Tales from the Road
By Don Paris and Larry Galbraith
The Fiery Ordeal of Freeflite's Early Tour
In the annals of rock 'n' roll history, there are tales of triumph and tales of adversity. For Freeflite, one fateful tour in their early days exemplified the latter, as they faced a series of calamities that tested their mettle and resourcefulness. It was a harrowing journey that would become etched in the band's collective memory, forever shaping their resilience and determination.
As Freeflite embarked on a road trip to Wyoming, the fledgling band found themselves confronted with the reality of not yet having a van to travel in. However, fortune smiled upon them when Don's sister graciously offered her trusty '68 Malibu car to tow the trailer packed with their precious gear. It was a makeshift arrangement, but it would serve their purpose for the time being.
Equipped with a trailer, lovingly assembled with plywood, Freeflite's gear found its place within its sturdy confines. The band took pride in their makeshift creation, as it symbolized their resourcefulness and dedication to their craft. Little did they know that their ingenuity would soon be put to the ultimate test.
In the dead of night, as rain cascaded down, a piercing alarm shattered the tranquility. Startled and groggy, the band members bolted out of their slumber, sprinting towards the source of the commotion. Alas, the cause of the alarm was not a nefarious intruder, but rather the capriciousness of a warped door triggered by the relentless downpour. Relief washed over them, mixed with a touch of groggy amusement at the absurdity of the situation.
Their ordeal, however, was far from over.
On the journey back home, a peculiar sight caught Don's keen eye. Smoke billowed from behind the trailer, prompting an urgent roadside halt. It was then that the band realized they had fallen victim to a flat tire, the heat of which had escalated to the point of spontaneous combustion. With no spare tire or jack to rely on, panic gripped their hearts.
In a desperate scramble, the members of Freeflite grasped at clumps of dirt strewn along the roadside, their makeshift extinguishing method, hoping to quell the growing inferno. Yet, they soon discovered that their efforts were futile, the tire's flames defiantly raging on. A decision had to be made — save their beloved gear or risk losing it all.
Summoning every ounce of strength and adrenaline-fueled determination, the band swung open the trailer door, frantically unloading their equipment to safety. The acrid smoke swirled around them, as the flames licked at the charred remains of their once-trusty trailer. It was a gut-wrenching sight, but their swift actions spared the car and their equipment from the fiery fate that befell the ill-fated trailer.
As Freeflite watched their makeshift creation succumb to the inferno, a mixture of grief and relief washed over them. It was a moment that forged an unbreakable bond within the band, as they stood amidst the smoldering wreckage, their gear scattered about, and a sense of camaraderie pulsating through their veins. Through this trial by fire, Freeflite emerged united, resolute in their commitment to overcome any obstacle that lay in their path.
In the tumultuous journey of Freeflite, where every turn seemed to bring unforeseen challenges, there emerged a glimmer of hope amidst the smoldering wreckage. It was a testament to the power of human kindness and the unbreakable bonds forged in the face of adversity.
As black smoke filled the sky, a trucker, a beacon of hope, pulled over to lend a hand. Armed with a fire extinguisher, he bravely confronted the charred remains of Freeflite's trailer, dousing the flames that had threatened to consume their precious equipment. With gratitude in their hearts, the band members watched as the last embers were quelled, a flickering reminder of the resilience that would carry them forward.
Seeking a solution to continue their journey home, Roger and Larry embarked on a quest to secure a replacement trailer. Fate led them to a small gas station in a remote town, where an unexpected encounter awaited them. In the absence of adults, a determined 10-year-old boy, entrusted with the task of tending to customers, became their unlikely ally.
Larry, with unwavering determination, explained their dire circumstances to the young attendant. He painted a vivid picture of the charred remains on the side of the highway, their gear left vulnerable and exposed. With heartfelt sincerity, Larry shared their urgent need to retrieve their equipment and return home. Larry wrote down all the pertinent information of driver’s license, car license, phone number etc. and went over and hooked up the trailer and drove off.
However, their journey was not without further obstacles. As Larry and Roger made their way back with the “borrowed” U-Haul trailer, they were halted by the watchful gaze of the Highway Patrol. In a moment of truth, Larry calmly recounted the harrowing events that had befallen Freeflite, presenting the officer with the information left at the gas station. With compassion and understanding, the officer granted them passage, recognizing the dire circumstances they faced.
They returned back to find Peter and Don hiding in some shade while their gear was baking in the 110 degree heat.
Against all odds, the band reunited with their rescued gear, meticulously loading it into the new trailer. A flicker of hope ignited within them as they set their sights on home, a testament to their indomitable spirit and the unwavering support they had received along the way.
Meanwhile, in a display of community goodwill, a nearby rancher extended a helping hand. Recognizing the band's plight, he offered to transport the remnants of the burned trailer to his property, providing them respite from the burden of leaving it abandoned on the side of the road. It was an act of generosity that resonated deeply with Freeflite, illuminating the power of human connection and the bonds forged through shared experiences.
In a remarkable turn of events, the rancher rebuilt the trailer, breathing new life into what had once been a charred memory. With a heart full of gratitude, he extended an invitation to Freeflite, inviting them to reclaim their trailer at their convenience, completely absolving them of any financial obligation. It was a testament to the strength of community spirit and a reminder that in times of adversity, kindness can be found in unexpected places.
For Freeflite, the challenges they faced on that fateful day tested their resolve, but it also showcased the power of unity and the triumph of the human spirit. From the ashes of their burned trailer emerged a renewed sense of purpose, an unwavering determination to continue pursuing their musical dreams. With their gear intact and the unwavering support of their community, Freeflite would go on to face other trials, but their resolve remained unshaken.