I am enclosing an old black-and-white photo that I took during a rehearsal break. What you see are the violins and violas lying on the piano top. The ladies were all downstairs snacking during our break. There is an unspoken trust in this photo that no one would touch these very valuable instruments left alone on the piano top. Carolyn’s is the second from the left. This represents for me the fact that I shall probably never again direct a large musical with full orchestra. That was another time and another life.
Meanwhile, we have had an interesting week here at the farm. Robin’s dad has spent a few days with us. Robin hasn’t visited with him for nearly four years. Robin and his dad have spent many hours sitting here by the stove swapping stories and catching up.
It is amazing what you will hear if you just keep quiet and listen. Two Roberts: both woodsmen, heavy-equipment operators, and long-distance truckers. Rob’s dad also for a time was a private bodyguard to a person you would instantly know, but whose name I can’t say. This was because he was in the Air Force and was a security officer with highest clearance. He can drop your jaw telling things he has seen and heard with his own eyes. I can only quote Gilbert and Sullivan: “Things are seldom what they seem … skim milk masquerades as cream … ”
The best jaw-dropper was when I heard him tell Robin about filling his tanker at the refinery. He was driving a tanker for a well-known company and he was in a line of tankers from all the major companies, all different brands, all getting filled from the same spouts! He also told that he returned to get a tanker of high-test. He got it from the same spout, was given containers of red dye, pulled ahead and aside, and dumped the dye into the gasoline, making it “high-test!” Someone should be in jail, but not Dad of course, as he was told to do it.
Robin’s dad has many years’ service in ambulance and fire and rescue. When he read the story on the front page of The Lincoln County News repeating how department volunteers were no longer allowed to wash their personal vehicles at the station in Wiscasset, he stood up and began pacing our kitchen floor and giving both Robin and me a lecture on the importance of building confidence, trust, and honest-to-God fellowship with the men with whom you serve.
That is one of the things that happens naturally when the guys get together at the station for whatever reason! Washing their cars, polishing the fire engines, watching a training video – whatever! It is good for the volunteers to build a solid fire company built on training, trust, and confidence in one another.
He is of the opinion that the folks of Wiscasset should overrule their selectmen in this matter!
(Doug Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at email@example.com.)