Laura Fahrenthold has worked as a NY Daily News crime reporter, government press secretary, private investigator, and content editor at Woman’s World Magazine for over two decades. Her memoir, THE PINK STEERING WHEEL CHRONICLES, tackles grief and loss in the most American of ways by hitting the road in a camper nicknamed “HaRVey the RV” with her two young daughters, a stray dog and her dead husband’s ashes.
Laura begins by discussing her eclectic background as a crime reporter and private investigator. Later, she talks about the trauma she experienced from the tragic death of her husband and how this led to the writing of her book The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles. Following her husband Mark’s death, Laura felt overwhelmed and so much pressure to be okay, but she was in a bad place. This is when she asked herself the question: what can she do with her girls to give them something bigger than the experience of their father’s death? At first, she decided to take them camping. She brought Mark’s ashes with them on the trip.
During their camping trip, they found a beat-up, old RV and traveled all across North America for 60,000 miles over the course of six summers, sprinkling Mark’s ashes along the way. They climbed mountains and went white water rafting. It was a tremendous opportunity for growth.
Laura talks about what she learned about the power of community on the road. For instance, she learned how good people actually are. During their travels in the RV, people showed up to help change their tires; some Marines helped them with their radiator; Laura and her girls stayed with the daughter of some Opera singers; and they even went to a wedding on a Goat Farm in Nova Scotia. She says that she “grieved in the arms of America” because it was too hard to grieve in front of her friends.
In the book, she writes “love guides us even when we sometimes feel hopeless and lost.” She says that “with death, there is still life.” And even when our loved ones have passed away, they are still here with us, and this can help guide us on our paths.
For anyone contemplating going on an adventure or following their bliss, she says: “Go for it, DO IT!” Often times we can be held back by what Alan Watts calls the “golden handcuffs.” In this way, we cage ourselves because of our fears. But if we are able to push ourselves, we can find a strength we didn’t even know existed on the other side.
Her book is being turned into a streaming TV series. Laura is currently working on writing the pilot with two co-writers. At the same time, she’s also finishing up and editing another book called The AirBnb Chronicles.
According to Laura, her travels around North America taught her the meaning of being human: “The thing that I found that made people the most human was kindness and acceptance and openness and trust.”
You can learn more about Laura and her book The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles right here: http://laurafahrenthold.com/