Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The dollar I never forgot...

Once upon a time, many moons ago...when I was 19 to be kinda exact, I had a weekend 'adventure'. At that time, I was newly arrived in Reno, Nevada, in the Air Force, a surgical technician and worked a second job (off base) in a hospital.

I soon became friends with a Paiute Indian girl who was a co-worker. She did me the honor of inviting me to her high school graduation to be held at the reservation school...4o miles away.
Since I had no car, the only way to get there was to hitch-hike (back in that day it was an 'acceptable' way for an airman to travel)...so I accepted.

Dressed in my summer uniform, I went and had a 'wonderful new experience'. As I had my thumb out, planning on hitching the 52 miles back to base, I looked at the road that intersected it and saw the 'Lake Tahoe' sign. Hm mm. I'd never been there saw I thought I'd check it out.
This was Saturday afternoon. By 5 AM Sunday morning my 'curiosity' and I ended up at the corner of Hollywood and Vine St. in Hollywood, California.

I was not one to plan ahead much, at that time, so I spent my last money buying a map so that I could find my way back to Stead AFB. By the time I got to the High Sierra mountains, my stomach thought my throat had been cut...I was hungry. With my thumb out again, a nice lady stopped and picked me up. I don't know why, maybe she heard my stomach rumble...but she asked me when I last ate.

I didn't want to lie,so I mumbled, "last night". She pulled out a dollar and gave it to me and told me to buy something when I got to an eating place. A dollar bought a lot more in the 50's than it does now. At first I didn't want to take it because I didn't know how I would repay it. But this is what she said, "Remember this dollar. If you find someone who needs help and you are able to help them, do it." That's why I remember my 'dollar story'. It's a gift I received that adds a new meaning to 'help'.

The End of John's "One Weekend in the 50's Story"