Thread: Utopia Bound
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:54 AM
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joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
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Default Re: Utopia Bound

That day they made three hundred miles to the town of Hatboro, Pennsylvania before they found a roadside park and stopped for the night.
Later, Tom and Billy took the dog for a walk around the park. From somewhere in the woods they heard a man singing. The song was unfamiliar but the voice carried by the wind was deep and powerful. Suddenly the dog disappeared up a path in the direction that the wonderful voice was coming from. Billy called to the dog, but she did not return to his side. He was deciding what to do when in the distance he heard the dog begin to bark and howl in tune with the singer’s voice. Then they heard several voices laughing and decided to follow the path that the dog had taken.
The path went up the side of a steep wooded hill; it was rocky, narrow, and dark. But up ahead of them they could see a camp fire, and three people with the dog sitting by it. One of the men began to play a violin and the other one a mandolin, while the man whose voice he had heard laughed at the howling dog. When they entered the firelight a very young girl came forward and said. “Welcome travelers. If you are cold you can sit by our fire. If you are hungry you can share our food. If you are lonely you can join us for friendship. Come introduce yourselves and meet our band of gypsy travelers , my name is Tara.”
Tom took off his sombrero and bowed to the girl, saying as he did so. “I am called Texas Tom, and my friend here is Boston Billy. We are also travelers spending the night here. Then tomorrow morning we will be on our way to Texas. If you have enough food to share, we are hungry and can pay a small amount for your kind offer. We are also musicians, I play the banjo and guitar, Billy sings and accompanies me on the harmonica. As you have learned, Billy´s dog harmonizes to the music; her name is Gimpy”
From out of the darkness a forth man carrying a rifle suddenly appeared. He leaned the gun against a nearby tree and stepped forward into the fire light as he said, “I am Alexi, Tara´ s husband.
Please excuse the gun, it is only for our protection, as there are people who do still believe we gypsies are only tramps and thieves and do not care for us; I need to see that we are safe.
Please come near the fire and warm yourselves. My wife will fix you bowls of Hungarian goulash. We are here to play at the Montgomery county fair this weekend. If you are musicians and in need of money, perhaps you would like to sell us the dog. It is a large event and we expect to make quite a bit in the next two days and the dog will make a great attraction. Now we eat, then I would enjoy hearing you play.”
After the stew was eaten. Tom said. “Billy, you go back to the truck and bring me my banjo and your harmonica. Then we will sing and play in payment for our supper." While he was gone Tom said to Alexi. “I did not know that Gypsies lived in America?.”
Alexi answered the question with a sly smile as he said, “We Romani have been living off the land in this country for two hundred years. We still have our culture and our traditions and sing our songs in our language. There are over a million Gypsies in America. It is unfortunate that we have been stereotyped by the movies and press so poorly. But that is slowly changing, and we integrating into this wonderful country.
Suddenly, the dog got up, and with her tail wagging furiously went running down the path to greet Billy. When everyone was seated around the campfire, Tom began to play “Waiting for the Train.” He caressed the banjo’s strings and let his feeling of Texas and Utopia decide the rhythm. The dog sensed the mood and howled in mournful harmony. Billy put away the harmonica, then he sang the words with a passion he never realized he had before. The gypsies accompanied the two strangers with a violin and mandolin, while Alexi´s thirteen year old wife Tara, washed, and put away the dishes. They sang and played until the campfire was but a soft glow of embers.
The night air had taken on a chill. As Tom and Billy got ready to leave, Alexi said that they would be more than pleased if they would join them and play together at the fairgrounds. So, two completely different cultures were brought together by a three legged dog and the universal cords of music.
As they walked back to the truck, Billy said, “This could be a way of earning some money, but I did not like them asking if I would sell Gimpy.” Tom answered “I did not like the fact that Alexi was never more than two feet away from that semiautomatic rifle and he never mentioned anything about paying us to play with them, or the fact that they had a pile of firewood big enough to last for a month and the stew was made with venison. My intuition says something is not right. I may be wrong, but tonight Gimpy sleeps inside the camper with you, and I sleep outside;”
Billy thought he was dreaming when he heard the musical sound of a mandolin outside the camper. Then Gimpy began whining and scratching at the door wanting to go out. He was wide awake as Tom shouted into the dark. Then his Colt revolver went off with a roar: The music stopped. And dead silence settled over the campground. Billy´s heart skipped a beat as he flew out of bunk.
Gimpy ran under the bunk, its tail between her legs. Then Tom came into the camper holding a mandolin. He was laughing so hard he had tears running down in to his beard. Billy was still shaking with fear when asked-“Did you kill him Tom?”
“No, Billy boy, I never aimed at him, but the shot scared the crap out of him and he dropped this, I have always wanted a mandolin.
We have enough fuel to make it to the next Flying J truck stop. I believe it is to our extreme benefit that we should leave right now… as that was the last cartridge I have.”
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
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