Thursday, June 27, 2013

A welcome detour.

Yesterday as I sat in the treatment room and the last of the drugs dripped through Jilda's IV tube, one of her chair-buddies glanced up and noticed a character on the TV set above the nursing station.
"Hey, there's Luke, of Luke and Laura." It took a moment to understand what he was talking about.
Apparently Luke and Laura were characters who starred in a soap opera years ago.
Hearing that sent my mind wandering down memory lane. I can almost see you all rolling your eyes when I mention memory lane, but I'm not sure how to say it better.
Anyhow, not long after Jilda and I married in 1974, we vacationed in Panama City, Florida. We stayed at the same cottages where we spent our honeymoon.
An elderly couple, who were friends of Jilda's parents owned the cottages and they were delightful people.
On the second day of our vacation, Mr. Quinn asked if I'd like to go fishing early the next morning. It had been a while since I'd wet a hook, so I conferred with Jilda and she was happy spending some alone time on the beach while I fished.
I heard a knock on the cottage door early the next morning before we'd had our coffee. It was Gene and he wanted to get on the water.
We headed out to a local bait shop where he picked up some live shrimp for bait. We were rocking on the water as the sun rose over the murky water of West Bay.
Mr. Quinn caught several nice trout and I spent a lot of time being net-boy. He then patiently told me how to bait the hook, how deep to fish, and how to set the hook once I got a bite.
A few minutes later, I hauled in the largest fish I'd ever caught. I caught several more that we put in the freezer for dinner. That night we ate like royalty.
The Quinn's offered to buy us lunch later in the week and we accepted. We ate at Duffs which was their favorite place.
Jilda and I always eat a a leisurely pace and we noticed that Odie kept looking at her watch. Before we finished, Gene said, "We have to go, or Odie will miss her stories."
Jilda and I were puzzled, but finished up and hustled out of the restaurant behind the octogenarians.
We were about 45 minutes from their house when he wheeled into a Kmart parking lot and both bailed out of the car as if they had to pee.
Again we hustled after them. They headed straight back to the appliances. One of the clerks seemed to know them because he fetched a chair for Odie, and set it close to one of the floor-model color TVs.  Gene stepped over to the sporting goods section of the store to look at fishing gear. We followed him hoping for an explanation.
When we were out of earshot, he told Jilda and me that Odie was addicted to General Hospital and wouldn't miss it for ANY reason.
We both howled. He told us that once when they were traveling to see kinfolks in Birmingham, Alabama that he had to rent a hotel room for one hour so that she could watch the soap.
Conjuring up that memory yesterday was a welcome detour.


  1. I remember when Luke and Laura were all the rage, but I never watched General Hospital. My mom also liked her stories. I grew up on As The World Turns, Guiding Light, Secret Storm, Edge of Night -- all of them gone now.


  2. Now THAT is hysterical! We had a wife of one of the salesmen that I worked with- She would not go anywhere with him during the week because she watched 3 or 4 soaps in a row. He did not dare call her while they were on either. lol You two were pretty danged cute back then- not that you aren't now, you understand~ xo Diana

  3. What a wonderful story.
    You two look great together. I hope Jilda gets well and life goes on.
    I love to hear success stories and you two are on my list as one such couple.Congrats and may God Bless you always. :)

  4. Nice story, nice start for my day!

  5. Awwwwwww!!! Glad Odie had some lovely people around her so she'd not miss any episodes of her favourite soap!!Yay! take care

  6. HA my mom used to watch General Hospital all the time when I was little so I am familiar with Luke and Laura.

  7. Dear Rick, this story about Odie and Gene just tickled my funny bone. I so enjoy people who are eccentric. Long ago, my Aunt Dorothy was a real eccentric. She never married and she always found humor in the vicissitudes of life--up and downs no matter which brought forth laughter from her. So I can see you and Gene and JIlda laughing in the aisle at the wonder of the free spirit that was Odie. Peace.


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