Tuesday, August 31, 2010

see you next week, loved ones! @burningman time!

As we approach the edges of a Temporary Metropolis

I can't go a step further without expressing something beyond profuse gratitude to the many people who have helped my brother, Chris, our friend, Farhad, and myself though the darkest of times. We have had a very, very hard journey.

We're here, grateful to tell the tale, grateful to be alive. Really.

It's hard to underscore how hard every step of this journey has been. I don't know why this is true. I don't know what this coming week in Black Rock City — known more commonly as Burning Man — holds, but I think it will be delirious and utterly relaxed.

And there's nowhere Chris and I would rather be. (Farhad's a "virgin," sorry) And it's hard to explain why. It's hard to explain the stunning magic of a temporary city of 40,000 people, ecstatically gathered in the middle of a harsh nowhere, calling it "home" for a week.

Maybe that's my answer — simple and right there: it's "home," though not the tradition version, which I treasure in Lexington. It's true nonetheless, in some surreal way. We have had such a hard time getting home, and have wanted — needed — so badly to get home.

There are loved ones all over creation who came to our aid — some longtime friends and family, many complete strangers.

I can't step away from this chronicle without thanking Rhonda Reeves and ACEWeekly, who's verve, panache and leverage I have experienced repeatedly for many years, but especially in recent times, through trial and hardship. Thank you, Rhonda, for being willing and able to "marshall the social media armies," should the need arise. You are the greatest of allies and a true friend.

Thanks to the many citizens of Wyoming, a naturally helpful bunch of people, and to pilot Doug McDuff, of Pilots for Christ, who accomplished the one thing I wanted more than anything: to get my brother far away from the lingering sting of such an intensely personal catastrophe…

Thanks to new friends Kevin and Anna, friends-of-friends who went out of their way to track us down and buy us lunch. To the earnest, amiable family who operated the salvage yard that was visited on several sad occasions by each of us — and who pulled us off the side of a very deserted highway in the first place. To the staff of the Clarion Inn, a quaint and quirky hotel where I felt thankfully at home.

So many others…

It's time to walk away from this now. It's finally time to be home in Black Rock City.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

#kyfried voyagers are recovering. tx, @aceweekly #brc2010 we're coming

thanks, @alithinks , for new friends

so blessed in Gillette with new friends by way of @alithinks & @allanthinks . thanks for lunch, thanks for your kindness. <3, Chris, Farhad, Mick, Homer, and Max

SUNday morning — a new beginning

Last night, something happened.

After a long and important wait, I blogged yesterday, sharing the details of our terrifying wreck and our gradual recovery, in the outer reaches of northeastern Wyoming.

Yesterday's post was an early footnote on yet another day of complicated, arduous, thankless efforts at planning our steps ahead. I cried a lot yesterday — unexpected bursts of emotion, triggered by some tiny thought, or somebody's comment, or a moment of gratitude, or even just following a deep, tired breath.

Farhad and I drove an absurd circuitous gauntlet before finally laying hands on The Last uHaul in Wyoming (at least it seemed), and on the way back, my chest heaved like never before as I tried to make peace with the sadness, the remorse and yes — the gratitude for being alive. Just the exhausting amount of feeling lately.

At the end of this long day, which included clearing the contents of "Edna," in waning light, and seeing Chris roll onto "the lot" for the first time, something happened. Something good.

I can't put a word on it, but things are getting better. We laughed some. We ate together, for the first time in days, not just at the same time, but together. And I saw this pallor lift some, from all of us — individually, and together. I can't emphasize the last enough. This catastrophe has been hard on "the group," or "the team" or whatever. We don't really have a name. We might have once been called the Crew of Marge, but… well… you understand.

I had fears — punishing fears, nightmare-inducing fears — that our group didn't really exist anymore, that we were really just waiting to disperse, and walk as far away as possible from this place, this time, this fucking sadness — and maybe each other. But last night, I saw a glow coming back over my brother — that signature warmth that those who know him treasure, and which I try to emulate. Over, dinner, I felt a great load lift and the toil lessen.

I cannot find words to express my gratitude for this, my second miracle.

There are still questions and things to do. Together, we've decided to do a meaningful and honest appraisal of the contents of Marge, and do some sober stacking, if you will. Together, we've decided that Farhad and I will most likely leave in the uHaul later today, and head for Black Rock City, leaving Chris and the dogs here for just a short while, with a couple of appealing transportation options. (favor: beg him TO FLY. Arrangements are in place: c h r i s [a t] hotfut dot c o m)

Stay tuned for more. Thanks for caring about our saga, and best wishes to you today.

photo ©Greg Eans, taken on Sunday, August 22, 2010, in Owensboro, KY

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gratitude and Sorrow on the Way to Burning Man

Many of you reading this may have been following the adventures of my trip across the country to Burning Man with my brother, Chris Jeffries and his trusty dog, Homer. It's a trip we were repeating from 2009, this time with the addition of a friend, Farhad Rezaei, and a new dog: Max, the standard poodle.

I've not posted for several days because of a catastrophe that unfolded, affecting us all profoundly, but none more than my brother.

photo ©Greg Eans, taken on Sunday, August 22, 2010, in Owensboro, KY

It is with great sorrow that I share this: Thursday afternoon, a scant handful of hours after standing at the foot of Mount Rushmore in the crisp morning air, we experienced the unthinkable: a catastrophic, terrifying highway accident, resulting in the total loss of both Airstream "Marge" and "Edna," the mighty towing Ford Explorer.

And it is with profound gratitude that I tell you: We all climbed out of the twisted and rolled wreckage miraculously unscathed, utterly OK in body. This cannot be overstated: Three humans and two dogs, all lucky to be not just alive, but almost completely unscathed, save for a (very) few scrapes and bruises.

We spent 4-5 hours (not really sure) on that deserted highway, under the laser-like Wyoming sun, with kind souls who stopped immediately, and waited for nearly an hour for ambulances and police to arrive (that's how in-the-middle-of-nowhere we were). Eventually, EMTs checked us out, and confirmed our miraculous condition (Incidentally, the first witness Chris talked to, minutes after the crash, asked him point blank: "Who's dead?"). Then we spent two hours pulling things out of the wreckage — some of it because of real value… some of it, just to occupy stunned, disbelieving hands.

Eventually, two giant flatbed tow trucks and a dedicated family of race car drivers collected this … ruination … in its myriad shards and drove us nearly an hour to Gillette, Wyoming (pop. 19646), where we limped (not literally — again with the gratitude) into the Clarion Inn. And we've been here since then.

My life since Thursday afternoon has been framed by tears, many tears still, as well as grappling with what happened and what's next and a nearly incomprehensible fugue that might be simply summarized as "Oh, Chris…" — which causes the most tears, even still. Even now.

We're all still attempting to come to grips with this, but we are, first and foremost, grateful — and lucky — to be alive, and unharmed.

The Road Forward

On Thursday, after we struggled to just make it to a bed, I had guessed that probably it was "game over" for us and Black Rock City (as the temporary community of 40,000 is known), but apparently not — and after very little discussion on Friday morning, it was agreed that we all need Burning Man more than anyone could have possibly imagined.

And so the work continues, as I said, bracketed regularly by tears. Probably I could speak for us all, but I will only say for me: This has rocked me to my foundations, the memories of the wreck somehow becoming scarier — much scarier — than how it felt during what we've estimated to be the seven seconds.

Arrangements in this small Wyoming town have been incredibly challenging, every single step of the way. The people here are kind and helpful with what they've got. At some point soon, the journey towards Black Rock City will resume — but with all of us, changed forever, I can't doubt.

I don't know if I have the wherewithal to post more photos from the road. I probably do not. But I will attempt to update followers of this journey in the most respectful and meaningful way that I know how — and I pledge to lovingly photograph us — Chris, Farhad & I, at least a little — in Black Rock City, a place so astonishing, so magical, that it's maybe the only place with the potential to help us heal and be, if only for a week.

Thank you for your love and support. Please let us continue to collect ourselves before asking too many questions. We're lucky to be alive and unharmed. That's the best news I can imagine.

In the meantime, please keep us in your thoughts, especially my brother Chris, who has lost not just his work of passion of the last several years, but his home, his office … and his wheels.

R.I.P. Marge and Edna.

NOTE: Those wanting to reach out directly to Chris may do so — with consideration, please — at c h r i s [a t ] h ot fut dot com (remove all the spam-blocking characters and spaces)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kansas City, there you go

the world of Edna (feat. geodome in floor, Homer in lap)

the road to black rock city

Last year was a challenge: 2 brothers, a dog, an airstream trailer, less than a week to get to Burning Man 2009.

This year: two brothers, a Persian dude, 2 large dogs, an airstream, and a disassembled 15' tall geodesic dome (weight: 500 lbs).

Did I mention that we're running at least a day late and are considering a side-trip to Mt. Rushmore?

We've upped our standards; UP YOURS.


I tried to type "Farhad," and auto spell claimed "Degas." certainly not the wrong ballpark.

Monday, August 23, 2010

matching mayhem

in addition to fashion compliance, I'm trying to figure out if I can tag @aceweekly by way of pixelpipe. holla back

FOUND: Saris Bones 3 Bike Rack!

one of the last pieces of the #bman10 departure is getting fixed up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just a little bit more about them Canadians.

A recent email from me to a fellow music freak:
"The New Pornographers are so good as to nearly dispense with the need for probably tens of thousands of currently-existing bands.

Together is way stuck in my Walkman®, but its release — like previous releases — has caused basically their entire back catalog to get re-stuck in my jam box."

Saturday, August 07, 2010

How happy is Jeffreez?

He's got his washer/drier working, a year after initial install.

The real boss is Homer

Supervising all the Marge work is the cool eye of Homer

Jeffries at the controls

Plotting the next move against Bond. #bman10

Plumbing with Marge

Trying to get water — hot & cold — a-flowin'. It's a world of Pex. #bman10

The Chris HQ

Looks like I found the ChrisCave

Surprise lilly

Kaydence & Mr. Mustard



Lucy & Tanzi


Princess Diptych

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Carol — "Don't Call Me Homeless" shoot

At Post Time, with AGL & CAC folks. Pretty inspiring.. The show will debut at the downtown Arts Center

Ellis — "Don't Call Me Homeless" shoot

At Post Time, with AGL & CAC folks. Pretty inspiring.. The show will debut at the downtown Arts Center

Cookin Kaydence

Grandaughter in charge of batter-stirring

Swimming on the hottest.

Maybe or maybe not, but it is hot. The daughter and granddaughter are happy for the splish-splash.

Swimming on the hottest.

Maybe or maybe not, but it is hot. The daughter and granddaughter are happy for the splish-splash.