Violinist Serenades Residents Stuck In Traffic While Evacuating Devastating Caldor Wildfire
As evacuation traffic built up across South Lake Tahoe, this violinist made the wait much more bearable.
The evacuation caused chaos on the roads, with the Highway 50 heading eastbound having waiting times of up to two hours.
Speaking about the dire traffic, South Lake Tahoe resident Dick Kline told The Guardian, ‘I haven’t moved in half an hour. I am sitting here watching all this ash come down on it but at least I am getting it out of here.’
Evacuations in the tourist town are practically unheard of, with Kline, who’s lived in South Lake Tahoe since 1977, saying he’d only had to evacuate the area once before.
Stress and anxiety were rising as ash rained on the non-moving cars, but Mel Smothers took it upon himself to entertain fellow Tahoe residents by playing the violin.
Videos shared by the San Francisco Chronicle show Smothers casually leaning on his yellow truck, serenading people nearby.
While the music was undeniably beautiful and is likely to have lifted the spirits of fellow drivers, some people on Twitter compared it to the heartbreaking moment violinists on the Titanic played together as the ship went down.
Someone wrote, ‘This hurts to see. Like the band playing as the ship goes down. But this ship is beautiful Lake Tahoe and for my entire life I can remember Tahoe being one of the most environmentally friendly places in CA and it’s going to be hit by the impacts of climate change. I’m so sad.’
Another person tweeted, ‘What a treasure. But it does give me “the willies” because it reminds me of the Titanic and as Rome burns our leaders fiddle.’
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