Monday, September 29, 2014

Chase Potter

Chase Potter
There are a lot of things I could say about Chase Potter.  He grew up in the small village of West Jefferson, Ohio.  He was a superb student and graduated with honors.  Yes, I could say that...but there is much more.  I could tell...and yes, I will tell, what a talented musician he is.  In fact that may be what most people who have heard his music remember about him...he is amazing.  But there is much more to Chase Potter. 

I was the guidance counselor when Chase entered sixth grade with his other classmates.  West Jefferson is a small school district, so I knew many of the students already...or knew most of their names.  Chase had already earned a name in being gifted in music.  He played the violin. He told me that when he was three and a half he was watching an orchestra on NPR with his parents and he was fascinated with the violins.  He wanted to play one of those.  He bugged his parents every day.  On his fourth birthday his parents, Tracy and Mark, started him in lessons.

Chase on Veteran's Day 2001

  How fortunate that Chase's parents recognized his talent and were able to support and nurture it.  In Mark's own words about Chase's gift in music: "As a musically gifted child, Chase was REALLY lucky to have been born into a family that played music, of many genres, with a wide variety of musicians, almost daily in the home, for his entire childhood.  Of course, the flip-side of that is that Tracy and I were incredibly lucky to be raising a musical prodigy!"  

But these words from Mark are what I want to write about Chase: "THE most important thing about Chase to ME is this: he is a thoughtful, caring, loyal, open-minded, intelligent and responsible young man who is 'comfortable in his own skin'.  That's plenty for me right there!  He also happens to be immensely gifted, but there has never been the accompanying 'ego' one would expect with someone so gifted at such a young age.  Never!  I actually was on guard for that at all times, but it just never happened.  So, you toss all of that into the hopper and, yep, you have an incredible individual who has become part of many people's lives in a very positive way, and I'll be totally honest.....that gives me great joy! "

Mark and Tracy, Chases Parents

I don't want to just use Mark's words....but he states it well.  I did not see any arrogance or smugness in Chase's attitude throughout his middle and high school years.  I will give a few examples of how Chase is unique, not just in his music, but in not allowing such great talent to separate himself from the rest of us. And then, I hope you check out the links to Chase's music for an uplifting journey...and maybe a bit of awe as you listen and watch all of the instruments he uses.

First, Chase was also a gifted writer in school.  He was part of the Power of the Pen team while in the middle school.  I thought he placed in the state competition, but I was not sure so I checked with him.  He told me he was second at the regional and "bombed" the state.  (I don't know what he means, as none of his writing was bad...maybe just not up to his expectations.)  He also said he got first in the district in 8th grade for his story (in his words), "about a bunch of little kids that got into sugar and the narrator had to tame them somehow."  I remember how much fun it was to read his stories and was thrilled he participated in Power of the Pen.

Undefeated Little League Team!


He was also active in Little League and middle school baseball.  When he reached high school he decided that he needed to focus more on his music and so chose not to take part in organized sports.  The one activity that he loved was skateboarding.  Sometimes I cringed when I saw him...hoping he would not crash and injure his fingers.  I would have hated to have something like that end his violin playing.  But, I should have known that Chase was a regular kid...liked doing regular things with his friends...and how fortunate he was that his parents allowed him to do this instead of sheltering him from any harm that might occur.

Skateboarding!
 

Shane and Chase after High School Graduation
Chase saved my Godson's life.  Well, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration...but he noticed that Shane was acting strange.  Shane has been a diabetic since he was three and certain times, like during growth spurts, his sugar level would go crazy.  Shane had stayed after school for some help in math.  Chase waited for him and realized that when Shane walked out the door, something was wrong.  Lucky for Shane that Chase managed to get help and, at least to me, saved Shane.

Chase shows a true respect for fellow musicians, no matter what their talent level.   There are so many examples of this, but I will just give a few.  Chase stopped by Shane's house after high school graduation.  It was not long before he and my husband, Ray, were talking about the band Ray had been in for 20 years.  They talked about guitars and songs and drums.  Chase could have been celebrating with his friends, but he took the time to show interest in Ray's band.

Chase is playing violin with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra
at the Great Southern Theatre in Columbus.
Chase won many awards, one being the Hank Marr Jazz Award.  He won this when he was a sophomore in high school.  It was a state wide competition to find the best young jazz artist in Ohio.  What an honor!  His reward was to get to play two performances as a soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.  That could give anyone a big head...but with Chase, he was more interested in listening to the musicians, asking questions, and learning from them.



Chase gave a concert before going to college.  He had won the Presidential Scholarship for Berklee College of Music in Boston.  This is a full paid scholarship for classes and housing on campus.  Only seven such scholarships are given each year, and two of those are for international students.  I drove from Toledo to attend the concert.  It was packed.  This young man had touched so many lives and we were all eager to hear his last concert before his next journey into college.  I found out later, that this was a benefit concert for the Free Clinic in Madison County.


 I am not sure what I expected,  but this concert was not just about Chase.  I should have realized that...it was called "Chase Potter and Friends." He had invited musicians from all parts of his life to join him.  Yes, Chase did play the violin, the sax, drums and more...but he also introduced each of the other musicians and each had center stage.  Chase did not just say their names...he told about each one and how each had impacted his path in music.

He would then stand aside, with a look of pure joy as the person would sing, or play an instrument.  This concert was not just about Chase's concert. Instead of acting as the 'star', he recognized the talent of everyone.  It brought tears to my eyes...this unassuming, talented young man...so secure that he shared the spotlight with the rest.

Chase and Friends Concert




This, at 18 years old...shows so much insight and strength. He and his friends did a second concert the next year.  In the two years, they raised over $7,000 for the Free Clinic.








Here is a slide show of more pictures of Chase and Friends Concert:

video
 
Yes, I can write more, but I know
this has gotten quite lengthy for a blog post.  Here are some links that will tell you more about the many awards Chase has gotten and also links to his music.  I asked Chase what his plans are when he graduates this year from Berklee.  He said he was not sure but that he hoped to head for Nashville.  I think we will be hearing more from this great guy.  Check out his website to learn more about Chase. Chase Potter Website

NOW!  SIT BACK AND ENJOY SOME GREAT MUSIC!

 
 
 
 
This is one of the most touching videos I have made.  This was at the Chase and Friends Concert.  Tracy is singing, Mark is playing piano, and Chase is playing guitar.
"You Are So Beautiful!"
If you are using an iPad or iPhone click here to get the You Tube: Tracy, Chase and Mark
 
video
 

OH...and one more thing....here are a few more pictures of Chase.
 

Chase with Grace and Keenan: Grace Adele and the Grand Band
Keenan Wade is also from West Jefferson






Chase and Mark Potter Playing at a Cuyamungue Fund Raiser

I like this because it has a kitty in it.

A Picture with Kris Kristofferson

Here is one with Willie Nelson


 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Janet Anderson's 85th Birthday Celebration

Janet Anderson
Last Saturday, September 20th, we drove to Columbus to celebrate Janet Anderson's 85th birthday.  I guess I can say that I am related to Janet by the very end of a shirttail.  Janet is my sister's late husband's aunt.  I got to know Janet through family gatherings and also lunch dates with my mother and Janet.  Having lived in Columbus for 37 years, I was able to have visits with Janet even when Linda and Geoff were not in town. My sister and her family would visit us for Thanksgiving.  Janet was always invited and would bring her famous sweet potatoes for our Thanksgiving Feast. 







Yes, it is in a classroom....but that is another story.
If you read my last blog post you know that Ray and I got married five years ago on September 19, 2009.  That happened to be Janet's 80th birthday.  We did not know that when we planned our wedding, which was small and in Toledo.  We realized that Janet was probably disappointed that Geoff and Linda would not be able to celebrate her 80th birthday with her.  Geoff's siblings and cousins planned a party and everyone chipped in to buy her a big screen television.  The best we could do was take a picture of all of us unable to attend and send it to her.

Janet's 85th celebration was planned by her nephew and niece, Danny and Claudia.  (Geoff's siblings) All of the cousins took part to make it a perfect day.  People traveled from all parts of the country: Oregon, Washington, D.C., Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama.  Most of the nieces and nephews arrived Friday night.  Ray and I arrived  Saturday morning.  We met my sister at her hotel.  Linda and I then went to Katie Keckley's to pick up the cake, cookies and cupcakes.  We wanted to get these treats to Janet's before people began arriving for the birthday open house celebration which was to begin at 2:00. 


When we arrived at Janet's people were already there.  There was a table in the living room packed with hor d'oeuvres.  Walking through the den/office area I noticed the desk covered with birthday  cards.  Janet saw us and waved us over to meet some of our shirttail cousins.  Some I knew, some I knew only from recognizing their names.  All were friendly and welcoming...or maybe it was because I was carrying a Brutus Buckeye cake.  Danny cleared off a place on the food table for Brutus and the rest of the treats.  This table, also, was overflowing with food.



The first thing Janet showed me was the iPad that everyone had gotten her.  She was thrilled and could not wait to learn all about it.  Every time someone new arrived, (which was often and all day) Janet would introduce everyone.  Sitting back I could see that she had touched many people in her 85 years.  There was lots of laughing and story telling.  I wish I had recorded it all, but it was fun just living the moment.




The Andersons!

Janet told Ray that he was in charge of taking the group pictures.  Of course, this was one of the few times he forgot his SLR camera and just had a point and shoot.  There were others with cameras, though, so no worry.  We all headed outside for the group pictures.  It was a beautiful day, sunny, blue sky and perfect temperature.  Chairs were lined up and people began finding their places...slowly.   The teacher in me emerged and I began directing people on where to stand.  I fear I sounded a bit brusque...but years of getting students to pose in groups took over.  We took a number of pictures, some with just cousins, some with just the women, and some with everyone.  I could have taken many more...but people soon began wandering off.  Danny said, "You were lucky to herd these cats for this long.  I think that is enough."

Janet with Nieces and Nephews and Ari, Danny's Dog.

I have made a slide show of some of the pictures.  I figured that is the best way to get a lot of pictures on this post. 
video


As we were leaving, one of Janet's friends, Daphne, was reading a poem she had written for her.  I am so glad that she sent it to me so that I can include it here.  Read it and learn some more about Janet! 

Daphne Reading Her Poem to Janet


There is a very lovely lady named Janet
She is one of the nicest on the planet
West Virginia, wild and wonderful, is her birth state
Though she loved it, living in Ohio would be her fate

A green house on East Dominion would be her home
With her sister, Phyllis, she did often roam
To Chemical Abstracts Service for 23 years she would go
Many friends she would make and faces she would know

On Monday evenings she did bowl
Trying for a strike with heart and soul
As a member of long standing, in the lunch of the month bunch
Guessing she will order mac and cheese or a Reuben is more than a hunch

During the holidays, she loved to send out invites
To family and friends to come over for cheer and bites
Loving the Scarlet and Gray, an Ohio State fan she would become
Every year, hoping the Maize and Blue would succumb

On the weekends she likes to watch sports on TV
She is an avid sports nut, that’s easy to see
An English major she had become
Reading and writing until the day is done

From OSU she got her bachelors’ degree
O-H-I-O she loves to decree
The M-O-T-H-E-R poem is a favorite to recite
With the motions and words she remembers alright
 
To Janet, we wish you a very Happy Birthday
We are so glad to be here with you today!
 
Love,

Daphne and Jerry Fenske



Ray and I left before the cousins. I talked to my sister the next day and learned that we missed more laughs and fun.  One thing that must be a family tradition at such gatherings is where Chris Dorval does his levitation trick.  Linda said that many cousins were levitated...and even Janet joined in.  Wow... I wish I had some pictures of that.  Maybe someone there took a picture and can send it to me so that I can include it in this post. 
 
It was a wonderful celebration.  Fun was had by all.  I look forward to joining all in five years when we have Janet's 90th birthday celebration.  I will make sure to stay for the levitation trick next time.



















 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Secret of Sedona

Roses: One for Each Year We Have Been Married
I pondered quite a bit on what to write today.  I began a post about the 85th birthday party of an aunt-in-law, Janet Anderson, but want to take more time with the pictures for it.  Then I thought I could write about some experiences from our trip to Europe this summer.  As I scrolled through the pictures I was drawn to our visit to the Mauthausen Work Camp in Austria.  But in order to write about that, I need to take time and refresh my memory with a little research.  I also did not want to write about such a sad, depressing place.  So, what to do, what to do?


  Ah....I found the perfect topic!

Our fifth wedding anniversary was Friday.  This brought memories of how Ray proposed to me.  We had both been married before and divorced for many years.  Neither one of us had planned to get married again....but then we met. Well, we re-met, but that is another story for another time.  We had known each other in high school, but never dated.  Ray Googled my name a few years ago and found me from my work at Cuyamungue.  He later emailed me, and that is how we re-met.  I will write about it in more detail some other time.



One of the many interests that Ray and I share is traveling.  We decided to visit Sedona, Arizona which is one of my favorite places.  The scenery is amazing and there are many trails to hike to get away from the crowded city of Sedona.
Sedona, Arizona

Sunset at Sedona

I should have suspected something when Ray chose a different line to go through security at the airport.  We had never flown together, so I figured he just wanted to get through faster.  Security did take the corkscrew that he had forgotten was in his backpack.  Other than that, the flight was great.

Kachina Woman
Once at Sedona we planned out the trails we would hike.  Sedona is known for having Vortexes, energy fields.  Some say that these are spiraling spiritual energy fields where people go to meditate, heal or pray.  They have names and we decided to visit Kachina Woman.  Ray packed our cameras in his day pack and we were off to see Kachina Woman.  Parts of the sky looked threatening and the wind was forming small dust devils in sandy areas.  But most of the sky was blue with billowing cumulus clouds that would make stunning pictures.

Halfway up the trail Ray asked me to get his small camera from his pack.  It was easier for me to get it so that he would not have to take off the pack.  I started unzipping compartments when Ray spoke in a short, sharp voice. "NOT that one."  It took me aback as he had never used that tone of voice.  This was not looking good.  Was this a new side of him that I was just seeing?  I found the camera and we continued our hike.  He apologized and life was good.

In order to get the whole experience of the rest of the morning, view this video.  It is difficult to hear what is being said because of the wind.  We have made it to Kachina Woman and Ray sets the video camera on a rock telling me that he wants us both in the picture.  That is when he comes over and proposes.   Listen carefully, you can hear it.  The line that breaks the mood is spoken by me.  Ray tells me that he has a date in mind.  September 9, 2009!  He knows that nine is my favorite number.  But my reply is..."The date is fine....but that is when I first got married."  You can see and hear his reaction.  If the video does not work you can click on this link to see it. Ray's Proposal

video


We had to leave quickly.  We could see rain headed our direction which would make the trail slippery and treacherous to walk.  Halfway down the trail, big oversized drops of rain splatted on the red sandy dirt.  By the time we got to the car our jeans were covered with red mud that had splashed up our legs from our run down the trail.  We noticed another couple running to the parking lot, but there was not other car but ours.  I asked them if they needed a ride and they gratefully slid into the back seat.  We only had to take them to the other trail head which was just a couple miles away.  On our way there we told them about Ray's proposal.  So strange, the first people to hear about our engagement were, George and Jane from Minnesota, total strangers. 





Cloudy Sky with a Little Sun

Ray even had a ring with him.  He had his mother's ring, a family heirloom.  The ring was tucked away in his daypack pocket...the one that I began to unzip when he spoke in that sharp voice.  Now, I understood.  It was not an angry voice but a panicked voice.  He feared I would find the ring and ruin his plan.  Yes, there is a smile on my face as I write this.  Such fun memories!




We decided to get married on September 19, 2009 instead...which turned out to be perfect since it was also Talk Like a Pirate Day.  And yes, that is another story.


Here we are a year and a half later on our honeymoon standing near Kachina Woman.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

For Every Thing There Is a Purpose

A Goldfinch I Saw on One of My Walks
This will be short.  I just returned from an afternoon walk at Swan Creek Metro Park.  The sky was so blue with puffy white clouds.  The air was cool.  It was a perfect day for a walk....until I came upon a small family.  At least I am assuming these three were a family.  There was an older woman who looked like the mother of a younger woman.  With them was a young girl, about five years old.  She had blond pigtails that flopped as she ran ahead of the two women.  They were walking the same direction as I was....but much slower.  The little girl would stop and run back and then run ahead again.

I saw all of this from a distance and then saw the two women stop and look at something on the ground at the side of the path.  One of them picked up something, maybe it was an acorn or some kind of berry.  The little girl came running back to see why the others had stopped.

The younger woman pointed at something, "Do you see it?"  I heard her say in an excited voice.  I wondered what it was?  I was getting nearer to them, but could not see what it was.

The older woman said, "GET IT!" 
The younger woman joined in, "Get it, Get it!"

And the little girl stomped on something.  I gasped!  Who would encourage a little girl to kill something?  I am sure it was a spider or bug...but that doesn't matter.  I can't remember a time when either of my parents would have told me to kill something.   I was shown the beauty in each creature and to respect life.  I remember reading a book about Albert Schweitzer when I was probably eight or nine.  He mentioned that even the ants have a right to walk upon this earth. 

Isn't this a cute little fellow?

I continued my walk.  I wanted so much to say something to these three, but I didn't .  I felt sad for the little girl.  What did she learn on that walk?  Memories of my father telling me about how spiders and snakes were good for the garden.  Every animal and creature had a purpose. (I still don't see the purpose of mosquitoes.)   I came upon a caterpillar walking across the path, bent down, picked it up and deposited it far into the trees.  I feared it might be the next victim.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"She's Got a Ticket to Ride"

While writing my last post about Rae's flat tire and the Ohio State Patrol officer helping, I remembered another incident.   Rae liked to drive fast.  I am not sure if she still does, but if I remember, she told me her last speeding ticket was two years ago.  It wasn't her fault!  She was driving friends who were visiting from Ohio.  There were a lot of places to see around Clearwater Beach.  Who knew that construction would slow them.  But they did have time to make one more place...and she proceeded to move 'quickly' through traffic.  The officer did not understand the urgency and handed her a ticket.

I found this picture someone made
of New Rome's reputation.
Rae's son, Kevin, remembers dreading the drive through New Rome, OH.  New Rome was a typical speed trap on Route 40, just west of Columbus.  This little town with a population somewhere between 65-70 people had three police cars (at least) that were placed snuggled next to hedges along the highway.  The speed limit would drop from 55 to 35 with little warning.  After traveling the four or five blocks of the town, the speed limit would change to 45.  I travelled that route every day for a number of years while driving to West Jefferson, where I taught.  It was more often than not that I would see some poor traveler pulled over, police officer by the car, writing a ticket. 

I am not sure how many times Rae was pulled over.  She had to drive through New Rome to get to her mom's house.  Rae told me that when Kevin was little he would look out the back window when driving through New Rome, afraid that the police would stop them again.  Sometimes he begged her to find a different route.  "Maybe they won't catch us this time, Mommy."  Often he would shout, "We made it!" as they passed the last building without seeing flashing lights behind them. 


I found this picture on line.  New Rome
was disbanded in 2004 because of so
much corruption in that tiny village
government.  *digginguproot.com

So...when I drove with Rae to Buffalo, NY, to visit Kevin (now a grown man) I should not have been surprised that somewhere on Interstate 71 I saw flashing lights behind us.  I had mentioned to Rae a couple of times that she might want to slow down...she might get a ticket.  And she always did.  I think that most of the time she was just preoccupied and failed to notice how fast she was driving.  The officer was polite and asked if she knew she was traveling 15 miles above the speed limit.  Rae was polite as well..."Heavens no!  I am so sorry.  I will have to be more careful."  But she still received a ticket.

Picture found on line (Carandauto)

"The only reason he gave me a (choice words) ticket is because I am driving a (expletive) red car.  I know it!  That's all they do...sit there and watch for #*%# red cars!" she ranted for the next hour. 

"Maybe it's because you were going 15 miles faster than the limit," I finally said...trying to stifle a chuckle.

"I don't think I was going that  (choice words) fast!  They are just looing for (more choice words) red cars!  And then...I was nice to him...and he STILL gave me a (expletive) ticket!"  (I knew this was not the time to release my chuckle...it would have to wait.)

I suggested that I drive through that part of Ohio on our return.  If I got stopped...maybe the patrol was looking for red cars.  So...we tried that.  If you who know Rae, you know that she is a terrible passenger...always concerned the driver is going to run into something.   I was quite impressed that she allowed me to drive her car.  I was careful and watched my speed.  Well, I thought I was watching my speed.  While driving through that area where she had gotten her ticket...I, too, was pulled over!  I was in disbelief!

Picture found on line (Carandauto)

It was a different office this time...polite and professional.  Did I realize I was speeding?  I assured him that I did not and that I was sorry.  He returned my driver's license and said, "This will be just a warning this time.  Be careful out there."  Oh! how relieved I was!  I had never had a ticket and was so thankful the officer gave me a break. 




I pulled onto the highway, when I heard, "Choice words...and more choice words...I can't believe that you got a (#%*#) warning and I got a (expletives) ticket!"

"Maybe it is because I have never had a ticket," I choked out in squeaks....trying so hard to not laugh. But the tears running down my face, shoulders shaking and the wheezing sounds failed to hide that snicker...that finally erupted.

"It's not funny, Jackie," was Rae's reply as we chugged down the highway.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stalling for Time

This is Rae at Buckeye Lake
Last week I took an overnight trip to Buckeye Lake to visit my friend Rae, who was up from Florida for a week.  I had some clothes and a cane that she had left in our van when we were all in New Mexico in June.  It was a nice visit.  We had lunch with Belinda and Stephanie on Wednesday and then stopped at Half Price Books.  Rae liked a pair of glasses that Stephanie had gotten there, so she decided she wanted a pair too.  Then we stopped at Graeter's for some ice cream.  It was a fine afternoon, but Rae tired quickly (from chemo treatments) and so we drove back to the lake to rest.
This journey of Rae's got me thinking that we need another Rae story...or as some people call it...Lucy and Ethel or Lavern and Shirley.
Rae and I at Cuyamunge Institute in 2013


So...here goes...It began with me driving my cute little blue MGB to the Grove City Library...long, long ago...in the 1980s.  I had a typical love hate relationship with that car.  I should never have gotten it as my one and only car....it worked fine on days where I did not have to scrape ice off the windshield.  If it got that cold...I usually had to fine another ride to work.  But on that fall day, the sky was blue, the leaves just beginning to change from green to red, yellow and orange.  I was in a good space, driving down the expressway, singing with the radio.  I noticed a strange odor and wondered if I needed to change the air filter in the car.  I had a trunk load, because for some reason, (the dealership never satisfied me with their explanation) I was told that I must be driving through dirty air...like in a farm field that was dusty.  After numerous trips to get this fixed, I found it easier to have some spare air filters and change them myself.  I was so fast at it, I am sure I would have qualified to change air filters at the Indy 500 pit stop.

This is what my MGB looked like.  I loved it when it was running right.


(This post really will have Rae in it...but I have to set up the background.)  I was almost at the exit when I noticed smoke coming from the dash.   Panic set in, but not enough to make me stop and exit the vehicle.  I was going to make it to the parking lot of some grocery store that was right off the exit.  It was not that far.  By the time I got to the parking lot the inside of the car was filled with smoke.  I jumped out of the car expecting it to explode...glad that I had parked far from other cars.  I stood at a safe distance watching the smoke dissipate, and then slowly approached the car.  Everything looked okay, but I was not about to try to drive it anywhere.


I found a pay phone and called Rae, hoping she would be able to pick me up.  Fortunately, she was available.  Rae drove a little yellow Karmann Ghia with a black convertible top.  I called it Bumble Bee.  She picked me up and told me I was lucky to be alive.   We began discussing what to do with my car when the Bumble Bee started shaking and weaving.  Rae uttered a few choice words as she pulled the car to the side of the expressway.  Flat Tire!  Of course, we were stopped at one of the worst places...71 and 270.  Cars were flying by us, vibrating the Bumble Bee.
This is what Rae's Bumble Bee looked like.  I wish I could find the picture
where her mother and three aunts were sitting (in there pajamas) on the hood
and inside the car...all waving like princesses.


Flat tires are no big deal.  I had changed them before...and being an expert air filter changer, I felt quite confident that we would be back on the road soon.  I opened the trunk, pulled out the spare and then searched for the jack.  Once found, it just felt odd, like it was missing a piece, like a foreign object...German engineering.  I stood back, checked the trunk again, found another part and soon had it figured out.  Feeling quite proud of myself, I told Rae to make sure the emergency brake was set.


"I can't," was her reply.  "Kevin broke it last time he drove the car."  Poor Kevin, her son, seemed to always get blamed for any car problems.  Whatever...I did not see how we could jack up the car if the brake did not work.


"I will just stand in front and hold it," was Rae's solution.  But I nixed that thought.  I could just see the car rolling over one of us.

We were quite relieved to see a car like this pull up behind us.

Just like in the movies...when things seem dismal...in comes some help.  An Ohio State Patrol parked behind us and an officer stepped out.  Those of you in Ohio know that the officers are always dressed impeccably (Maxine would approve of their attire.)  This officer was...well, I will just say it.  He was well built and handsome.  Maybe I was looking through the veiled eyes of someone in need of a rescue...but this man was our hero.
I found this picture on line
to show what the uniform
looks like.


He tried to jack up the car knowing that the brake was broken, but thinking it might work.  The car would roll each time it got so high.  The officer decided that if I held the car on the front and Rae on the back that it might work.  Hmmmm....I had my doubts....but we tried...and it did!  Yay!  My hero!  Next, taking off the lug nuts.  At this point Rae told him that the car was used when she bought it and had no idea how long it had been when the last tire was changed.  I think she knew that those lug nuts were probably rusted on.


The officer worked and worked trying to loosen one of the nuts.  Soon, he removed his hat, setting it inside the car to keep it clean.  I saw a glisten of sweat on his forehead.  He tried turning that lug wrench some more.  Veins protruded from his forehead.  Stopping to wipe the sweat from his head, he also took off his jacket....setting it neatly inside the car.  Back to the job...grunt, jerk and work some more.  By this time he had two lug nuts off.  When he took off his tie, I knew that he was determined to win this battle.  The tie took its place next to the jacket.  Rae and I were still holding the car.  Soon, our hero's shirt was unbuttoned at the neck.  His face was read and sweat was dripping from his nose and chin.  I felt kind of bad, but continued dutifully holding my end of the car in place.  Finally, the last lug nut was removed!!  Our hero stopped to catch his breath before placing the spare tire in its new home.  Lug nuts were tightened and the jack lowered the car.


Oh no!  The spare tire was flat too!!!  Our hero put on his tie and jacket and held his hat.  He said he would call a tow truck.  I could not believe he was admitting defeat!!  I had one more idea! Fix-a-Flat!!  There was a can of that in the trunk.  He seemed relieved that we might finally have a solution.  The can was shaken, the tube was attached to the air valve and soon Fix-a-Flat was pouring into the tire.  But all of our smiles changed to dismayed surprise.  The Fix-a-Flat solution was foaming through the tire walls.  The spare tire was more damaged than the other tire.





Rae and I noticed our hero was gone...he was back at his car calling for a tow truck.  It would arrive soon and take us to a gas station.  "I hope to #$@% that it is a Shell station, Jackie.  That is the only credit card I have with me."  That was about all Rae said....until the officer was called to another emergency.  "Have you ever seen a Highway Patrolman take off his jacket?  When he unbuttoned the top two buttons on his shirt...I was waiting to see what would come next!"


My reply, "He seemed so glad to get called to another emergency."   And then I did it...I started to chuckle...I pictured the cartoon my Uncle Frank would draw of us holding the car while the patrolman worked up a sweat.  I could not stifle the chuckle. 


Rae looked at me and said, "It's not #*@% funny, Jackie...but he sure did have a good build, didn't he?"  And soon, she was laughing too. 


Within minutes, the tow truck came, hooked up poor little Bumble Bee and we were off to a gas station.  We drove down some country road and in the distance, to our surprise, saw it....a Shell station.  It was our lucky day!

Here are a few pictures of Rae.
Rae and Charlotte 

Kevin and Rae, taken at my wedding. 

Rae and I crossing the bridge over a mountain river in Alaska this summer

My favorite picture of Rae...in the Kiva at Cuyamungue
with the sun shining on her.

For other Rae stories check these links.  The all time favorite has been Water Fall.  But these others are almost as popular: Sew What? , A Flood of Memories , and Rae Uncovers Our Dirty Laundry .