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  • After dropping out during my second semester at Flo Valley, I had finally landed a job “on the hill” and was to start work Monday morning. Dad called Thursday night to ask me to go with him to Salt Lake City to retrieve a car. He had co-signed a loan with a young man who had been staying with them and the guy left the state with the car. Dad was having to make the loan payments and was getting angry when the guy wouldn’t return his calls.

    So Dad gathered the papers he needed to prove ownership, bought two bus tickets and away we went. The journey out there was 26 hours. I’m not sure how many times we stopped, but it was usually in a small crossroads town and only for five minutes. Long enough for me to smoke a cigarette as there was no smoking on the bus.

    Dad was able to drift off to sleep, but I could only catch a few uneasy winks. When we arrived at Salt Lake City neither of us felt very fresh. We asked for directions to and found the police station. We didn’t want to break any laws so we asked them to go with us.

    They refused saying they couldn’t go unless there were laws being broken or a serious threat was involved. I didn’t want to say anything, but I thought my Dad was a serious threat because the nearer we got to our goal the angrier he became. We ended up going it alone and walking the ten city blocks.

    Now if you’ve never been to Salt Lake City, you would think ten blocks - half a mile. Right? Wrong. Each block was at least an eighth of a mile long. So the ten blocks carrying our belongings was about a mile and a quarter.

    When we finally got to the apartment complex Dad didn’t hesitate. He always was a fast walker and I had to hurry to keep up. He knocked on the door and I moved up behind his right shoulder – like hired muscle…all I needed was a bent over nose.

    The door opened and I thought the guy was going to faint. He turned ashen as Dad said, “Keys!” with his palm held out. He turned and grabbed the keys off the bar and as he put them in Dad’s hand said,”It’s not running”. Dad just gave him “the stare”.

    We turned around and walked out to the car. It wouldn’t start so, as this was way before cell phones, we walked to a gas station and called AAA. They came and towed it and us to a nearby garage. The mechanic found the problem and had us running in about an hour. All told, we spent about four hours in Salt Lake City before we started back home. After all that Dad wanted a drink, but as Utah was a dry state, we had to wait until we crossed the state line and had dinner.

    We decided not to wait after dinner but with the aid of No-Doz to drive straight through the night. Somewhere in Kansas the next morning I got pulled over for a speeding ticket. The State Patrolman only gave me a warning ticket. Seems the oversized tires the guy had put on the car gave me an incorrect readout on my speedometer. Oh, I knew I was speeding! Just not by how much.

    We made it back home by Saturday night and I don’t remember Sunday. I believe I went to bed Saturday night and slept through ‘til Monday morning when I started my new job. That No-Doz worked, but boy did I crash and burn when it wore off.

    Oh yeah. Dad was able to sell the car to a neighbor that week!
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