THE DAYS BEFORE GPS
There are some of my tee shirts that I just can’t get rid of–Go Lakers!, Hawaii, and especially one that says “Miss-Direction” on the front. My son gave it to me when he was a teenager; by that time, he had been with me on several trips when I got lost.
Just let me get a bite of my chocolate chocolate-chip cookie and a sip of my apple spice tea and then I’ll tell you the first story. (Pause.) Thanks. Well, it happened when my son was small enough to fit into the handy deep hole behind the back seat of my Volkswagen Bug. This was before the days of seat belts and child seats.
My mother’s best friend was visiting me and I took her to Venice Beach in California. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while, so we chattered non-stop and paid no attention to the small child trapped in a hole too deep to ascend. He was having a grand ole time as we found out when we removed him. There was box of facial tissues in the hole with him and not one square of paper remained in its original box. It was a blizzard in California.
This is not all of the story. You need to know that this was in 1966 and Venice beach was a wild place and a favorite of the Flower Children (or Hippies) so the wide sidewalks were filled with pedestrians on foot and on bikes and roller skates. My car had joined the throng; I was driving along at two miles an hour dodging people. I wasn’t there long when a police car approached in front of me. The authority told me it was against the law to drive on that stretch, and asked me how I got there. I said it was easy. I had just driven between two permanent metal stanchions with my little car. The lady with me was hysterical with laughter. It was the best part of her trip. I was not given a ticket as the policeman could see that the problem was–I was an idiot. He told me to turn around and go back because there was no way out ahead of me. Many spectators were entertained!
Then there was the time, after my son was in his teens, that I drove down a street that was reserved for only streetcars and busses. We were somewhere in Canada. Surprisingly, I wasn’t even stopped before I found my error and hurried out.
The next “I’m lost.” event occurred somewhere in Vermont. My son and husband were with me and I was driving. I’d planned the trip and they just got into the car and rode along. Suddenly, there was a sign that indicated we were in Vermont. I pulled over and said, “We are not suppose to be in Vermont.” As it turned out, we had to backtrack about thirty miles to a place where I had erred in a turn. Much laughter ensued after that mistake, but not by me.
These little events have had a long after-life in my family, but they don’t know about some of my blind wanderings when they weren’t around. After all, a gal has to have some secrets. Guess that’s over now since I’ve shared with you.
COMING NEXT: An Uplifting Story of Women’s Bras