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Mom and I stopped to eat in Pistol River, a town with historical significance, although I can't remember it now. Something about a very bloody fight with Indians.
Moving on, I had to climb up a 700-foot summit near Cape Sebastian. Close to the top there were lots of sheep grazing. They had either gotten loose from a ranch, or the hillside was part of the ranch. I didn't see any fences. I was glad for the signs along the coast of Oregon. They made good reading, since I was interested in how the state had come to be. And the trivial little facts when taken together gave me a fairly complete understanding. If to no one else, they were of interest to me.
We crossed the Rogue River and moved northward. My feet and lower legs were sore. The shoes I had worn through most of California had frayed to the point of pain. I had had to change them that morning, or at least one of them. Only one of the shoes was really bad. The other was still usable. So I put on one of the original shoes I had stuffed in the back of the car and one of the second pair. Not surprisingly, I ended up with what felt like shin splints or a cracking bone. It was hard to run. I had planned on buying a new pair of shoes somewhere; now I knew I would have to. And soon! I walked a ways to the campground that night because of the pain. But when it became dark I started to run fast. I found the campground not long after that. It was not until we reached Coos Bay that we found a sporting-goods store where I could buy some shoes. Mom had been there earlier in the day and had talked to the salesman, telling him about our trip. Apparently that is not all she talked about, because when I got to the store there was a photographer waiting. I had told Mom that I did not care to publicize my trip. I really didn't have a reason for this; only that I am on the shy side when it comes to talking about myself. But I guess that cannot be all true. This story is witness to that.
I consented to have my picture taken. And the story had already been filed, because Mom had blabbed everything. But I forgave her, admitting that it was exciting.
After the pictures were taken I talked to the photographer, Jimi Lott. He used to live down in San Diego, so we soon had a good conversation going. Plus I was a budding photo nut, so photography was the leading topic. As luck would have it, the shop had the type of shoes I wanted but not the size. Mom had overlooked that specification. I wanted the make of shoe I had been wearing through most of California. I wanted them bad enough to wait till I found some, pain or no pain. In the weeks to come I realized that I had made a mistake not buying another type. I never found what I wanted. In Oregon I continued to run in my mismatched pair.
We decided to take the next day off. We would wait and see how the article in the paper came out. It was a good alibi for our pestering consciences.
The next morning I went back to the mall to shop and wait for the paper to come out. Just before noon I saw boys hawking papers. I bought one and quickly turned to the sports section. There, smack on the front page, was a picture of me sitting on the sidewalk in my worn shoes. This was the first time I had had my picture in the paper, so I was proud. And the story wasn't bad, either, save for the few little mistakes that would matter to no one but myself. For the rest of the afternoon I strolled around town, half hoping someone would recognize me, and stop me and ask me questions. But it didn't happen. I don't even think the man sitting across the other side of the mall, who would look at me occasionally, realized that I was the person he was reading about in his newspaper.
Mom bought 10 papers to send to people and to keep, and then, while taking a picture of the sunset I bumped into Jimi Lott. I went over to his house and met his family. And of course we talked photography. He even let me slip an ultra-wide-angle lens on my camera and use it for a few shots. Then it was back "home." Salad for dinner, dreams for sleep.
On the way out of the Coos Bay area a couple of people recognized me from the newspaper and honked as they passed. I felt good about that; it was much nicer than having people yelling idiocies like "Run, run, run!" I will never understand why people do it. They must be extremely jealous. And there are an awful lot of jealous people around. I wish I had a dime for every one of them that I encountered; I would probably be a rich man.
Near Yachats I was nearly killed. I was running on the left side of the road, as usual. Suddenly a flashy-looking car came ripping down on me from behind. I didn't hear it till it was within a few feet. The jerk honked to scare me—and succeeded. His bumper was only inches from my legs. I quickly realized what he was doing—passing a car. But he went far over to the left purposely trying to frighten me. He came close to murder. The second he, or she, passed I yelled a line of obscenities going his way. I meant every word and sure hope he heard. The driver of the car that had been passed looked at me, and his face expressed terror. I had been scared many times so far, but not like that. Jackass!