June 7, 2001: Dispatches
by Brad & Tony
On Their Trip Across America

6:30 pm

Philippine Airlines says Tony's flight is delayed an hour, until 9:35 pm. All day, while Rhonda and Sarah and I have been straightening the yard and house, I've been imagining him in an airplane somewhere over the big blue Pacific. I've been wondering what he's thinking, and I've been wondering what he's going to make of our country and the whole experience of travel. CBS News asked me to send them some pictures of myself from my 1974 trip to Europe and eventually Afghanistan, and I got out what scrapbooks I could and found a few photos, all of which put me right back into the memory of my first trip away from my native country. I remember just about every detail of landing in first Iceland and then Luxembourg and then taking a train to my dish washing job in St. Gallen, Switzerland. I imagine Tony has all of his senses on full "record."

James O'Reilly, publisher at Travelers' Tales, emailed me yesterday and asked who was going with me to the airport. All along I've been imagining just Tony and me (the late hour counts out Sarah and Rhonda), but instantly I thought: "James, come with me!" James is the (other) guy who made this whole trip possible. And now it's just perfect. The weather's perfect, the timing's perfect, everything seems lined up for this to be a perfect month for Tony and me. The taxi even looks 99.9% sure. I do believe Tony and I are leaving Tuesday morning in a taxicab so generously donated by Jamie Maddox of "Service! Taxi" (yes, there is an exclamation mark in the middle!), and we're headed for New York -- every cab driver's dream fare -- or at least this cab driver's. So many people have been caught by the spirit of this thing -- sometime soon I'll have to make up a list of all the people who have contributed to this trip of Tony's. It will be a long list.

And now for the short drive to SFO.

I'll check in as I can.

Wish us luck. Love, Brad

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