Give Stephen Baenziger some ballads to listen to and a ticket to travel, and he’ll tell you he’s a happy man. Both are pastimes he relishes.
He not only experiences great pleasure listening to music from the 1960s and 1970s, he enjoys learning the stories behind the lyrics, too.
“What’s most interesting to me is realizing that the song writer felt the emotion, too,” Baenziger says. “I find it interesting to think about the origin of these songs and what the writer was thinking, like the former slave ship captain who wrote “Amazing Grace,” and Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land,” when he talks about land being taken away from the average American. I like learning where these songs come from.”
As in the tune, “On the Road Again,” Baenziger also enjoys seeing the world. And he’s traveled much of it—Central and South America, Australia, China, Japan, many European countries, Turkey, Israel, and countless other spots.
Among his favorite trips is one he shared with his daughter Aubrie a couple of years ago, when the two spent New Year’s Eve in Paris, a high school graduation gift to her. Another that stands out is a trip to a small village in Western China. “I became the oddity to check out at the bustling market,” he recalls.
Experiencing different cultures, as well as checking out the local agriculture scene, are highlights for him. “I just love travelling,” he says.
On his wish list for future travels are Eastern Australia and Southeast Asia. And this wheat breeder says, “I’d love to see the great wheat production areas of the former Soviet Union.”