Normal History Vol. 480: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Follow-up phone call with my dad (93) this morning after a long talk last night about how he’ll get to the hospital today to visit my mom (98). I registered him with HandyDart—public-transit short bus for otherly abled. I booked the trip, got the details and waited (semi-patiently for an hour) while he struggled to write everything down. I’ve seen what his notes look like, and it’s not too good.

Telephone number, account number, fare. Gong show.

So, this morning when I phone, he’s re-writing everything. The time, the automated 10-minute warning call, the fare ($2.85). We go over (and over and over and over) everything again.

I ask him if he has change for the fare, and he said he does.

“Good. You can even let the driver take it out of your hand if you want.”

“They’ll take a two-dollar bill won’t they?”

“There hasn’t been a Canadian two-dollar bill since the mid-’90s, Daddio.”

“Oh.”

“If it was me,” I say, “I’d give him $3 and forget about the 15 cents.”

“Have one yourself, chum,” he says, without missing a beat.

I laugh. “Go ahead and say that! Maybe he’ll get it about half way through the trip.”

“Vacant Night Sky” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):