Catching up with old friends

Trip Start Feb 12, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Where I stayed
Natural High RV Park

Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Friday, September 22, 2006

From Cape Cod we drove up past Boston to Lebanon, ME to visit with a former classmate of mine who lives just a couple of miles from there in Rollinsford, NH. The funny thing was that the park in Lebanon where we stayed, turned out to be only about mile from the stables where Gretchen keeps her horse 'Rebel' (really quite the wrong name for him, since he's so calm and easy).

Gretchen had retired from American Airlines about 3 years earlier and had taken up, and fallen in love with, horseback riding. I met with her at the stables and met several of her friends there. Then, I picked up Terry and we all went to lunch together. After that, most of them came to the RV park to check out our RV.

Another night, I went to her house for dinner. Her husband Doug was really nice and he did most of the cooking of our delicious meal. We had a great evening, chatting and catching up, etc. At that time, she was only the second classmate that I've been in touch with since leaving St. Mags. She gave me a list of our classmates addresses so I might be able to contact some of them as we travel around.

Next we drove SW to the little town of Fitzwilliam, NH, almost to the Massachusetts border, where another friend, Brian Luddy, lives and sells antiques. Brian was one of Terry's teenage friends back in White Plains.

One night, back then, remained infamous to all of us. It was winter, with more snow expected and I was going to meet friends in an area that I didn't know too well. My car was a Jaguar sedan that didn't have very good windshield wipers, so I let Terry take my Jag and I took the Ford station wagon.

Brian, another friend Dennis and Terry went bowling. On the way home, about 1:00 am, Terry was actually not driving fast, so he was in the slow right lane. Unfortunately, water had run down the hill next to the road and frozen on the highway, creating black ice. When he hit it, the Jag spun out (luckily, no traffic) and he was almost completely back in control, when the rear wheel caught the snow piled on the center meridian and flipped the car! It rolled and scraped across the other side of the highway (3 lanes) and landed right-side up, facing back the other way.

When they first started to skid, they had braced themselves (remember, back then, no seat belts) and while in motion, the only door that opened was where their bowling balls were and they fell out, so the boys weren't hit by 16 pound balls in their cases as they flipped over!

They got out to check out the damage and collect the balls. Miraculously, all three of them hardly had a scratch on them. That Jag was built like a tank! However, both front and back windshields were gone, the sides and top were squished from the normal round-ish shape to rather flat square shaped.

About that time, a homeward bound tow-truck drove by and stopped to help. He pulled the car out of the snow bank and was getting ready to tow them when Terry said he wanted to try to start the engine (the hood and trunk areas weren't damaged). Sure enough, it started right up, so they landed up driving home....shaking badly, both from the cold coming in the open windshield and from the damaged alignment.

I came home about 30 minutes after he did, and out of habit, pulled in the driveway towards where I usually parked the Jag in the garage. As I turned off the headlights, I did one of those..."did I really see what I think I saw"? So I walked to the garage and flipped on the light and almost immediately flipped it back off and ran into the house, straight to Terry's room. My first question was if anyone was hurt, then when he said no, I wanted to kill him! He had wrecked my wonderful Jaguar!
The purpose of telling that story was because when we later went out to dinner with Brian, he joked that he would be doing the driving! We went to a lovely restaurant across the border into Mass. and had a fun evening catching up.
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