Sacked by the "downturn", an unemployed architect touring the country in a bus...

I used to live in New York City. I designed homes for the tycoons of Wall Street; Park Avenue, Scarsdale, Greenwich. It was great fun. And, after years of saving up for a down payment, I was just about to buy my own little place in Fleetwood, half an hour north of the city, when the economy fell apart. Architects are like canaries in a coal mine when the economy slows, and true to form, there were massive layoffs in firms all over the country. Devastation of the profession. So, I decided to try to find something else to do for a while. I bought a 23' school bus and I'm on the road to see if I can figure out what that might be.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Beginning of the West

West of San Antonio, Tx, the country changes.  It's Hill Country, and it's dramatic.  It's also much more desolate than east of San Antonio.  Back east, every highway exit off of I-10 had the same cluster of stores; a few fast food restaurants, a big gas station or two, and a mall with big chain stores.  Some of the exit complexes were laid out in an identical plan, with the same stores in the same juxtapositions.  It was actually eerie to drive for an hour and get out in an identical setting, like getting off in identical elevator lobies on different floors of a tall building.

But west of San Antonio, things thin out.  There can be 30 or 50 miles between exits, and if you get off, you have a 50% chance of finding a gas station, and if there is a store, it's not part of a chain.  I am struck by the magnitude of what I am doing.  For some, it may be merely a driving trip.  But for me, it's a radical departure from everything I know.  My friend Mike, in Poplarville said I was a runaway, I just waited a long time to do it.  There is a lot of truth in that.  And as I drive out here, my mind chases surprisingly old demons.  I am not sure if I have the courage to write about it.


  1. Roy, I love reading your blog!

    I'm struck by your attention to detail with an eye to the big picture -- as a problem solver, an artist, and a story teller -- and by your courage to stare down the demons and embrace the unknown.


  2. Hi Marge,

    Thanks :-) I love that you follow, and thanks for the kind words in your post.

    Hmmm... I thin' ahl cawl y'up.