November 8th, 2013
Two years to the day of Kimberly’s passing.
After having finally found a place to park up in the hills above Santa Cruz, I fell into an exhausted state of splendid slumber.
At approximately 7:30 a.m. I was awoke by the sound of an official engine. A Santa Cruz county Sheriff tapping on my drowsy window inquiring as to my well being and audacious presence in the well heeled mountain community. I explained that I was officially camping in a self ordained free zone.
He explained that a “Concerned Neighbor” had put in a call that a small SUV with Washington plates was littering the countryside with sounds of sleep.
I popped out of the rig at his request and presented my Washington state drivers license. He radioed it in to the Washington state database, only to find that I do not exist therein… Quizzical yes.
I then coughed up my Illinois state drivers license, again the database has no record of me as a driver no matter what. Double wonderment…
As a matter of further proof that I exist in human form, I whipped out my Veterans Administration I.D.
He asked for the vehicle registration which was out of date, I did however have a sticker on the license plate dated August 2014, so that was acceptable.
Insurance: Nope, I no got. He did not seem to care.
Officer K.B.: Mr. Nelson, do you have any firearms in your vehicle?
Yes, I replied. I have a Kel Tec P-32 pistol for my personal protection.
He asked where in the vehicle it was located and after telling him where it was, he asked me to step over to his squad car while he climbed into my Artcar and withdrew the locked box and requested the key. He then called for backup to bring out a portable cell network fingerprinting device. About a half hour later two additional officers arrived with the device and I was printed and photographed.
After running the serial number on the pistol, I was informed that: “While the pistol was not stolen, there was no record of my owning it.” Puzzling indeed; as I had purchased it like 12 years ago in Hood River, Oregon.
Officer K.B. informed me that I was within my rights to carry a firearm in my vehicle and returned the locked box to me and wished me well as he explained that I would find more private areas to camp further up Cal Hwy-1 North beyond Bonny Doon road. He then gave me his Biz card and explained that if I was stopped by any CHP officers to present his card and inform them that I had already been interviewed and that it would most likely save me from having to go through the whole process all over again, which took about two hours total.
I found all three officers to be very polite and downright friendly, so no complaints there. I have a fairly good idea of just what they are up against in terms of dealing with the lunatic fringe and some pronounced gnarly vocal attitudes, so they were somewhat impressed with my patient acceptance and cooperative nature.
Officer K.B. even took time to check out my website: www.focusfinearts.com and tumblr on his iPhone while waiting for the fingerprinting gadget to arrive.
Side note: Santa Cruz is a lovely town to be sure, but parking is expensive and the only free parking I have been able to find is across from the ocean front casino, but the lot closes at 2:30 p.m. So no all night long vehicle camping.
Living in Santa Cruz is very expensive from all angles and there are few jobs to be had, so I may be moving further south soon, but not much further west.
So even though I don’t exist, I am still enjoying life!
Happiness and blessings,