BLOG 56—Death of the van in Death Valley

Sorry this is a day late, we ran into some problems and had to delay, you will learn more later in this blog. Hoping to get these words to you each Sunday.

Still in Las Vegas, I do like it here, the weather is superb, but, still, too much traffic and people. Last night we went to dinner with the excellent juggler Wally Eastwood and his lovely wife, Heidi. We talked about old juggling days and plans for the future, a good talk. They have two daughters, twins, who are successful and away at college.

As you see from photos, my beard is growing longer and longer. Don’t know when I might shave again, I will let you know. I had a beard once before, but never this long. Do you think I should shave, or keep going with it?

Oct 11–Today I could not find my wallet–anywhere. I keep minimal stuff in the wallet, and keep a record of what is in it. I have not lost my wallet in years, feeling terrible. Normally I keep no more than $40 cash in the wallet, keeping the rest in the van. I had about $100, so I feel bad about that.

Really though, through my life I have had so many losses, and have lost much. So, losing money or “stuff” does not really affect me. I’ve had to start my life anew a number of times, so, I am not bothered. Life will go on, things will get reestablished and back to happy again.

It ended up that I had left the wallet in some long pants I was wearing the night before, so, much relief. I learned to make sure I keep no more than $40 cash in the wallet.

Oct 12–Today we had lunch with Michael Goudeau, another good juggler and someone I have not seen in years. We first met in the 70’s when he juggled in San Francisco with three others, calling themselves, The Fly-By-Night Jugglers. Here is Mike >>

Then, tonight we went to see Wally Eastwood perform, and what a fun/good show we saw. On warming up backstage, I saw Wally do very tight triple flips with 3 clubs, below the height of his head. 5 club triple flips, low, and next, clubs thrown behind the back with the 5. He says he really does not need to do the warm up; he has done the routines so many times.

In the show, he did fantastic comedy with juggling, including, 3 top hats, 3 and 5 pongs out of the mouth, and club juggling. He also did a routine bouncing balls off a small musical keyboard on the stage as it played a song. This routine I have seen before, but Wally personalized it and has a great rapport with the audience while performing. Here’s Wally:

This is really the first time, I think, that Wally and I have met in person, although we had heard about each other. He did not even know of my book, Juggling with Finesse, I gave him a copy.

Coming from a six-generation circus family, he had learned all circus events—trapeze, wire, etc. He focused on juggling and got quite good. And, his comedy and humor are so natural—he had the audience in the palm of his hand.

Oct 14–Before we left Vegas we went to see Albert Lucas’ parents. His dad is about to turn 100, his mom is in her late 70’s. Amazing to see this age of people doing so well, Albert’s mom is taking care of some properties and also Albert’s dad, his dad’s memory, and mind are slipping a little, but we saw a fantastic smile.

Albert’s father also named Albert, trained Albert starting at the age of three on juggling and performing. Albert has taken off with juggling and is currently working on juggling 14 rings, which would be a world-record in the juggling world.

Leaving Las Vegas

Oct 15–On the way out, we went from about 2500 to about 7500 feet. Ears popped and felt the change. The weather and foliage turned, too. We drove to Pahrump, Nevada, and spent the night in a Walmart parking lot. The photos below do now do Death Valley justice, things look much more colorful.

And, into the Valley of Death we went (actually, we drove into Death Valley.) We stopped at a few overlooks and saw tremendous lands. Also, as before, we heard Japanese, Russian, Italian, French, even some people singing the Happy Birthday song in French to someone (a first for me.) Foreign people seeing the majestic views of the USA, but, where are the Americans?

The only wildlife we saw was one bird and one butterfly; this is Death Valley, after all. The lands here look like Mars might look. The winds were blowing strong, also.

Now, we did see a lot of human life (too much?) All the different nationalities were quite interesting.

Yesterday we were up above 8500 feet in height, today we are down to -300 feet in height, below sea level, that is.

Yes, we did witness a death in Death Valley–the van. We drove up to see Natural Bridge on a long dirt road and then hiked up some ways toward it. We did not go all the way (knowing we can always see the area later on YouTube) and decided to walk back to the van. When we arrived, we saw on the ground what looked to be water from the engine—yikes.

Being some miles away from anywhere we could get help, we started the drive to find assistance. GPS told us there was a garage type place about ten miles away, so off we went, scared of what “might” happen.

Stuck in the desert?

At first, it was alright, then the temperature gauge started going up, higher and higher. We had gotten within five miles and the gauge went to red. We pulled over to the side to sit for a time and let the engine cool down. Then it got to the point where we had to do this more and more often.

Finally arriving at, they were a tremendous help. Tina’s phone could not connect out here, so Teresa allowed us to use their phone. We then waited three hours for the tow truck to arrive. We are waiting now; I will continue the story when there is more to write.

And, while all this is occurring, the winds have been blowing very strong and nonstop.

When bad things do happen, I don’t panic, in my mind, I say to myself, “The story continues”, and move to find ways to find solutions to the problem at hand. I think of the worst of what could happen, and also the least of the worries. Once I think toward both ends, I develop strategies for making things good once again.

We were told that we may have to wait three hours for the tow truck to arrive; typing this gives me something to do. And, this problem gives me more material to write to you about in this blog, so it’s a good thing, yes? As you know, I am hoping these travel stories will one day turn into a future book. Have you been reading words on my blog that would make a good book?

When you run into problems, think toward solutions first.

In fact, I am typing this while we await the tow truck; I am not wallowing in sorrow and worry. If this van does not work any longer, Tina has a car back in Pennsylvania which we could use. This car of hers is quite small; we will find a way to make it work, though.

The truck finally did arrive and our van was put up onto the flatbed. He came from Pahrump, where we had slept the night before. In fact, we were dropped off at the same Walmart we slept at before, knowing we can drive the van the short distance to get the repair done on Monday when they are open.

The tow driver had a flatbed truck and put the rig up top.

It ended up that this driver, who is from Pahrump, drove about 65 miles to get us, then 65 back, a long ride. I helped how I could with loading the van onboard, then there was the unload upon arrival.

So, this problem with the van happened last Saturday, we were delivered to the Walmart we stayed at before that same day. The repair place is not open until Monday, so we had an entire day to fix up and repair van stuff, clean ourselves at Walmart, and do what we needed to do.

You will find out more about the story in the next blog post.

Will they continue, or . . . ?


Here are words from my third book in the series I am writing. If you would like me to email you the entire book, send me your email address and I will do just that.

Beyond Your Potential

The Comeback Kit, From Coma to Comedy


A Series of Books to Change Your Life

By Kit Summers


What you are holding now is the third in a series of books that will add to and expand your life. I developed these books after I went through a number of tragic life changes. I have included strategies that helped me to take my life to a higher level, and then higher.

As these help me, these strategies can do the same for you.

  • These books are written in a way that will help you find the success that you desire for yourself.
  • In book one you learned how I came back from various accidents and how you can make it back, too.
  • Book two taught you about your brain, its potential, and how to tap into that potential.
  • In this book you will learn various ways I have found success through change and lessons on how you can find a variety of successes for yourself.
  • Book four, “Life Changing”, will help guide you toward changes to take your life beyond fantastic.
  • In the final book in the series the subject of God and belief will be addressed. Are you a believer, or non-believer like me? Open your mind to the idea that your beliefs could be changed. In reading this book you may bring on a stronger faith, or the alternative.

As I was recovering from a series of life altering experiences, I gathered a lot of knowledge that helped me to recover. I’m passing this knowledge on to you to help you in your life. This series of books is designed for you to change your life for an even better future than you could imagine.

As we live our lives, we all go through many changes. As you might know, it is how we face these changes and how we learn to change with the changes that will help us to get ahead in life.

As you know, I have gone through a number of incidents and accidents. I’ve basically had to learn to build my life over again—again and again. In seeing life through the eyes of an open mind, I saw and learned many techniques to making life better and advance towards my goals.

The techniques I discovered are described in this series of books.

Could you imagine being hit by a truck, and then many years later being hit by another truck? As if those incidents weren’t bad enough, now imagine only eight months after being hit by that second truck you have to spend a month in jail on a false charge?

Changes – we all experience them.

I am sure that you too have gone through many changes in your life. We all have. In my recoveries, I have gained many ideas of how to move through the changes, obstacles, and walls that life presents in order to move toward success.

Everyone is recovering from something. It is how we face our recovery and the direction we take ourselves in that will matter toward our happiness. I hope this book helps you to understand the potential you possess and use that potential to drive your life forward and achieve greatness.

You have the ability and potential to attract success and happiness.

Happiness is always there and waiting for you, you just have to build the right road to your success. More than just helping you through difficulties in your life, this series of books is packed full of ideas to help you attract and achieve a better future.

Your future is up to you. Are you content with remaining in a pleasant but mundane life, or will you upgrade to a better life for you and for others around you? Continuing to better our lives is a choice we make.

The attitude you hold toward your future will determine your life.

Your income is directly related to your attitude and the approach you take toward your future. A positive attitude will take you far. A pessimistic approach to life will hinder you.

If you expect to be successful, then there is a good chance you will do just that. If you expect failure, then you are on your way. Use the ideas in the Beyond Your Potential books to become more interactive with and in charge of your life.

If you expect to fail, that’s where you will end up.

This book is interactive in the sense that it will help you to think about your attitude and your life. As you know, you will find yourself analyzing exactly where you are now in your life versus where you would like to be. Read these words, take them to heart, and change your life.

Each paragraph that you read will help you to discover more about who you are and what true success really means to you. Like I have done, study successful people around you to see how they accomplished the great things that they have achieved.

Over the years, I have watched and listened to a number of successful people to learn ideas they have used. As I followed them, I analyzed the path they took to gain their success. I have discovered a common trait:

“They know why they’re here in their life”

Success is knowing your purpose in life. But there’s more to it than that. I know people who know their purpose in life but they’re not thriving.

You need a growth plan to help you reach your top potential. It’s not only knowing what you should do, it’s also about growing in that area to maximize and highlight the things that you do well. Growth is an ongoing progression.

Development is not an automatic process. If you’re going to grow, you need to do so intentionally and with purpose. Basically, you need a reason for your growth.

That’s continual growth.

Knowing your purpose in life gives you stability. While things might get hard and shaky for others, you can use this assurance to steady the boat and to ride out the storm because you know where you want to go.

This direction becomes an anchor in life—a confidence based upon the knowledge of one’s purpose. Someone once said there are two great days in life—the day you are born and the day you discover why you’re here.

Remember this—highly successful people have discovered why they are here.

Join me as I help move my life forward and higher. See your future and see that you can change, that you will change. Don’t remain in that easy or ordinary life—jump up to that higher life that is awaiting you.


Look at your life, see the past, see the now, see your future, and see your passions:

  • What are you truly passionate about?
  • What do you really care about?
  • Who do you hold in high esteem?
  • What are you living for?
  • What would you die for?
  • What is most important to you?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? The answers we are looking for are important issues that each of us should meditate on and keep in the backs of our minds. Each of us must take the time to examine our own life, posing these questions to ourselves.

Many successful people have answered these questions and have taken time for self-reflection.

A lot of highly successful people have a continual thirst for knowledge and are always asking questions such as those above. These successful people first think and ask the questions that will provide answers to advance. These people know that it is the people who ask the better questions who get a better life.

Remember, it is often the people who ask the most and the best questions who succeed.

When you start to answer these questions you will produce great energy within your life. Zealous people usually have a lot of energy to pursue what they do.

Passionate people are doing what they love and loving what they do.

We’ve all known people who do not resonate with this passion. A lackluster life at best is how they live. They do just enough to get by and meander through the time they have on earth. This book will teach you how to find this love, apply it to your own life, and achieve the excellence that you desire.

Often, people who find the desire are highly successful and they love their journey toward the end result. Along the way, even though they have not yet arrived at their goal, they constantly fuel themselves with this driving passion.

More importantly, they often bring others up with them.

We have to work together in the world and find success for all of us. Yes, we can all be at the topit will work. Help others to move up and you shift forward and up.

Generating this passion from the bottom of your mind and the bottom of your heart will keep you driving forward. When you develop this love, it will help to build your life, I guarantee it. You can go from average to more than you would ever think.

Sorry to say, it seems to me that many of the people in America have settled with being “average” and living ordinary lives. We all should aim higher (and then higher and higher) to be (as they say in The Marines) all that we can be.

This is about going beyond being normal to becoming more and more. Being average never caught anyone’s attention or found them the excellence that they may crave. No one ever says, “I want to grow up to be average” when they are a youth, yet so many people end up there.

At any age, you can make the change and aim your life anew.

As you live your life, develop a purpose for living and understand why you want to be alive. Once you discover and understand your purpose, muster up an intense passion toward the end result.

This will give you stability in your life and help to make things more solid for you. People without a passion in their life lack energy and will often go nowhere–quickly.

Having passion will give you energy. In your life, you must love the journey as much as you love the destination you are aiming toward. Find your purpose, bring on your passion, and you will live the life that you want.

Start today to make your life the masterpiece that you desire!


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