Friday, November 13, 2009
Las Vegas Tales
(This blog entry was written last Saturday night, while I was in Las Vegas.) Does anything normal ever happen in Vegas during SEMA week? Or is it all just endless days and nights of adventure ? One twisted escapade blending into the next until you lose all track of time, and you find yourself asking people what day it is. For most, the week starts out on Monday, setting up the display booth, planning meetings, making lists of tasks : people you need to network with, the desired goals of those meetings, work related research to keep up with what’s current in the industry. It all starts out as serious business. Go forward, get the job done, task accomplished… next.
But somewhere around the middle of the week, the nights of little sleep in a town that truly comes fully alive after dark, takes a toll. Your body running on adrenaline, your mind only half cognizant. Go to dinner with clients or business associates or friends. You tell yourself, ‘After dinner, I’ll go to the room and check emails, then straight to bed to get up early for the show.’ But you’re not really all that tired and decide to make a quick stop by the Circle Bar at the Hard Rock. Just to have one drink and see whose hanging out. Be back at the room by midnight. Good plan. Then suddenly its 3 am and you have to get up at 6:30. By Friday afternoon you realize you haven’t even looked at those lists you made and SEMA will be officially over in less than an hour. Unless of course you are Craig Fraser and carry the Clipboard of Doom with all those lists neatly organized, tasks precisely checked off as they are accomplished. But I am not Craig Fraser. I am the opposite of Craig, making it up as I go along, flying by the seat of my pants and somehow against the laws of the universe, accomplishing the tasks on that forgotten list. An anomaly dependant on fate and luck.
So here I sit on a post SEMA Saturday night in Vegas, boyfriend sleeping peacefully next to me. I’m wide awake as the exhilaration of the week has not yet worn off. Too wired to sleep, too tired to do much of anything else.
Visions of the past week running through my head. Sitting at a table with Kris Krome, his dad telling wild stories. Running into Rich Evans crossing Paradise Rd. Chip Foose standing in front of the convention center, no crowds around him, just another guy looking around, trying to figure out where he needs to be.
We’re in the Earnhardt Suite at Casa Del Gregory, an expansive adobe house on the edge of the mountains west of Vegas. We arrived at 9pm to find a box of cookies and candies on the bed. The cookies were badly needed. What had been planned to be a morning interview today, turned into an all day debacle, complete with interview and 2 photo shoots. I felt guilty taking up so much of Kris Krome’s time, but when you get a great story, you have to run with it and get the most of out it. Sometimes you get one chance and to wait is to lose that chance. The opportunity to tell someone’s story. And when that story is as good as Kris’s, you grab on and don’t let go.
Trying to write about it makes me realize I need to reread some Hunter Thompson. Only the good doctor could truly capture the essence of such an experience. To depict it in words. But that’s how this whole week was.
SEMA is the best of the best. The best car and bike builders, the best painters, the best wrenches, all displaying their hard work. I was overwhelmed by the talent, the artistry at that show. I could go on and on. But I won’t. Not tonight anyway. Its 11 pm here. 2 AM back home in NC. But time doesn’t mean much right now. For those who attended SEMA, it will take several days at home to feel normal again.
So until I have enough displine to write another blog entry, it’s good night from a quiet spot on the edge of the desert. The lights of Vegas sparkling in the distance, a place where time is just another illusion.