On our RV trip to the Colorado River and to Mayfower RV Park in Blythe, California, Michael and I listened to music in the evenings by candle light. Callie seems to really appreciate the sound of music and always puts herself in a central position between the 2 speakers to listen intently. One night we had the pleasure of hearing- Fanfare for the Common Man by the late American composer, Aaron Copland and conducted by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. The musical work is only about 3.5 minutes in length but it packs a punch to the gut and leaves you with a sense of wonderment. How can someone create this? I am an artist and photographer but I appreciate music foremost. He is one of my favorite composers and he wrote this musical work in 1942, and may have been inspired after listening to a speech written by Vice President, Harry Wallace. World War II was still raging and people needed something positive to grasp and hold onto. The speech is about mankind and that this would be the century of greatness! The musical piece is breathtaking in its scope of rich melody and you feel a part of all that is good with humanity in spite of the evil that played out in Europe at the time the music was composed. Humans are still taking a horrible toll on one another and peace appears to be unattainable for our beautiful plantet and all the plants and animals that share it with us. When you listen to Fanfare for the Common Man, it will provide you an escape from reality and transport you to another realm and you too just might feel pride toward humanity. We have so much potential yet squander so much; but this short work of art is very powerful….*
I decided to title this blog post, Fanfare for the Common Man because of a flat tire we experienced in Ehrenberg, Arizona. When Michael and I decided to tow our boat back to California, I insisted on putting new tires on the trailer because I was concerned about a blowout in the middle of the Mohave Desert which would have made my life miserable. The boat and trailer had been sitting since 2013 and the tires were old back then, so we had 4 new tires put on in Bullhead City, Arizona as a safety precaution. When leaving the Mayflower RV Park, we drove across the river to the Arizona side in order to get cheaper diesel fuel. I believe we got the flat tire when making a U-turn at the gas station. As bad luck would have it, we ran over a large bolt, and as good luck would have it, I noticed because I had gotten out to help Michael navigate the busy gas station and just happened to glance back as air was gently being released from the back right tire of the boat trailer. Good luck also played a part in the experience because there just happened to be a Boss Tire Shop literally right next door. We raced over as the tire lost pressure and made it to the shop just as the last puff of air was released in the death throes of the brand new radial tire. Good Luck would also be with us again in spite of the bad luck because we had two wonderful guys named Chris and Eden assist us in putting on a new tire. The flat was not repairable and we did have to pay $141.00 for a new tire that had cost us only $70.00 in Bullhead City, but we weren’t going to complain. We both felt so fortunate that I had noticed the damaged tire in the knick of time and that we were within driving range of a tire shop.
This leads me to my conclusion and as to why I titled this post, Fanfare for the Common Man. Eden, the older of the 2 guys that helped us out, shared with me his story about being married a second time to a wife who had 5 children of her own that was added to 5 children from his first wife. They then had a daughter together who is the youngest of the 11 that is now 18 years old who is getting ready to go to college and wants to be a child psychologist. Eden said that until this 11th child was born, there was no connection between the 2 sets of children. When she arrived it brought the family together as one. Eden couldn’t retire yet in spite of having worked all night and was exhausted because he wanted to help his youngest daughter with her school loans. None of the other children had expressed an interest in going to college. He was visibly proud of this daughter and his whole face lit up while sharing this story with me. His exhaustion melted away and he got in touch with how special he is for working so hard and making sacrifices for his wife and child. He helped put air in one of the RV tires and had a spring in his step when he finished the job. Chris actually was the one who changed the tire and when I asked for a valve cap, he brought me a fist full and enjoyed listening to me tell him that I was writing a blog about my travels with Callie. Both of them couldn’t wait to have their photo taken and were excited to be a part of the adventure and the story told. Having Callie in my life helps me to meet interesting people from all walks of life and my social anxiety is lessened having her by my side. People love hearing about her and they consequently let down their guard too. So here are 2 guys working very hard in a town that thrives on boaters and fisherman and agriculture. All 4 of us connected on a personal level because of my blog and this probably wouldnt have happened unless I had gotten out of the RV and told them about Callie. The experience of having a flat tire turned into a golden opportunity to write about it and all of us had a better time because of it. Rather than be upset about the flat, I chose to participate in a positive way that left these 2 guys happier for having helped us out. So if anyone reads this and happens to drive through Ehrenberg, Arizona, drop by Boss Tires and tell them you read about them and what great guys they were for helping us out! I may send a thank you note too! We did tip them for the effort and praised them for having saved our ass. It could have been so much worse!
We managed to get home a couple of hours later without any more mishaps and Callie is enjoying more and more the idea of hanging out on the dash and playing co-pilot. She is no longer shy at all about most new experiences and loves all the attention she gets from everyone while watching the world whiz by at faster and faster speeds. When we pull into gas stations, we always get a couple double takes and a good laugh when they see her proudly sitting on the dash. Her tolerance for new experiences is making the RV trip fun and exciting. My tolerance for new and exciting experiences is softening its edge on me too because she adds so much to the story line…
*Appalachian Spring is also beautiful!