'Twas a mighty Fine Friday, our last full day in The Reef. We headed out "early" once again--if you can call 10 AM "early." We went straight out to and down Grand Wash to the site of the September 25, 1937, enormous dedication of the newly-created Capitol Reef National Monument.
The direct sunshine hadn't quite yet made it over the Echo Canyon Cliffs but the intense shadows were a welcome sight to see.
I set up the microphone on a camera tripod by duct taping the microphone stand to the top of the tripod. 'Twas a genuine Bubba Boy rig for sure. I used baling wire to attach Port Pectol's photo to the front of the tripod. The view from my "speaker's stand," so to speak, was yet another signature slice of The Reef.
I had been somewhat agonizing over what to say for Port Pectol's Eulogy. I tried three times to write a script...and failed. I laid awake at night, tossing and turning with the angst that only a speaker knows.
Finally, Friday morning I just wrote down a few keywords and did my best to memorize them. Growing up in Hoosierville, I learned how to mispronounce a lot of words. It's The Hoosier Way. One of those words we mispronounced on the Banks of The Wabash was "allocades." There is no such thing. It's accolades. But for whatever reason, I can NEVER remember to say it right. I always fall back on my Hoosier upbringing. Oh, how I mentally chided myself yesterday to "get it right" this time.
There's never the precise right time to stand and deliver a Eulogy. In my short career as a Eulogist, I've learned that you can only begin speaking "when The Spirit Moves You" and not a minute before that.
So, the two of us stood around admiring the splendiferous (sic) scenery waiting for The Spirit to get a move on.
Finally it was time and I let it fly. Oh, how those words coined themselves and rolled effortlessly off my lips. As I was speaking, I was alaso "listening" to myself and thinking, "Whoa, Yonni, that's some Good Stuff, Dude!" I was definitely inspired by The Man, The Place, The Moment and some mysterious combination of all of the above...and more.
The words kept flowing and they touched my Heart and when I got to the "Never Give Up, Never Give In" part of it, my words overwhelmed me and I started crying. Well, you can't really be much of a speaker when you're crying so I had to stop speaking and let the emotions run their course.
Nevertheless, it was a pretty good Eulogy as Eulogies go. It only ran a little less than five minutes of air time so that's a mighty short Eulogy. My Eulogy to Jim Posewitz ran almost 15 minutes. I think The WIlliam Dillon Eulogy was close to ten minutes.
And, yes, I got the accolades part of it right this time.
There was other stuff I wished to say but it wasn't meant to be. Even so, it turned out OK and my Dear, Sweet Audience of One Loved it. That's all that matters to me--pleasing my Dear Sweet Audience of One.
It's always pretty comical when I start out welcoming everyone to the speech. There's only ONE in attendance so the other audience is like a big group of imaginary Friends...or something.
We were both pretty stoked standing there in that powerful landscape. Those were mighty golden moments in the Utah SunShine!
We then trundled toward Torrey Town. That's when we encountered The Angus Gang blocking State Highway 24 shoulder to shoulder. What fun it was to have those beefy bodies swarm around our truck. We're no strangers to that phenomena. It happened to us a lot out at Bowery Guard Station when Syd & Karen Dowton's cows would swarm our Suzuki Samurai.
Good thing cattle don't get riled up like bison or we'd sure have a lot of dents in the truck to show for it.
We tried once again to use the Visitor Center WIFI. No can do. But we had a memorable vignette there. The NO WAY Woman (described in yesterday's blog post) actually gave me a standing ovation for delivering the Eulogy. That was Sweet for sure. Definitely a Classic Utah Moment!
We then idled over to Etta Place Cider and had a fine and fitting visit with Ann Torrence. She's a truly unique individual (aren't we all?) and it's so fun to visit with her. Since we have US 89 in common with her, the coversation often strays into delightful tangents. The Cidery is doing quite well. Ann's very proud of those six medals her cider won a few weeks ago. The local 2021 apple harvest is history and everything has been juiced and is fermenting. Bottling will begin in a few weeks.
Stopping at Etta Place is now a new touchstone for each of our visits to The Reef.
We then returned to camp and began working on the audio file of the Eulogy. Processing audio files is a lot easier than it once was but it's still tedious and time consuming. After getting the MP3 file feng shui, we headed to the Phone Booth and hooked up the cell signal booster. Man, that thing ROX! It gave us far better cell that we could find in Torrey Town itself!
So, once we got the file posted up to SoundCloud, we headed back to camp to begin rigging for The Road. Even though we have a very minimalist travel rig, there are still numerous nit-picky things to be done before we can safely pull out on the highway looking for adventure and whatever comes our way.
The pendulum decided to desert Susun and I won both cribbage games last night with the greatest of ease. Susun's rather short tenure as Champ-peen ended with a thud. Ah, well, that fickle pendulum swings more often that not.
Well, here's a wild one for you. The State Highway from here to Blanding has been closed for almost two months! Like really, really closed with no local detour. As if by magic, it reopened two days ago, just in time for our Road Trip Traveling Band of Gypsies to saunter through San Juan County. It's a Good Omen and we are pleased.
We don't have a fixed agenda today. We'd like to get all the way to Sand Island outside Bluff, Utah, but we're agreeable to getting waylaid if and when something compelling comes along. We'll have cell at numerous locations today so we'll keep ya posted.
Thanks for reading!