It was a sunny day at Twin Rocks Trading Post. Earlier that morning Steve had thrown open the Kokopelli doors to let in the beauty of the spring. Although the sun was shining brightly, Priscilla and I were almost frozen. It had, however, warmed considerably, our shivering had ceased and we were truly enjoying the fresh air streaming into the building. When the door bell sounded I was facing away from the open portal, reconstructing a lost invoice. The amplifier of the "dinger" was situated right in front of me, so when it went off I was initially surprised, then agitated. Distracted by the disquiet, I moved to my right and continued the errand. When I did, I heard the most interesting baritone voice I had ever experienced.
Navajo Wedding Basket
Priscilla was standing behind the cash register welcoming the people who had set off the bell. Steve was down the counter talking with a woman about a legal issue. I was intrigued by the rich, sing-song, well spoken nature of the baritone, so I just stood quietly listening. Because the man's voice was so intriguing, and since they were having such a grand discussion, I did not want to disrupt their flow of their conversation. They were a couple, I could discern that from the tender voices. The woman seemed full of life and patience. The man, the baritone, was in a jovial mood and laughed often. Just as they walked up to the counter behind me I turned to see for myself who it was that displayed such infectious intonation.
The couple that stood before me was not at all what I expected. The woman was seventy-something years of age with a stocky build. She wore her shoulder length brown and gray hair pulled back in a pony tail. Perched on her head was an old black ball cap with a brown bill. She was dressed in a blue, well worn long sleeved t-shirt, wrinkled Wrangler jeans and once white tennis shoes. The lady's eyes were brown and radiated intelligence. The man was eighty-something years of age, tall, pear shaped and sported a full head of white hair capped with a light brown, Indiana Jones-style hat. His scraggly beard was of the same hue. His eyes were pale blue and there was a big smile spread across his pleasantly wrinkled face. He wore a plaid flannel shirt of an off-white base color with thin blue and red stripes. His nondescript jeans looked as if they had gone unwashed for awhile, and they were held-up by a bright red pair of elastic suspenders. On the man's feet were a pair of worn, black Converse-like sneakers. The couple also looked well worn, but seemed altogether happy.
Looking at the man, I said, "With a voice like that you must have worked in radio or television." "Both", he answered, launching into an interpretation of the time he spent in advertising while living in Seattle. At this point the woman wandered off and struck up a conversation with Priscilla. She likely had heard this story before. As I listened to the magnificent baritone tell his tale, I witnessed him falter for a brief moment. He then reached into his pants pocket, pulled out a button and held it up for me to see. As smoothly as you please, "The Voice" transitioned into a tale of how hard he and Deanne, the woman he was with, had laughed when he inadvertently asked her to sew a shirt onto that very same button. I must admit, I was startled a bit and figured I must have missed the common thread between the two stories. Then, I noticed that the crooner every so often would stop in mid sentence, his eyes briefly losing focus. When they refocused he would start in on a whole new thought. It was like a hiccup of happenstance!
After this conversational "change up" occurred a few more times, I began to anticipate them and decided these radical course changes did not matter much to me. I was caught up in his unforced, eloquent and musical manner of speech. What I did learn was that this man had lived a very interesting life and that he was incredibly fond of Deanne, because she made him happy. In between "hiccups" I learned that Deanne spoke five languages; English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese, and that she held two advanced degrees, one in science and one in math. "The baritone" said Deanne was so smart she easily out-paced him in thought and deed. One "for instance" he shared was that when "The Voice" decided it was time to travel to Arizona to see his brother one last time Deanne thought it through before making any major decisions. After much contemplation she decided that, because their #1 mode of transportation was unreliable, they should take two cars to ensure a safe return to home base.
Deanne and The Voice made me realize that each of us needs somebody to love and correspondingly needs someone to love us in return. Love is as essential to life as oxygen. Deanne made "The Voice" laugh and appreciated his special qualities, just as he did hers. They were happy together and that, my friends, is all that really matters. It was not long before the cute couple left the building and headed towards the parking lot.
Priscilla and I migrated to the front of the store and watched through the plate glass windows as they walked hand-in-hand. They approached what Priscilla and I have decided was a faded, two-tone, medium brown with a lighter brown top, 1985 Ford Fairlane. The Ford was towing a light blue 1979 Datsun 210. Both cars were covered in dust and packed to the gunwales with stuff. There were a couple strands of heavy electrical wire connected to the back of the Ford, running across the hood and to the backside of the the Datsun ending in a set of those magnetic brake lights. As Deanne and "The Voice" drove away, I said to Priscilla, "That was smart." Priscilla bobbed her head in agreement, "Crazy Smart!"
With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team
Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!
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Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!