|Mine looked like this one.|
My trusty bicycle was my only form of transportation. One morning I was late leaving work. I was peddling fast so I wouldn't be late. It didn't work out so well.
An older couple had seen me and my bike part company. They helped me up. The lady went into their house and brought me a towel. At first I was just going to get back on my bike and head on to school.
I brushed off some of the rocks. Took inventory of my appearance. I had ruined my new nylons. My green corduroy coat now sported only one sleeve. Blood streamed down my face. Soaking into my clothes. My knees burned. I ached. The blood gushed down my glasses. I used the towel to apply pressure to my temple. My inner dialogue berated me for leaving late.
They wanted to call someone for me. They convinced me I needed to clean up before going back to school. Finally I told them how to contact my sister. She took me to see Dr. Johnson.
He pulled the remaining small rocks from my hide with tweezers. I remember the plink, plunk, plink as they hit the metal bowl. I remember squeezing my eyes shut as he picked up a syringe with the long "sticker". He then picked up "needle and thread", and proceeded to stitch me back together. He had a talent for sewing. The scar on my temple, looks like a star. Today its not visible unless you know where it is.
My brother-in-law's son was a mechanic in nearby Craigmont. He agreed to find me a car. It took some time but he got me a Belair for $75.00. He and his wife brought it to town and I took a test drive with him. My driving experience consisted of drivers training without further practice.
Larry let me drive. I picked a two lane road on grapevine hill. It never had much traffic. The road was narrow with hairpin turns. Lots of them. I remember his clenched hands turned white as he sat in the passenger seat while I drove. To his credit he never said a word about my driving skill. Or the fact I struggled to control the speed on that big muscle car.
As I careened around the curves I wondered what had possessed me to choose this route. It felt like the machine was trying to get away from me as I tried to maneuver it between the lines. I held my breath as the car gathered speed. I was so relieved when we finally got to the bottom safely.
I looked over at Larry and he was kind of pale. His voice kind of quavered as he asked me "What do you think?"
"I'll take it."
We got back to the house and I wrote him a check. Someone asked where we had taken the car and he said grapevine hill. Everyone stared at him. He shook his head as if struggling with a decision. "Bring the car to the shop next weekend there's some work I want to do on it. Don't go down that hill again until I get the brakes fixed."
I recounted this incident the next day at work. A friend went and checked my car over. He came back and said wire was holding some things together. I never quite understood. Do you ever look back and realize that certain events actually foreshadowed the future?
I took the car into the shop for repairs. I pulled up to the shop, parked and walked in. I remember it being dark inside especially coming in from the bright sunshine. It seemed so big at the time. Everything in place, neat, orderly. I caught whiffs of gasoline, grease and oil.
Larry's wife fixed a great big salad for lunch. She served it with a white dressing. I asked her what it was. She called it "Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing". After tasting it I became a lifelong fan.
My first tank of gas cost 25 cents a gallon. I moved into my own apartment later that week. My next tank of gas cost 27 cents a gallon. I was upset. I went to work moaning about the cost increase.
My boss said, "Ruthie its only going to get higher. You will probably never see it this price again."
I felt run over as I realized that gas was going to cost me a lot.
I graduated from high school that May. My mom and younger sister came back for my graduation. They stayed with me that summer. In August I sold my car for $250 and quit my job. I moved to Montana and enrolled at Miles Community College. I was back to riding shank's pony.