I once heard that a hundred or so years ago, 99% of most people never traveled further than ten or twelve miles from where they were born. I've also heard most accidents occur within one's own home. Luckily, I've been very fortunate regarding my safe travels, despite some harrowing travel conditions sometimes. When Li'l Joe was touring with Jr. Wells, they had a terrible crash where several guys got hurt real bad and, tragically, one fellow died.

Ol' man Cato, Milton Hopkins and I drove from Kalamazoo, Michigan, cross country to Las Vegas one winter. Milton and I decided to help drive the van with Cato to save the plane tickets provided by B.B.'s organization for our future personal use. We did this occasionally, whenever we had some days off and if it made sense with our schedule.

We headed south from icy Kalamazoo to St. Louis, then traced the stops along Route 66 following the southern route to Nevada. All was going well and we made good time. Taking turns and pacing ourselves, we were steadily rolling along. One of my shifts ended about 30-40 miles east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Milt then took over after he'd been napping for awhile. After a brief pit stop to gas up and grab a quick bite, I stretched out in the back bench seat while Milt and Cato were up front. Now, normally, Cato could talk the bark off a tree, thus Barney's nickname for him, Iron Jaws. As experienced a driver as he was, he knew when it was necessary to engage a driver to help keep him awake. We knew when he was falling asleep, too, even though he slept with his eyes open. His mouth would move but he wouldn't be talking audibly, except within his own dreams. But this time, he was tired, too, and before long, we both were snoozing on this bright sunny day headed further west. Milton soon followed suit and we flipped over, sliding upside down for some hundred yards along the hot flat blacktop.

"TALES of a ROAD DOG" - 'The Lowdown Along the Blues Highway' by Ron Levy
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