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Tom Shea

God has smiled on Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The 1997 Dodge Ram 3500 is long and red. It is missing a rear hubcap. There are 170,000 or so miles on its odometer, a bed behind the first row of passenger seats. It has traveled to destinations that would challenge MapQuest. It gets 15 miles to a gallon and has a 35-gallon gas tank.

"Which means," Wally Greaney says, "it costs me more than a C-note every time I fill it to the brim. What kind of gas do I use?" He laughs.

"The cheapest," he says. "I prefer to pay $3 to, let's say, $3.19."

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Wally's not exactly crying the blues. He's just stating a fact.

This year, a winter tour of Florida cost $1,000 in fuel.

Last year: $600.

The cost of a life on the road. When you are a musician.

What does he call his van?

His answer is as direct as the blues music he plays.

"Reliable," Wally says.

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