“Blue is the color of distance! Blue is the color of nobility! Blue is the color of distance and nobility! And that is why a knight should always carry a bit of blue ribbon somewhere about his armor, or, on the tip of his lance; to remind him of how far he has come, and how far he has yet to go.”
The opening night of the play was an unmitigated disaster; our primary special effect was a large wood and Styrofoam plane, with a wingspan about four feet across. It ran on a guide wire, from behind the proscenium arch, up to the projection booth, and underneath was covered in glitter. It was to represent the “El Fugitivo”, which was the only way out of Camino Real. It launched, the guide wire snapped, and it landed in the third row, which, mercifully, was empty.
Flash forward to June of 1981. I was in the Rockies up on the Divide north of Wolf Creek Pass working as a surveyor. As the crew watched the chopper depart, I saw a brass marker at my feet, about 5” across. I bent down and saw that it read International Geophysical Year 1958. That in itself was note-worthy, that I was actually standing on the Continental Divide, but then as the sun continued to rise behind me and I stood looking out to the West I was struck deeply and profoundly. An epiphany. How far I had come in just a few short years! Somewhere over there out beyond the horizon, almost in a straight line west from where I was standing rested Lemoore, and to the East there seemed to be endless ranks of still snow-capped peaks, stretching away forever under a clear, cobalt sky. How far to go? I had no blue ribbon but in that moment I developed what became my core philosophy on life: Always look back. Because, how do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?