I ran into a fella that reminded me of the following story, which has been posted elsewhere. I do like the story, so here it is again, from my memory to yours, with some cognition in between if we are so blessed.
Drove today from North Dakota to Billings MT, through rain and shine. Wide, open , beautiful country with scant signs of people.
The route was on our magnificent Interstate system, rolling a new rental truck at speed, turbo assisted engine moving along effortlessly in incredible comfort.
I brought about 60GB of music on my backup phone and connected it to the car via bluetooth.
Rolling down the highway with travelling music , a red headed Irish wisecracking babe next to me, climate controlled and lumbars supported, we made our way with ZZ Top, Sinatra, Copland, The Who, Bob Wills, Johnny Cash, Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Rait and much more.
The scenery turned from Badland to grassland and back to Badland.
We stopped for gas at a commercial fueling station that took our corporate account. The Irish Wisecracker vanished into the store and I finished fueling and moved the truck over to the parking slots away from the pumps.
Bob Wills was playing San Antonio Rose on the truck sound system, and a tall, lanky man got up from his checkerboard , adjusted his Resistol hat and approached my driver side open window.
“Son, I have not heard that tune in a long time. Would you mind playing it again?
I looked him in the eyes and realized he had to be pushing eighty.
“I sure can. Give me a second to set that up.” I replied and reset the song.
While I was techno-fiddling, he said in a deep baritone. “I danced with a girl to that the night before I went in the Army for Korea. It has been a long time.”
We listened to the song, and the rest of the patrons gathered around. The song finished, and he gave me a nod that indicated volumes of thanks. He touched his hat brim and I reciprocated on my Stetson.
As we drove away, the Irish Wisecracker kissed my cheek and we settled in to the road again. I cranked up a playlist rich in Texas Swing.
This is all I could find today. This is what you get when you allow the airline gorillas to handle a very expensive 17th-century viola da gamba (a precursor of the cello). The musician was told that her flight was full so she could not buy an extra seat for the $200K instrument. She reluctantly handed it over to go as checked luggage. I assume it was insured, but this had to be devastating for her.
I had a situation similar to this when flying with the Everett Symphony, returning from our trip to Austria in 1996. The volunteers who put the trip together scheduled us on United Express from LA to Seattle, not knowing that we would not be able to carry our instruments on board with us. I had to check my violin (made in 1987 by a young American maker), and I was NOT happy. I was, however, lucky that the only thing the gorillas damaged was the handle on my case; the violin was unharmed.