Thursday, July 31, 2008

"On the Road" with Charles Kuralt

For so many years I loved listening and seeing Charles Kuralt with his melodious voice talk about people and places - some of which I had been to and of course many I had not. But, more then the places, I loved the stories of the people that he told - sometimes actually interviewing them in person. It always touched my heart.
So, it was very serendipitous that I found three Charles Kuralt tapes at the Alma sale I go once a month "just to see" if there is something there I can use........I certainly didn't go there looking for these tapes..........but heck, I was taking a road trip and I could listen to them - it sure makes the trip go faster......
On the way to Texas I didn't listen to them. It was more interesting to listen to my spunky friend Helen who has lived in San Miguel for thirty years. She was riding along to go to Drs. apppointments in the US and visit her sons. Helen has lived all over the world - Nigeria, Venezuela, London, Scotland and Houston. Her husband was in the oil business. After she was widowed she came to San Miguel and has loved living here. She had great stories to tell and we laughed all the way........THAT made the trip go faster too.
BUT on the way back, I popped Charles Kuralt into the tape player in the car (these tapes were from the 90's) and, as in the past, I was enthralled all over again by Charles Kuralt. One of the boxes of tapes is called America and was taped in 1995, a year after he left CBS when he retired and was turning 60. He decided to pick twelve cities and spend a month in each, doing whatever he pleased. It started out in New Orleans, then Key West and onto Charleston etc. etc. etc. Delightful listening. In many places he looked up old friends and couples he had known for 40 years or so and told their stories too. The recurring theme was two people living "their" lives in a different way then a 9-5 hands, shrimpers, home builders, just to name a few, and who were fulfilled by those lives.
I once read a book titled "Nothing Happens by Accident" and I believe I listened to these stories, I realized that I no longer had to worry about the "gypsy kids". I KNOW they'll not live a conventional life. I was worried about that.......... but not anymore! They will live the life that many people are too afraid to live until sometimes its too late.......the life where pensions and 401K's are more important then fulfillment.
I came home and looked Charles Kuralt up on the internet and it took my breath away to discover that he died a year later of lupus. One year after he "retired" and was so excited about the future and his chance to do what he wanted to do............Yes, it was very serendipitous to listen to Charles Kuralt.........On the Road.


Steve Cotton said...

A nice reminder that we should be very careful about putting off what we really want to do, And really relevant to my situation. I was sitting in the hot tub tonight trying to figure out how I could afford to retire now. I am getting there.

Babs said...

Hi Steve - Yes, it is RELEVANT to your situation.
I guess how it happened for me to retire was unique! I found thehouses, came back, sat down figured how much I would get from SS over 20 years and how much I would make selling the house and business and "stuff". I was surprised when I added the two together and I was here in 5 months - without regret. A totally different, simpler lifestyle but the lack of stress and the tranquility make up for anything in the "stuff" category that I might be missing........AND Kuralt affected me....I'm making a 12 month list-thinking of doing "home exchanges" and heading out.........why not?

Brenda Maas said...

That sounds interesting, the house exchanges I mean. You would get to see a lot of new places. When we go housesitting we do get tired of not being "at home" in others peoples houses, though and peoples homes are not always as they portray them. Have fun planning.