Rexray donning his Burning Man garb.
Rexray came to the tortoise in the way most "Tortoiseoids" join our sacred order ... he took a trip; in his case it was in the fall of 1978 ... He had a really great time on a bus called Camp Crowder with GK and Monksee as drivers ... and basically has never left for very long. He has been lucky enough to not ever have to get a real job. Over the years, he has worked for and with the Green Tortoise doing phone and office duties, bus cleaning and repair, sometimes all at once, as well as trip planning and of course his first love driving adventure travel trips, particularly south of the border.
Born to school teacher parents who lived on a dirt street on the edge of Tucson, Arizona, an aura of mystery has always dogged him at the Green Tortoise. No one knows for sure what his real name is, or if he really did work his whole first year for $77. Did he have a previous life writing for the Village Voice or playing keyboards in a punk band, or playing coronet in a Mariachi band in the Barrio in Tucson? We may never know.
Rexray first made a name for himself in Tortoise circles as the New York Agent, and then as the V.P. in charge of the entire East Coast booking operation. Living in a cold water walk up apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and existing almost entirely on Pepsi and camel straights and an occasional James Brown or Iggy Pop concert. He would answer the phone all hours of the day and night helping unprecedented numbers of folks to join and enjoy Tortoise trips. He would meet the bus with cassettes of "strange" and new music ... handing out for free his now famous "Radio Tortoise" tapes, and his trademark smile. Along the way he gave up Pepsi and tobacco, but never gave up smiling or a penchant for good music, and great trips.
After a brief but very fun hiatus in Central America, circa 1981, he picked up stakes and moved his tent to Hunter's point in San Francisco to set up a practice as Dr. Vacation ... you may remember his beautiful first wife Anita L. Vacation. Don't ask what the L. stands for. After several years in his successful practice, Dr. Vacation had a vision. On a soul searching trip to Europe and the swamp lands of South Eastern United States he decided it was time to try something different. In 1992 he moved to Seattle and made his transition into sweat equity ownership mode to open a Green Tortoise Hostel up there. He currently lives the life of Riley & barely works ever ... except for a trip or two a year to Burning Man or Mexico. These days you can find him lazing around in an apartment with a fine view of Elliot Bay... day dreaming of a bare foot resort he hopes to open some day in a foreign land where news of war travels slowly and the beer is often room temperature, but always appreciated.
He'd love to hear from anyone looking for travel life advice, and for sure from past passengers, at rex[at]greentortoise.net.