It all started with a title. Like Ed Ruscha’s "Twentysix Gasoline Stations," "Between Here and Cool" arose out of a phrase stuck in my head like a bull nettle stuck to my sock. (Rub cow manure on a bull nettle sting, my grandmother would say.) I had to do something with it. And so I drove: traveling the back roads and blue highways, it was 5,926.4 miles between here and Cool—between Cool, Texas; Cool, California; Cool, Iowa; and home again. Boldly, and sometimes foolishly, I encountered the American landscape and its dreams, pushing my own automobility far beyond what I ever thought possible on the road (actual and metaphorical). In the grand tradition of the American road story, I documented my 18-day experience through image and text, relic and road-trip ephemera. This happened: 1 moving violation (warning); 30 minutes at a Border Patrol checkpoint; 2 more Border Patrol checkpoints; 1 wedding ceremony; 1 friend’s birthday (missed); 18 souvenir t-shirts; 22 souvenir coffee mugs (Wyoming has the best coffee mugs.); 1 evening worrying about the upcoming 3 days in the Grand Canyon; 3 days in the Grand Canyon; 1 Bridgestone Insignia SE 15" 195/65R15 tire (flat); 2 mechanics; 29 postcards; 46 (roughly) dropped calls; 1/4 lb of Green’s Creek Gruyere (I left my cheese in Marfa.); 17 stops for gas; 14 motel beds; 54 meals; 6 cameras; 56 rolls of film; more than 1 way to go; more than 1 dead end.
My name is Diane, and this is a true story. I am an artist, writer, university professor, mother, marathoner, doctor of philosophy, budding grammarian, armchair soccer-style kicker, and avid road-tripper from the great state of Texas. This is what I saw while I was on the road, some of what has happened since, and so on, and so on...