Sunday, March 26, 2006

March 26, 2006 Bonus Blog
As it should have been, music led the way, both driving up to Kingman on Saturday morning, and at the funeral for Wendell Havatone.

As I left Prescott at sunrise, I fired up my iPod and listened to my own private soundtrack as I cruised the winding backroads through Skull Valley, Kirkland, Hillside, Bagdad and Wickiup. More than one song fit the occassion, including Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3, "When I go to my grave my head will be held high, let me die in my footsteps before I go down under the ground." And Johnny Cash's last album was full of poignant moments as well.

But the song that got me the hardest was John Hiatt's "Listening to Old Voices," off his Stolen Moments CD: "Is it true we are possessed by all the ones we leave behind? Or is it by their lives we're inspired. It's a new light, a new day, listening for the meaning, learning how to say, it's a new place but you've always been here, you're just listening to old voices with a new ear."

Of course I didn't want all sadness, so as I cruised in from the Blake's Ranch on I-40 I cranked up The Romantics: "That's What I Like About You!"

The kicker to the funeral ceremony was the playing of a song Wendell recorded in January of 2004 at Whiterocks Road Studio in Fort Duchesne, Utah. They projected the CD cover (pictured here, notice that Wendell still has that twinkle in his eye that produced 21 grandchildren!) up on the wall and played the song, "I Was Wandering" and it took a stanza or two to realize it, but it was unmistakeably The Havatone, and he was in great voice. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The pastor who played it (I believe his name was Wade Large?) said he burned 40 CDs and we all lined up to get one. I'll post a snippet online as soon as I can.

"Someday when we meet up yonder, we'll go strolling hand in hand."
—Wendell Havatone, "I Was Wandering"

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