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Chiquita from outside Ottawa, Ontario driving her car The Natmobile, every inch of the interior of which is covered with multi-colored feathers that quiver and move in the wind like undersea plant life of a corral reef swaying with the tides. I first met Chiquita with the caravan's arrival in Minneapolis. She is working on her Ph.D. at Rice University in Houston. Chiquita plays guitar and sings in the caravan's band.

Stockton from Houston driving his car With a Little Help From My Friends. I admit to knowing very little about Stockton. I have heard it said that he was in a bad car wreck as a small child and would have died but that his father overrode the doctor's pronouncements and helicoptered him to a hospital where he could be saved. Stockton is generous, has a good wit about him, and travels with his canine companion Bob.

Ned driving Max the Daredevil Finmobile with Ripper the Friendly Shark in tow. Ned and his two spray foam masterpieces hail from Houston, where he worked diligently in the months preceding our journey to attract sponsorship to the caravan. Ned is the lyricist and lead singer in the caravan's band The Fanatics.

Ramon, alternately driving Ned's Yellow Submarine bus and filming the caravan of art cars. I know even less about Ramon, except that he claims to know something about everything. Ramon is the caravan's video documentarian.

Trip, Ramon's assistant both shooting film and driving the bus. Trip is also the bass player and co-songwriter and singer in the caravan's band.

Chloe, as best as I can tell, a caravan stowaway but a good one. Chloe keeps order on the bus and fills the role of caravan den mother.

Bird, he's the sax player in the band. A quiet guy. Keeps to himself and hardly says a word most of the time.

Tex, the band's drummer and now my driver. Tex is a great help to both Seven and me, and he is faring well considering he left behind a new love in Texas and pines for her daily.

Big John, an apparent co-sponsor of Ramon's filmmaking efforts, driving a 1957 International Truck that he bought in Minneapolis and is fated to repair and debug consistently during his tenure with the caravan. Big John will separate from the caravan in Rapid City, taking Chloe with him back to Texas.

Then there's me, Duke, driving my car of the same name, Duke the Art Car, the 8 mpg Tower of Babble-on wheels. I am the caravan's scribe, whether they like what I have to say or not.

And briefly, there is Bobina, a 19-year-old girl from Mitchell, SD who takes a shine to us and follows us on the road across SD and for several days in Rapid City.

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Last update April 1, 2004