For N13 we interviewed some of our contributors. Freddi Price talked about being a “van man,” the pull of nature, and the American version of freedom.
If you could drive one car on one road for a week, where and what would they be?
I have always been a “van man”, in that I have always had a van since my teens. As far as over-land vehicular travel goes, a van provides one with the most freedom. A home on the road. A sail boat on land .Any van would do. But I suppose my fantasy would be one of those tricked out 4-wheel-drive Chinooks or the like.
The road? Almost any of the ones in Southern Utah. But had I to choose just one of them, then it would be the dirt track that follows along the Butler Wash on the eastern side of the Comb Ridge, between Blanding and Bluff, Utah. You’d have a hard time keeping me there for only a week, though!
What authors did you read when you were young and what are you reading now?
This is always difficult to answer, as I had been a reader from early on being a bit of a precocious literary nerd and diving into the “classics” of Dickens, Dumas and Dostoevsky, E.A. Poe and Twain, for example, at an early age, although stand-outs leading me into adulthood would also be Ray Bradbury, Robert Anton Wilson (a profound hero of sorts whom I had the honor of later meeting in addition to singing for on his death bed in California!), and certainly Henry Miller. I’ve tended to mostly non-fiction in the recent decades with a lot of weight in the history, essay and neuroscience departments although stand-outs throughout, and not necessarily within those categories, have been: Borges (I cannot remember a time in my adult life, in fact, when I was not reading, at this point re-reading, Borges), Oliver Sacks, William T. Vollman, Christopher Hitchens, James Joyce, Alan Moore (if I can be permitted the inclusion of graphic novelist). Certainly too many to name (if I can be permitted the cliche ultimate response).
Is travel a way of visiting the past?
This question seems to be answered in my story. However, that experience was a bit of an exception for me, a somewhat unexpected one at that, and I just let it be a journey into the past, because it obviously wanted to be. However, I typically try to avoid the tendency to want to revisit the past in returning to places visited before, which is something I do regularly at any rate, as it is usually a recipe for disappointment or overly maudlin nostalgia-mongering, in my experience.
What is the most beautiful thing?
What is the most American thing?
I’ll resist my jaded tendencies towards spurning “American things” and say, in all honesty: freedom. By which I mean what, for me, has been the personal freedom of a “rootless cosmopolitanism” and later a rootless globalism that came from being an unattached, wandering American who began wandering the thousands of miles of roads across this country in a van because he wanted to and because he could and gas was cheap.
What inspires you other than driving and music?
Nature. Truly. As typical and cliche as that may seem, “Nature” for me is all that I know to exist and I have a seemingly un-satisfiable urge to return to “It” to become “It”, as I have said. It’s a kind of Death Urge, I suppose you could say.
If you could call anyone in all time right now who would it be and what would you ask them?
Frankly, I hate talking on the telephone.
Read more from Freddi Price in N13, out now.