"Goin' places that I've never been
Seeing things that I may never see again"
Per Jim Greer
As daylight chased away the dawn, it was clear to see the tracks of the once celebrated Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, now Amtrak's SOUTHWEST CHIEF, we're shadowing Interstate 40. Sometimes, we were as near as a quarter of a mile, and then suddenly, we would be out of sight as road and rail pirouetted from each other. But then, emerging from around a bend, we crossed a bridge and there it was again ... beneath our wheels. There was no doubting its identity - even at early hour, and on a Sunday morning, the ribbon was encumbered with long-haul convoys carrying the country's commerce - tomorrow's tomatoes in St. Louis, and dual pane windows for mid-week installation in San Diego.
As our gaze began to focus from road to truck - not all of them, but each in turn, we thought the drivers must be half-mad with tedium. Over and over, they transverse these stretches. Their trips measured in thousands of miles, they know the road by each of them. But, it's while regretting their task, one notices what these modern teamsters must see. Last week's storm, has changed the course of the wash-at-mile-marker 2019, the red rock east of Winslow, waves goodbye as the west bound rig heads into the pine-dotted uplands od the San Francisco Peaks - the scrub is a little greener as New Mexico hugs the feel of the great mountains. These gypsy drovers, know the road as a sailor knows the stars and a herdsman his sheep.
Although they report to no one, save whatever gives them inner comfort, they are the watchmen of our common gift - the America we call beautiful. Soon, the CHIEF will leave its traveling companion, as its tracks more north to Kansas and on to Chicago. I-40 will continue east through the mid-south, over the Smokeys and down to the North Carolina piedmont and to the sea.
As we turn away, and head towards the dining car and breakfast - we reflect on the storied paths that preceded our current course - Route 66, the Santa Fe and Old Spanish Trails and others never named. They also traveled along these often natural, but sometimes man-carved passageways.
And, we ponder the folks who built the beds and the many more, who have maintained and traveled along them? Their stories are surely a latter day Canterbury Tales, and prove the point that the road is without purpose, until people laden it with their enterprise and animate it with their narratives. Soon the ancient wisdom crowds our thoughts - the journey, we are reminded, is as much about the encounters along the way, as the destination. And, we know it's about to unfold anew as the steward seats us with folks we've never met before, and though we may well have a bonding moment ... will likely never see again.
So, whatever your creed or manner of welcoming the New Year, may it find you ... ON THE ROAD AGAIN. May your byways be filled with arresting sights and sounds, and the sense of possibilities that follow the making of new acquaintances - including the opportunity to see and hear each other's story!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS ... per James Greer
The 2016 BRAVO SD AWARDS have now been voted-on, and finalists confirmed. Results to be featured in our next issue.
A BRAVO SD Theatre (BSDA) "Icon", is one who has offered and contributed vast talents, over the years, to the SD performing arts community. These four such "Icons" are selected annually, and for this year, Jahja Ling as Classic Music "Icon" ... Linda Libby as the Theatre "Icon" ... John Malashock, as the SD Dance "Icon" ... and Leigh Scarritt, as the SD Cabaret "Icon" ... all will be honored at the BRAVO SD AWARDS, on Monday January 23rd, 2017, at the SD County Supervisors Administration Building - to be hosted by BSDA Honorary Chair former Supervisor Dave Roberts.
The BRAVO SD Nominations-Voting Committee and Show Presenters, is comprised of : Rosemarie Ballard, Eric G. Tauber, Esther J. Paul, David Dixon, Kathy Carpenter, James Colt Harrison, Steve Shirley, Char Dibelka, and Coordinator Amy Bosler.
The BRAVO SD Awards Press Photo Opportunity Ceremony, will be preceded with tray-passed Hors d'oeuvres from Martinis Above Fourth .... as well as light entertainment by pianist Rayme Sciaroni and local SD artists ...