told this guy I was from Denver. He nodded, taking in this information, shook my hand, told me his name was Del.
“All of this used to be a dairy farm, years ago,” he tells me, his arm sweeping over the Walmart parking lot. “It was worth maybe $10,000 an acre then. ‘Probably worth like $10 million, now. What you doing in Bakersfield?”
I told him I was just passing through; that I’m a touring musician, heading to the San Francisco area to do a couple of gigs.
“Really!” he said. “You know Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones? That’s my people. He and Naomi Watts.”
“The actress?” I inquired.
“Yeah, we’re related,” he said. “Richard Watts, that’s my name.”
“I thought you said your name was Del.”
“Del’s my middle name,” he explained. “Richard Del Watts, that’s me.”
I wasn’t aware that Charlie Watts and Naomi Watts were related, let alone that they had a common relative in Bakersfield, California. But who knows who you might meet in the middle of a Walmart parking lot in the middle of an evening. For what it’s worth, Charlie and Naomi, Richard sends his regards.