Chapter 35, Blog 4
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
The cop car gunned it. Nicky locked on. Up Indiana 49, through the toll gate and onto Interstate 90, the caravan raced. Melinda hit speed dial again. This time the Indiana State Police waited for us at the Lake County border. The Porter County police handed off, and a white Ford Crown Victoria hurtled out in front of us.
“C’mon, Nicky,” pleaded Melinda between phone calls.
“Hey, I’m doin’ 95 now.”
“You’re losing them.”
“All right, all right. Gawd help us.”
I tried to nap, closing one eye.
“What if I hit a freakin’ deer?” asked Nicky.
My closed eye popped open.
“I knew it! You Baby Boomers are all alike,” said Harry. “Nothing but Debbie Downers …”
A blanket of Boomer boos covered up the rest of his myopic observation. Things quieted, and I breathed for the first time in 20 minutes until my heart began to flip flop. Did I feel the pressure now that I had half of Indiana’s law enforcement involved?
… you never should have drank all of that …
… you have a terrible lane assignment …
… is it going to rain in Eugene tomorrow …
“The Olympics?” I asked out of loud.
“Yes, Hon,” Melinda answered. “I would never have believed it. You’re just one step away.”
… you’re not napping now …
Never doubt your wife. Melinda, of course, was right. There were no nonstop flights to Eugene from Chicago. However, Harry and I had to change planes in San Francisco – not Los Angeles. By then, Harry was cranky. I was hung over.
… that’s the last beer you’ll ever get, buddy …
At 2:21 a.m., or 4:21 a.m. back in Valparaiso, the Wells Track Team checked into the Paradise View Motel, 12 miles south of Eugene, down I-5. Melinda found it on the Web. It was the closest our travel coordinator could book. Lugging the bags in from our rented yellow VW Beetle, I banged my knee on the motel room’s door – and cracked a small hole in it.
Didn’t matter. Moments later, I fell face first on a petrified mattress and passed out.
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang