Indebted For Heredity………#134a (the 70’s)

Gary's 430 cubic inch - four barrel carburtor 67 Buick Wildcat

Gary’s 430 cubic inch – four barrel carburetor 67 Buick Wildcat

Gary was indebted for heredity,  the left hand ambidextrous ability he acquired from his father must have been a proclivity of accession,  the recent loss of his right hand appendage finding this inherited application beneficial.   An uncertainty remained concerning  the appositeness of his piano playing profession, with no time frame prognosis for his condition to improve he would have to acquire an acute resolve to transcend the despondency that knew would surely come.  A first step was instituted by  securing a wrist and hand brace to bereaved the limp notification of his loss and the public display of his deficiency.   His transition from a normal right hand transaction to the left was awkward because of habit  but once inoculated would suffice,  the only true difficulty was the expertise of signature.  Researching the subject of neurology and his related lack of appendage mobility,  discovering a premise to employ.   During the hours of inactivity watching TV  he would place a rubber ball in the palm of his inoperative hand,  attempting to communicate a reflex from his brain to the non-functioning extremity.

Gary's metal wraist support

Gary’s metal wrist support

The concern for the his right hand restoration played heavily on him, the prevision of expectancy was allocated to the ticking of a  temporal clock,  Gary needed relief, a change of venue, a decision being made for a visit home in California.  His wife Kaye utilizing some of her acquired vacation time making  reservation for an ocean side bungalow in Long Beach.  The families retreat would entertain a visit to Disneyland and an opportunity to introduce Kermit, his wife’s father to his new his granddaughter.  A further venture to visit relatives of his mother-in-law Helen’s first marriage to the Rice’s residing in scenic Morro Bay,  Kaye’s maiden name being Rice never having ever meant any of her namesake relatives and from Morro Bay they could continue on to Gary’s parents home in Oakland.  The trip would be a leisurely sightseeing tour west,  the families 1967 Buick Wildcat, Kaye’s work car destined as  mode of transportation.

The Sands Motel on old Route 66 in Grants New Mexico

The Sands Motel on old Route 66 in Grants New Mexico

The almost endless expanse across New Mexico on Interstate 30

The almost endless expanse across New Mexico on Interstate 30

The catechism expanse of mother nature - The Grand Canyon

The catechism expanse of mother nature – The Grand Canyon

An early morning start, the once reputable Route 66 having acquired a new name Interstate 40, the nostalgic luster of a bygone era attaining the status of a remembrance.  The familiar sights of Amarillo, and Albuquerque passing in review,  Gary extending the first days travel to over 600 miles, a decision to halt the progress for the nights lodging in Grants New Mexico at the Sands roadside motel. The morning  finding the family  progressing west across the high plains thru Gallup and upward to the ponderosa encroachment of Flagstaff.   Addressing the downhill travel the Wildcat venturing off route 66, to greet a new host, the Grand Canyon, the Willson’s journeying to the south rim view, experiencing the wonderment of its vastness and privilege.  The 18 mile wide prefix  presenting a picture of engagement to the first time beholders, the 6,000 ft depth  a presentation of catechism expanse of mother nature, the family acknowledging it’s acclaimed  presence.   The stop at the Grand Canyon realized,  an afternoon vestige back to Interstate 40 beginning, Gary recognizing a necessary to stay the night before entering the Mojave, Kingman promising another nights rest.  Not lingering in the morning but pushing onward, the Wildcat unleashed, the steady whoosh of the open four barrels, the GM product rushing thru Needles forward to Barstow,  the family having their sights on making Long Beach by afternoon.  Long Beach having been secured, the Willson’s apprehending the bungalows management on East. Ocean Blvd., the family introduced to a small  bedroom reside with a kitchenette and an ocean harbor view, Scott and three-year old Marlo  eager for the journey to Disneyland, the one-handed Wildcat driver eager for an ocean side rest.

A surprisingly uncrowded entrance to Disneyland

A surprisingly not crowded entrance to Disneyland

America's first monorail

America’s first monorail

An unforgettable adventure - Pirates of the Carribeanian

A unforgettable adventure – Pirates of the Caribbean

An adventure - where else but Adventureland

An adventure – where else but Adventure-land

A Disneyland morning about to begin, Gary having discovered when visiting with some locals that two blocks from their location was a public transportation bus stop enabling a Disneyland destination,   suggesting that instead of mapping the drive and paying the parking expense the family could ride the bus to and from.  The information he received was correct, the carriage destination was Disneyland, the vastness of the 165 acres making a big first impression, the family coming to realize that it would take days to participate in all the attractions.  The entrance admission price was very reasonable but the admission to the concessions requiring the purchase of a coupon book, a quick calculation of the cost, deciding this would be a one day excursion but allowing a concession visit to all of the four Lands.

The first on the agenda was the Pirates of the Caribbean, an unforgettable journey thru the waterway cavern, followed by Adventure Land,  a trip thru the jungle.  Frontier Land a riverboat ride, fighting off Indian attacks,  and Tomorrow Land an adventure in space travel and an unforgettable under water trip in the Nautilus, the Captain making an announcement. ” This is the captain speaking. Welcome aboard. We are now underway and proceeding on a course that will take us on a voyage of exploration through liquid space. En route, we will pass below the polar ice cap, and then probe depths seldom seen by man. Make yourself comfortable, but please remain seated at all times. And no smoking please—the smoking lamp is out”.   Exhausted, the exploring family satisfied with their  journey because  “if you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, your heart desires will come to you.”

Her Majesty the RMS Queen Mary of Long Beach

Her Majesty the RMS Queen Mary of Long Beach

The Queen Mary’s Wheelhouse

Below deck crews passageway


The Queen Mary's engine room

The Queen Mary’s engine room never found

Gary was looking forward to this day, Kaye having visited with her father Kermit on the phone having made arrangements to join the family and give them a tour of the RMS Queen Mary that was permanently  position at Long Beach.  Kermit having sailed aboard The Queen when she was converted to a troop transport  during World War II.  Once aboard the luxurious liner, the family discovering a Jacques Cousteau aquarium and a guided tour presentation, Kermit electing to conduct the family with his own tour, including  the many levels and the area he occupied with the returning troops.   After visiting the wheelhouse and the upper level Gary decided to explore on his own heading below deck, slipping off entering an area marked  “closed to the public,  no admittance” , the stairway leading down several levels, the pianist in search of the engine room.   Finding himself in what appeared to be the long extended passage, recalling having once ventured a look at the mechanical repose aboard the San Rafael Ferry but not on a scale like this,  his search was in vain.   A conclusion to the  Queen Mary adventure, the group mooring themselves at a local restaurant, Gary appreciative of Kermit taking the time to facilitate his relatively new family, making an observation that the newly acquainted grandfather was like a sailor home from the sea.

The infamous Venice Boardwalk

The infamous Venice Boardwalk

The morning bringing a final Southern California visual attendance, the brief journey to the famous Venice Boardwalk discovering its location and occupants were a parody to a movie scene and the  actors portrayed in a  Hollywood productions.  A discussion of whether to proceed to Morro Bay or to bypass it, Kaye not really enthused about knocking on strangers doors and introducing yourself as the daughter of Helen who at one time was a member of your family, Gary reminding her that this was her mother’s idea, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to disappoint her.  The Buick pointed north on Highway 101, Gary knowing that the Morro Bay turn-off was north of San Luis Obispo having travel this route before.  It was just as Gary imagined, the address of the Rice relations was several block up on the hillside above the bay and its location give a view of the town’s  star performer, the scenic  Morro Rock.  The Willson’s were not unannounced, the family having been expecting them, a cordial welcome coming with an introduction.  The hour was getting late, Gary in process of thanking them for their hospitality when they made an insistent offer that they had plenty of room and the travelers should spend the night.  An attempt to leave being spoken, but the late hour departure and having no motel reservations was unacceptable to their host,  the Willson’s accepting their hospitality  staying the night.

Spending the night at Morro Bay

Spending the night at Morro Bay

The fog shrouded intriguing Morro Rock

Morro Bay in the rear view mirror, the Wildcat traversing the 15 mile to once again acquaint Highway 101 north but not to his parents residence in Oakland, but to the Pioneer their cabin retreat in the Sierra’s, an earlier phone call discovering the elder Willson’s were spending their summer in the mountainous terrain.  The six-hour drive to pioneer accomplished, his parents delighted at the family’s arrival, the solitude of the Sierras a welcome, Scott and three-year Marlo able to run after being confined in motel rooms and car for  hours at a time.  Gary discovering that this visit wasn’t what he had expected, his desire to journey back to past, rediscovering his childhood adventures exploring the wilderness never surfaced,  a realization, remembrance is nostalgic, today is real and tomorrows are opportunity.  The addition of neighboring residence beginning to surround his parents once secluded 2 bedroom modern decked cabin all a painting a picture of what was to come, Gary was ready to return home to Oklahoma.

The Painted Desert

The Petrified Forest

 The departure day having arrived,  the 67 Buick destined to sojourn the Highway to the Sooner State the musician somewhat accepting his disability but still uncertain of his future.  It was decided that a leisure return would be exercised,  a stop at Dinosaur City Arizona providing an excursion to a cavernous realm viewing the  exposition of the fossilized prehistoric domain, the night being spent in Kingman.  The morning discovering a diverting journey to the Painted Desert the highlighted colors exclamatory in their presentation, the coinage of  splendor ravishing a color scheme within the silence of an absent wind.   A walk in the petrified forest,  Gary aware of the sign prohibiting the appropriation of the age-old specimens, but mysteriously discovering a relic from the past in his pocket.

The Wildcat forging ahead, the familiar high plains beginning to lose their altitude as Albuquerque materialized, another night of rest before the final 8 hour drive to Oklahoma City.  Gary out of curiosity having  chronicled the mileage and the amount of gas purchased,  not surprised to discovering the  430 cubic inch,  360 horsepower Wildcat averaging eleven miles per gallon for the 3500 mile escapade,  very much aware that the four barrel carburetor let itself be known screaming the whole  distance.   Returning to the S.W. 46th Terrace domain,  the encumbered musician feeling the aspects of  despondency,  no longer able to pursue his occupational endeavor or even the halcyon of the golf course along with other presentations.  The appendage loss providing a mundane existence,  but buried within, the fortitude of resolution, the constant placement of a rubber ball in his hand, brain power commanding his finger to grip,  a discernment of consecration still prevailing.  willing the use of his right arm appendages to return.

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