The short answer is vibrant local institutions coupled with leaders willing to invest time, energy, and money in those institutions.
This comes to mind because several recent events testify to the vitality of our town and what makes it tick. Here’s an example. The day before yesterday the Oracle Piano Society brought a pianist/composer/superstar from Cuba, Aldo Lopéz-Gavilán, to Oracle and the Tri-Community. What defined the experience for Kaz and myself wasn’t just his phenomenal sold out performance but his willingness to take on the challenging teaching work of young pianists with a joyful expert eye.
If you’ve never witnessed a “master class” conducted by a true master it’s hard to grasp the quality of attention and personal development unfolding before your eyes. I suspect that every one who has something to teach - whether parents with their children, teachers with their classes, artists and trades people with with their apprentices, coaches with their teams, and even institutional leaders of non-profits and churches with their members, could learn a lot from the best of the best in the kind of “master class” conducted by a master like Aldo Lopéz-Gavilán.
But it didn’t stop there. Aldo, Dr. Stephen Cook, and one of Stephen's young local proteges, Isaac Tineo, ventured into an assembly in the Mammoth/San Manuel School District auditorium populated by the toughest crowd of all - young students. Their efforts were rewarded by rapt attention and promising future prospects of the youngsters. Who knows? Maybe there’s another Isaac Tineo in the gathering ready to be inspired to step in to a new world of musical performance.
Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.