Allow us to present further evidence that the Heavens smile up our humble two man band. Behold!
On a recent July day – Independence Day, in fact – we Gentlemen were presented with the simple task of piloting the Gentlevan from one Colorado mountain town to another, some sixty miles through the mountains. We began our journey late in the morning, with gasoline enough for 50 some-odd miles of minivan travel. I sat behind the wheel. The Councilman was my passenger.
I look forward to a pleasant morning of mountain driving with you, friend.
I reciprocate your feelings, replied The Councilman.
Five minutes into our quest, we passed a gasoline station.
Perhaps we should stop for gasoline, suggested The Councilman.
Please, dear friend, I replied. I am establishing my driving rhythm and do not wish to be disturbed. We’ll stop in a bit, at one of the mountain villages on our route. Surely all Colorado mountain villages are equipped with gasoline vendors.
You are probably right, said The Councilman.
Thank you, I said.
Now friends, it is not my habit to make a public airing of my mistakes. There is, I hope you’ll agree, little room for weepy confessionals in the field of two-man-music-related-electronic-journal-writing. That said, it appears in retrospect that I may have erred.
True to the map, we passed through a new mountain village every ten miles or so. The first of these was without gasoline.
Ha ha ha, we chuckled. How quaint! A mountain village without a service station. Councilman, take my photo here at this intersection where a gas station ought to be. Our sophisticated, urban friends back east will never believe it!
We had similar fun in the next mountain village. But by the third, the novelty had expired. And by the fourth gas-free town, our attentions were focused entirely on the glaring, blinking light on our dashboard. You are fools, it blinked. You’re tank is near empty. You will be stranded in these mountains and perish here, gasless, as fools.
The dashboard indicator light speaks the truth, Andy Bean, declared The Councilman. You are a fool. You have ruined us.
I fear that you are correct, I whispered.
With gasoline enough for perhaps 10 miles of travel, we came upon an intersection with some disheartening signage. It listed the two nearest towns. Both appeared in large enough font on our map to suggest that they both had petroleum pumps. But, one was 16 miles away. The other, our destination, was 31. I became despondent. The only vehicle we’d seen for miles was our own. We had not fuel enough to get us anywhere of use. Our mobile phones were without reception. We were in imminent peril. We wept, together, as men sometimes must.
Do not be despondent, friend! The Councilman cried. I have an idea! Drive me a bit further up this hill, to that scenic view point.
I did so.
From the top of the hill we beheld a majestic alpine vista (Majestic! Sighed The Councilman) and a single ranch house in the valley below. We concluded that our lone hopes lay in the kindness and resources of a ranching woodsman. We discussed possible scenarios. The best case was, of course, that this rancher was also a collector of gasoline products and was willing to part with some at little or no cost to us. Our imagined worst case scenarios were far more numerous. The Councilman fixated on one in which the woodsman had plenty of fuel, but having no use for our elite eastern money gave us no choice but to compensate him with sweaty labor. The Councilman, who must keep his hands dainty and unsullied in order to pluck his string bass properly, became near catatonic at the prospect of days spent chopping and stacking wood. I just worried that the rancher might not be home, or might not have any extra gas.
We coasted down the slopes toward the ranch and sputtered up the driveway.
The ranchman, who must have spied us approaching, waited for us in his driveway. He was smiling. He also, we might mention, looked not like a ranchman at all. He dress was rather that of a standard issue USA suburban dad. We gentlemen, both being the progeny of such stock, were comforted by this. Fear not friend, I declared, I am skilled in dealing with men of such dress.
Good day, sir! I bellowed.
Hello, he answered.
I stepped out of the gentlevan and began explaining our situation. We are musicians in distress! We have but ten miles of gas remaining, with more than ten miles to go! It is Independence Day! Let us celebrate our freedoms by transacting gasoline! Etc, etc.!
He seemed sympathetic to our plight. He paused. Then cheerfully, and with a great many adjectives, he began describing the two nearest gas-bearing towns and all things about them. How far away each was, possible routes we might take to each, approximate population, where in each town the service station was located, the service stations’ hours of operation, the last time he’d visited each, etc. And it became apparent to us that the man must have misunderstood our pleas. His responses indicated that thought us simply lost, or confused, or distraught over which lovely mountain village we should visit next. We began to lose hope.
I repeated my “we are gasless musicians in distress” routine to which he responded: Oh, it’s gas you’re looking for! Sure thing, I’ve got full gas can right here.
Gas, we declared! It’s an independence day miracle!
The ranchman proceeded to pour a few gallons of precious fuel into our tank. The Councilman thanked him profusely while I scrambled to the trunk of the van to find a suitable gift for him. I returned, thanked him a few more times and presented him with his reward: a brand new copy of one of our finer two-man music CDs. He smiled, saying nothing, then thanked us in a tone that suggested, “You really should be giving me money instead. I have no use for two-man music!” But in our joy, we were deaf to the subtleties of tone. We exchanged final man winks, handshakes, nods, etc. and were on our way.
An Independence Day Miracle!
Yours very truly,