Freedom Beat Across America: In Search of America's Heartbeat

Say What?

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that things are still moving when it’s at such a slower pace. For a flat month we were on the move, literally. Every day meant gunning up the engine, hitting new roads, meeting with new people, gasping at new things to see. Grab an interview here, snap a bunch of photos there, find out if a certain museum can loan us material. Get up! Get going!
Melissa and Skylar are still filming and conducting interviews – their frequent emails tell us so. And Wes is going over the stuff we shot on the road at the new Rockwell-Anderson digs.
I expected to catch my breath, thinking things had stopped for the Gryphon’s Lair end of it, but I should have known. Things never stop around Dottie. The woman brims with ideas, runs over, bursts at the seams. Sometimes I get tired just sitting there with my mouth open. Will, after thirty-some years, takes it in stride. He just goes back to his newspaper.
After searching out the costs for renting a recording studio to do the voice-over for the documentary, she decided it would be a lot cheaper to build our own.
Say what?

There's a washer and dryer in there somewhere.

Well, in the California way, the Lair garage is never used to house cars anyway. I’d be willing to bet it’s never been used to house cars. In California, garages are an extension of the living quarters to the point where some even have picture windows and air conditioning. Most, though, just end up being dark, dusty, HOT personal storage facilities. We have a lot of the usual here, a lawn mower for the three-by-five patch out front, loppers for the branches that our California Oak keeps trying to push through the roof. Tools. More tools. And boxes full, or piles tilting, of the kind of things that get lost in the basement in the midwest (because Californians don’t have basements): old clothes, Christmas decorations, bits of furniture we don’t have a use for anymore but we had such a good use for them once, how can we make them feel unwanted? That would be cruel.
The Gryphon’s Lair garage even has a baby crib because a year ago we had a baby come and visit. First one in thirty years.
So, we ask her, what to do with all of that crap?
Well, Melissa and Wes just moved into a new home, so they can have all the furniture. Lucky them.
A ten-by-ten shed will fit under the California Oak (I capitalize because it’s endangered which is why it’s bigger than the house and ruining the brick patio but no one can touch it. Not legally.) Ten-by-ten should be more than enough room for the lawn mower and tools.
Okay. And how about everything else? That’s the beauty of it, she says with a winning smile. Everything else doesn’t weigh anything much, so after we reinforce the walls and add the noise reduction insulation, and a CEILING, we can put all the suitcases, bins and boxes up top where right now there’s just a few tarps and some rat dirt.
Our inability to find anything really desperately wrong with this plan had us befuddled. So having gained the high ground, she moved on: With its own recording studio, Gryphon’s Lair Productions can not only narrate film documentaries, we can record audiobooks and put on web-radio shows.
Say what?


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