Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A company interested in employing me after graduation recently flew me up to Virginia to come in for an interview.  I had never flown by myself before or much less have a company pay for it.  I headed to the Huntsville International Airport to catch my flight out of town.  I met some really cool people along the way.

This lady was traveling with her friend Flat Stanley.  Flat Stanley had been crushed by a blackboard that fell on him in class and made him flat, but just because he was flat didn’t mean he couldn’t see the world.  Stanley had his picture taken with a couple of congressmen and a few mayors of cities in Alabama.   Here’s Stanley’s story:

The flight was delayed a bit once we got in the air it was a nice day.  This is a picture of the mighty Tennessee River on the way out of Huntsville.  I sat next to a pilot on the way out and apparently the planes go around 120mph before lifting off the ground.

After missing my connection in Charlotte I was scheduled to arrive in Norfolk around 9PM.   My kind interviewer picked me up from the airport and took me too the swankiest hotel I’ve ever stayed at.  I got a wicked king size bed for little old me.

I was as little hungry when I go in so I decided to grab a bite to eat. It was late so only the thing open was drive thru and I had no car.  Some lovely ladies saw my frustration and offered to drive me through to get some food.  I hopped in the back seat to find a 2 and 1 year old kickin’ it in the back seat.  Tamika had been through the drive through and had some poor customer service and was glad to come back through to prove a point.  I was almost sure my food was going to have some bodily fluid in it, but I think the management shaped up after Tamika’s comments.  Those girls were crazy. 

I had my interview at the mill and got back to the airport just in time to get hassled in security for a while.  I was luckily selected for a random bag check.  They took out some piece of paper and swabbed the bag to check for drugs or something.  It was very nerve racking to have a stranger go through my stuff.  Everyone seems on edge in airport security. Every grandma is packed to the teeth with C-4 I guess, but they could be but it doesn’t seem likely.  I NEED A BAG CHECK…I REPEAT…I NEED A BAG CHECK.  No one is safe until everyone’s bag is checked twice.
 After mistakenly going to the wrong terminal I had to go back through the other terminal’s security…party. So I finally got on the plane and had time to write some postcards to my friends.  I had a nice chat with the lady next to me about how the flight attendants must go home and practice there in flight safety routine in the mirror.  They had a really great stage presence and I have never seen a better fake smile out of anyone.  I like the old flight attendants the best.  They are timeless symbols of freedom, and the perils of too much makeup.  I’m just so curious as to what they do outside of work!  I’m pretty sure they’re all dating international businessmen that they hump for a few days in some strange country before coming back to reality.  I would love to hear crazy in-flight stories from the ladies working in the 60’s and 70’s before the FAA got strict.  I bet they have some good ones.

 The Holy Father blessed my iphone and I received 10 extra hipster points to add to my already hefty fanny pack full of coolness.
The clouds were amazing.  We popped through the top and it was like we were on another planet.  The patches of land were like a lake amidst the topography of the clouds.   We discussed this among the two older women I sat between who happened to live less than 5 miles from each other.  I asked another lady if it looked like the stewardess rehearsed and she was sure she practiced.  She actually just came from an international cheerleading competition in Orlando.  So I’ll take her word for it.

I got home a little late, but I made it safe.  It’s amazing how many more people you meet when you are all alone traveling.  It’s like not having a safety net to catch you and just reaching out to connect with someone.  I confessed my hopes and dreams to random strangers I’d never met, and they shared the same with me.  I can’t wait to do it again.    

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Luck

The other day Natalie and I went up to Highland Park to enjoy some sunshine.  I had recently gotten a good luck tattoo in my armpit.  It's kind of a sarcastic tattoo, but so far it has brought me good luck.  Less than 24 hours after I got it I found 10 dollars on the ground.

The day was really nice.  It was that perfect medium between hot and cold that only happens for a few days out of the year.  We were lounging in the shade and I had the bright idea to look for a 4 leaf clover.  Almost instantly I found the biggest and most perfect 4 leaf clover I have ever seen in my life.  I have never seen a 4 leaf clover in person, but within the period of 5 minutes I had found 4 of them.  I even found a 6 leaf clover! 

I pressed it in my Psych. 101 CLEP study guide.  I needed a 50 to pass the test and I squeaked past the finish line with a 58.  I hadn't taken a psych class in 5 years, but apparently the study guide works.  All I have left is a English exam until I am awarded a degree of engineering.

 Natalie is one of my good friends.  She's always been nice to everyone.  She lets me bug her with my dumb problems and is always kind enough to at least humor me.  Hopefully when I move away from home I'll still get too see her every once and a while.  Maybe my tattoo will keep me safe but a great man once told me, "The harder I work the luckier I seem to get."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Financial Friday

A couple Fridays ago Mr. Duane and I had the idea to dress up in suits an infiltrate the yuppie bars around Birmingham.  We figured if we talked about the NASDAQ and the Dow Jones we'd be in.  So we got all gussied up and headed out to explore the world of big money.

We met some of our less fortunate friends a house party.  We weren't able to stay long though.  Duane and I were discussing the tender offer we were going to publish in the newspaper tomorrow to try and purchase the Haints Co-Op. 
The Maserati Granturismo Sport GT was in the shop for some performance tuning so we had to take the rental car.

We went to Parkside first and talked with some fine older women.  They were very interested in our long term plans to establish equity with our new business ventures.  Then we jetted off to Above and took the elevator to the roof.

  We hung out for a bit at Above.  Our plan wasn't really turning out the way we were hoping.  The market was beginning to crash.  Duane and I decided to cut our losses.  We had to go back to doing the dirty.  We headed to the Plaza to talk to some down to earth ladies, but Duane's got a lady so he doesn't partake in this business ritual.  Just like the good ol' days.

We caught a cab back to a friends house to discuss further business plans.  I'm thinking Western Wednesdays would be pretty fun for the next time.

Monday, April 19, 2010


At around 2AM a couple of days before Halloween I encountered these two lovely ladies who I'd never met before.  We got to talking and they were headed up to Chicago to see a band and had an extra ticket.  I had no interest in seeing the band, but a free ride to Chicago was too good of an offer to pass up.  They took me by my apartment to get some clothes.  We were on the road at around 3AM.  My friend Hunt had moved up here to go to art school so I gave him a call.  He thought we were just joking when I said I was on my way up to see him.

I awoke in the city of Chicago.  I was a little shocked that it actually wasn't just a dream and Hunt was even more surprised that I wasn't joking when I called him at 4AM saying we were on our way.  We made it to the hotel and got settled in.
We headed to the subway to go get some grub and check out Hunt's wicked bachelor pad.  We ate lunch in this amazing mexican diner for crazy cheap and then headed over to the crib.

That night we decided to head over to Hunt's friend by Wrigley Field.  We hopped on the subway and since it was Halloween weekend the subway was crowded with costumed kids.  

We came, we saw, we got a little wild. The shit snake can be a little mean sometimes, but we all had fun, but Hunt's mustache had the most fun.  The ladies and I somehow made it back to the hotel.  We got up a bit early and checked out and headed back to the lovely city of Birmingham. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It took us almost 24 hours to make it to Selma.  While on the outskirts of Selma Duane started to complain about having a fever.  Duane is about the toughest mofro I've ever met.  So when he starts complaining you know its serious.  Duane had gotten swellllllboooo from shreding the gnar a bit too hard.  We were hopping through some lines in Birmingham and he bumped it pretty good on a ladder and I guess this aggrivated the swelbow and Duane started to feel shity.  We decided to hop onto another train headed back to Birmingham since the junker was taking its sweet time to get there.  We rode it for a bit and then decided to hop off in Montevallo.

  My good friend Wess came and picked us up from a gas station in the boonies of college town USA.  We were all ready to get home and Duane was feeling even worse than before.  It turns out that Dunae had a blood stream infection that was actually life threatening.  On his way home he started to pass out and eventually found his way to the doctor.  They immediately put him into intensive care and kept him for observation.  Apparently this shit was serious.  Duane ended up spending 14 days in the hospital, and that fool wouldn't even give us his room number so we could come visit!  The doctors said if he'd have waited any longer they would have had to amputate his arm.  It was luck that we got of where we did, but all said and done Duane is one tough mother fucker.  They had to put a drain in his arm so he didn't die.  Overall the trip was a success.  Andrew and Duane got to experience the joy and suffering of riding trains, and nobody lost any limbs.  Hopefully, we'll get to go again soon. Low down with my broseph and the team mates is the way to be.


 I've been trying to convince my brother to come on a freight hopping trip with me for years. He's always been hesitant to agree to anything, but around labor day of last year I convinced him to come with me on a short trip.  My brother Andrew is probably the smartest person I know.  He reads about 3 books a week and could probably set a speed reading record if he put his mind to it.  I was really excited that I was going to get to ride trains with my brother!

Duane is a working man.  He has a real job, with real benefits, and real responsibilities.  Duane is from a small town just north of Birmingham.  He is one of the most gentle giants I've ever met.  He loves his dogs and his friends more than anything in the world.  I keep trying to convince him to try and work on an oil rig with me, but he loves sweet tea and rope swings just a tad too much.  Duane and I have been talking about riding trains together for about a year now, and this time he finally got some time off to work to go on a quick trip.

The trip consisted of myself, Andrew, Duane, and Shane.  Shane and Duane are long time friends of mine from the world of skateboarding.  Shane and I have ridden trains all over the Southeast, but this was the first ever train hopping experience for Duane and Andrew.  They both had somewhat of an idea of what to expect, but you never really know whats going to happen.

We were dropped off in the yard to catch out to our planned destination of NOLA, but things didn't end up quite the way we planned.  We were spotted by a rail worker and immediately herd him radio to the tower that there were trespassers in the yard.  We tried to find the train to NOLA and settle in so we wouldn't be spotted.
  We found two hoppers that had a nice porch on it and we split up.  Andrew and I were on one and Duane and Shane were on another.  Once we got a little settled in we heard foot steps and saw the linemen approaching.  Andrew and I huddled together on the floor of the porch and tried to keep quiet.  He heard the linemen check the break.  He was just feet from us.  Eventually he moved down the line and we were in the clear.  At this point it was probably 2AM and we were getting anxious to start rolling.  Shane and I have this bad habit of just packing up some gear and jumping on anything.  We have ended up in some pretty cool places but we've also ended up in some pretty terrible ones.  We decided to chance it this time and found an open boxcar to ride.  We started rolling out around 6AM.  We were all tired and ready to start moving.
When we woke it had started raining, and we were thankful that we were in a covered boxcar rather than an open ended hopper.  We were on our way to Selma, Alabama according to the map.  It wasn't our first choice, but at least we were rolling.


My name is Creighton.  I was born in Brookwood, Alabama in 1987.  I was raised in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama.  I am the oldest of my father's three sons.  I am about to graduate college with an engineering degree.  I am scared and excited about my future, but most of all I hope that it is filled with adventures.