Planes, Trains And Automobiles

By Anita Garner

New book.  New tour.  We’ll get there.

We just clicked “live” on the new website built to introduce my book, “The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life.” It’s less than three weeks til release date. I hope you’ll check out and let me know what you think.  If you read this blog regularly you already know bits of the story, but there’s more over there now and we’ll keep adding. Thanks to Steve Bradford and Authors Guild for their help.

I’m vaccinated and ready to travel if the good Lord’s willing and the crick don’t rise.  I’ve been planning a trip from California to the east coast this fall to combine book appearances and visits with friends in New England.  Rent a car in Boston and ramble around for a few days. I had in mind taking the train one way and then flying home. I pictured me in a little roomette on Amtrak with lots of magazines and coffee and snacks and waving out the window at places I used to live and working when I feel like it. It could be a leisurely and productive and celebratory kind of journey all in one.

Then I learned from Amtrak that wifi isn’t consistent on the train.  They make that clear.  I like my work and with all the connections I need to pursue, wifi is necessary.

My relatives were all train people.  Gramma K migrated from the Deep South to Southern California making several trips by train before enlisting all her Southern relatives to drive cars and trucks in caravans to move her belongings.  She never hired a moving van.  We were the van.  Every fall, she trained back from Glendale, CA to Arkansas to be with her kinfolks during leaf season.  Arkansas trees are spectacular  and worth the trip.  She  came off the train at Union Station in L.A. every time with a list of names and addresses and phone numbers from people she met onboard.

Mother never flew either, even when it would have been expeditious to do so.  We moved to California when she signed a recording contract, then the record company sent her back to Nashville to record with the backup singers and musicians they’d selected.  They said get here as soon as you can. She said, sure, I’ll be right there – on the train.  Later she went out on a tour but got homesick for Daddy, quit part of the way through and cried all the way home – on the train.

Here I sit with my hopes for making this book launch/friend visiting trip, but no set plan for travel yet. No sense buying a super-saver airline ticket months in advance if the savings will disappear due to travel insurance and change fees.

I’ll get there in person one way or the other. Meanwhile there are virtual appearances to plan,  which is how most books have been launched recently. Mother was an early adopter of innovation  (except for airline travel.)  She’d have been the first to understand my wifi dilemma.



10 thoughts on “Planes, Trains And Automobiles”

  1. We are looking so forward to the arrival of your book. I see it waiting in my Amazon orders to dash out for delivery. The status has changed from “pre-order” to “order received”. Woohoo! What a great adventure you will have.

  2. Reminds me of dad’s (Zeke’s) stories of riding trains in the south, sometimes getting caught and having to do hard labor (unload box cars) to pay his fare. One story was of a missed box, then opened and full of giant jawbreakers. They threw them to the kids along the route, the kids threw rocks back until they realized they were getting candy! Oh the train. It was all a great story until my brother tried it in California in the 70s. Just say there was bail involved. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear more of your adventure and read the book!

  3. Ohmigosh Robin, your Dad and my Dad too. Daddy hopped freight trains looking for work and told harrowing stories about some of his fellow free-riders. But no bail, and no getting caught and having to do hard labor like Zeke. Though traveling that way already sounds like hard labor to me.

  4. Forgot to mention that your new website is wonderful. Love all the photos. too

    xox K

  5. Can’t wait for the book! Hurry up Amazon! In my old age, I have become intoxicated by train travel. I’ve only taken short – 2 hourish – trips from L.A, but I often go to sleep at night watching videos of cross- country Amtrakers. I have an overnight in my future for sure.

  6. April 13th is the date they’re saying they’ll ship. Me too David. I’m craving train travel. Leslie Ray used to have a travel bar, a fancy suitcase fitted with booze and glasses and such. By the time he’d met everyone on a train he and they were a lot less likely to be able to walk straight. P.S. Watching videos of trains sounds like an awesome late-night hobby.

  7. Thank you D. Dub. I appreciate your years of encouragement. You must have felt something like this when your plays were (and are) performed and audiences love them and then they get extended….

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