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Updated: May 1

(east/west, day six: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico)

Hit the road on Sunday when most heads still hit the pillow

Get out of Oklahoma, on a limb, on a branch

I’ll slice the Texas Panhandle across through Amarillo

On my way to see the legendary Cadillac Ranch

On the edge of town I spy something weird through my windshield

Is that the real thing I think that I see

Ten black phantoms arising in a wheatfield

Well, what other Cadillac Ranch could there be?

From here on, everything gets bigger

The era is over for thinking small

From this point forward, we’re thinking bigger

Living large and walking tall

Pull over on the shoulder, grab my camera, cross the interstate

On foot, like the idiots I’d curse out back home

But this maybe the only chance to investigate

This roadkitsch shrine to steel and chrome

But all the pointed-down DeVilles are getting repainted

All the Fleetwoods and Eldorados while the wrong music plays

This was to be a pilgrimage to an icon much sainted

But it’s such a sad sight, so no reason to stay

From here on, everything gets bigger

We’re done with all the should and can’ts

We’ll pursue life with a recharged vigor

Give our grandest dreams a chance

And the tres hombres boogie and rock up the soundtrack

Throughout the sheer bigness along this expanse of the ride

Will I pass this way again, I find myself wondering

Or will I stay permanently on the other side

So I push on from Cadillacs to cattle ranches

Miles and miles of beef, hot damn that’s a lot of steak

The sky is punctuated by wind farms and oil gantries

High plains stretch out around me and I’ve got to take a break

I pull over in Adrian and kill an hour playing Tetris

Then get back on the road while I’ve still got some light

Soon I’m at the state line and it’s bye bye Texas

Couple hours more and then late afternoon good night

From here on, everything gets bigger

Leave the old way of doing things behind

From this point forward, we’re thinking bigger

This petty worrying is for a smaller mind

From here on, everything gets bigger

This small-headed thinking is a thing of the past

From this point forward, we’ll do things bigger

In terms of huge, immense, and vast.

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

I had been curious about the legendary Cadillac Ranch since I first read about it in the book "Automerica: A Trip down US Highways from World War II to the Future," by Chip Lord and Ant Farm, a year or so before Bruce Springsteen released a song about it. It became a bucket-list item for me (long before "bucket list" became a term!), yet never imagined I would actually have the opportunity to see it in person. That opportunity came on Sunday morning, June 22, 2003, after I departed the hotel in Oklahoma City I had stayed at over Shabbos and hit the road early. Sorry to have to say that I was disappointed when I saw it ... I suppose I was expecting it to look something resembling the photos I had seen over the years, even though it was 23 years since I had first read about it (and almost 30 since the cars were planted face-down in the dirt). Instead, they were all painted black, being primed for a new paint job by some local volunteers. So I couldn't even take the close-up photos or proto-selfies that I would have liked ... it would have been nice to have the place to myself, but that was not to be. And stranger still, these volunteers had the music turned up loud to ... Bob Marley! Talk about musical cognitive dissonance.

Soon I was on my way west again, with ZZ Top on my own sound system, taking in the wide, vast Texas High Plains landscape of oil derricks, cattle ranches, and wind farms, realizing that the old saw about everything being bigger in Texas was not cliché at all. I took another break at a rest area in Adrian, not far from the New Mexico state line, where I noticed an old arcade-style Tetris machine, and I couldn't resist the urge to play ... and next thing I knew, an hour had slipped by me. Oops. But on I went, hoping to make Albuquerque, but I was exhausted by the time I reached Santa Rosa, on Historic Route 66, and that's where I called it a day.

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