Boy with a Trumpet

November 24, 2008

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At Christmas, If I can afford to, I head to California, to spend time with my family. Last Christmas I took a few days out to go on a bizarre four-day coach trip. Bizarre for me because everyone else on it, William Chen our guide included, was Chinese. All of William’s commentary as we drove mile after mile was in Chinese, and then a little English at the end, just for me. I learnt that the China Man built the Hoover Dam, and with understandable righteous anger William questioned why the statue built at the Dam’s entrance, in memory of those who gave their lives in its construction, was of the White Man? I don’t know William, but I’m on your side with this one. We we’re then shown a video; Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon, a film that shows that it was the China Man that built the California railroads. Oh, and Jackie and Owen Wilson goon around a bit too.

We raced around California, taking in Death Valley, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and… the Barstow Outlet Stores. All in four days.

We stopped at Zabriskie Point for twenty minutes. A boy and his parents were standing at the viewpoint. He had a trumpet with him. I asked if I could take his picture. At first they couldn’t understand. They didn’t speak English. I don’t know where they were from but let’s go for Austria. The boy got the drift though, and not only did he allow me to take his picture, but he proceeded to play the most beautiful melody. He played for about five minutes… any longer and I’d have missed the bus. Standing at Zabriskie Point, looking over the landscape as he played, was magical.

I enjoyed my four days, alone amongst the Chinese. We couldn’t talk to each other but we smiled a lot. I think I was something of a novelty to them. I was the White Man.

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One Response to “Boy with a Trumpet”

  1. Andrea said

    that b/w version of the photo is just beeeoootiful.

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