Adventures on the Road to Nowhere

Storytelling adventures don’t always happen during the performance. Sometimes…

Sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control leading up to the aforementioned performance.

When I was a hippie up in Oregon, (I love that line. I use it a lot) I had a wonderful little car I called The Toad. She was not pleasant to look at, but she got me to where I was going… most of the time.

I lived in Eugene in the Willamette Valley. I had a performance to go to in Coos Bay,  117 miles away on the coast. I wasn’t too sure The Toad would make it. She had been a little under the weather, so my friend, Anne Marie, said I could use her car.

“The temperature gage is acting up,” she said, “so if it registers ‘hot,’ don’t worry about it.”

So, when it registered ‘hot,’ I didn’t worry about it. Until…

Halfway through the coast range, steam began pouring out of the engine and Anne Marie’s car just stopped.

I had a show to do, but I am one of those annoying people who just hate to be late, so I always head out early, especially if I’m going to a faraway place.

Good thing.

This was in the late 70s, way before cell phones. My only choice was to hitchhike to a little restaurant I knew about just east of Mapleton on the Siuslaw River, about halfway to Florence from where I was.

I called my friend Bill, back in Eugene. He dutifully came and got me. We went to Florence and got a tow bar to haul Anne Marie’s car into Florence. We dropped the car off somewhere in Florence and drove on to Coos Bay.

I walked into the library at exactly the time I was supposed to start the performance.

And start I did!

I don’t remember the details, but I walked onto that stage and told stories and sang songs as if nothing had happened.

I am, after all, a professional.

After the performance, we picked up the car in Florence and drove back to Eugene.

The end of the story is this: I will be forever grateful to Bill for the many times he has rescued me in various situations.

I will also be eternally grateful to Anne Marie for providing me with this wonderful adventure. Love you both.

P.S. Anne Marie and I split the cost of repairs.