• I hitched a ride on an RV the size of Mt. Olympus. Okay, maybe it was only a 40 footer, but it went on for days. The omnibus was run by a group of fabulous Persians. One of these Persians had never been to the dirty little city that my quest for Joe was to commence in, but his cousins had. They coaxed him to go and thus were able to wrangle our group together.

    The journey was supposed to last 11 hours. It ended up lasting over 40 hours. The air brake in the back right blew wide open.

    We pulled over in Reno, called a few people, and waited for a man named Nacho to come do a spot weld with a new air brake.

    At this point, the tensions were high and a restaurant was needed. We cabbed to a restaurant that was recommended, and I had an amazing hamburger with some awesome fried green beans.

    The RV was fixed and we trudged our way to the desert mecca. Once there I separated from my band of travelers to set up camp.

    I waited days for a friend to arrive. This friend of mine went tasting with me when I was able to enjoy Western Grace Brandy for the first time in San Francisco, so it was only fitting that she was the one to help me track down Joe in the desert.

    Joe’s address in this city (called Awesome City evidently) was 3:00 and F. The camp name was Skinny Kitty.


    Our first outing was misguided. I used my faulty memory to attempt a location. We were at my favorite Brit’s camp Ooligan Alley at 2:00 and B. I said oh, Joe is at 2:15 and C. I think I just pulled that address out of my ass, because we wandered aimlessly. I felt a bit silly.

    Well, the next day we tried again with the actual address. The directions said that it was the biggest white tent in the city. We arrived at Skinny Kitty and they had tea for days. I poured some Earl Grey in my cup and took a sip. It was scalding hot. I thought because it was nearly triple digits outside that it would’ve been iced. My tongue learned the difference.

    I asked the teatender if she knew where Joe was as I held up an old photo of him. She had that vacuous air about her when she said, “I have no idea”. So we asked another fellow in a different part of the camp. He said that he might know where Joe is. When we saw this we knew we were in the right place.

    When I rapped on the door, a man opened up wearing some black and gold shorts. I said, “Are you Joe?”, and pointed to the photo of him. He took the paper from me and laughed. “Yeah that’s me, but quite a few years ago.” I told him I had some brandy to taste.

    He was caught completely off-guard. “Wow”, he exclaimed, “You brought that to the desert? Let’s see how it held up in the heat.” He immediately busted out a small, thin snifter and stepped out of the RV to join us.

    We sat with a couple of his campmates and tried the brandy and some of his apple brandy that he brought along (fabulous, amazing, decadent, apple brandy). We were given olives, nuts and fresh guacamole while we recanted tales of the search, and Joe’s amazing distilling abilities.

    The quest to find Joe was nearly as amazing as the brandy itself.

    Kudos Joe