Those Were the Days: Any Town, USA Senior Moments


This occasion could have and probably already has happened in almost any town, including Pampa, Texas. As you know, I am now in my mid 80’s and my columns talk about what has happened in the good old past. Just imagine as you read this, this could have taken place in Pampa and, let’s say, White Deer. I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent!

This story had its beginning around twenty-five years ago when I was shopping for my wife’s Christmas gift. I walked into this jewelry store and was greeted by this attractive saleslady. Now this lady was born with the ‘gift of gab’ and one of those rare persons who knew her products, knew how to present them, and of course, was number one in sales.

Well sir, I’m telling you, before I left that jewelry store, I had bought a very expensive ring, a watch, a necklace, and a rare sculpture! Not only that, I knew I had a new friend named Nancy and I could go to her anytime I needed to buy any jewelry, crystal, china, etc.

Of course, Jon loved the gifts and I had to tell her about Nancy and to make a long story short…today she and her husband, Jake, are some of our best friends. This interesting couple lives in a small town, population 5,500 and a twenty-minute drive north of Bryan. They both have jobs in College Station, and we get together for dinner quite often. I’ve been their insurance agent for twenty-five years!

A few weeks ago, on a Friday, the phone rings at my office and it was Nancy. I can tell from her voice that she is very upset as she tells me that someone has broken into their garage during the night and stolen their new Audi. Now, this auto was Jake’s pride and joy. Nancy explained that they had immediately reported the theft to the local police. I assured her that we would buy Jake another new Audi if the auto wasn’t recovered. I reported the theft to the insurance company and wrote myself a reminder to check with the couple every other day on any progress that hopefully would transpire.

I never got a chance to call them, but instead, Nancy called me two days later and said the Audi had been found with no damages and would I please tell the insurance company to close their file. I tried to get the details of what happened, but Nancy giggled and said, “Let’s meet for dinner this evening and I’ll tell you ‘The Rest of The Story!’ I knew immediately that Jon and I were going to thoroughly enjoy the evening because NOBODY can tell a story better than Nancy!

Dinner time came and we greet our friends outside a restaurant in College Station. I noticed that Jake is rather reserved and quiet, but I didn’t think much about it at the time. I just thought perhaps he was embarrassed about having his auto stolen right out of his garage…which is only ten feet from their house.

We finish our meal and order our after-dinner coffee and settle back for Nancy’s story. She takes ‘center stage’ and begins:

“We shall call this story ‘THE SAGA OF THE MISSING AUDI.’ I must first set the stage. In case you are not aware, Jake and I have a routine that we follow each morning before we go to work. We have our breakfast while checking the headlines of the newspaper. We then get dressed and I leave for work while Jake walks two blocks downtown to the post office where he picks up the daily mail, visits with the ‘locals;’ then walks a few blocks, but always stopping at the fire station to hear any stories they may have to tell; then, he heads for home. At 10:00 a.m., he is in his Audi and headed to College Station for work which begins at 11:00a.m.” (Jake is age 70 and works to keep from getting bored.)

“Now the fateful FRIDAY morning arrives. It was misting rain and I was running late and in a big hurry. Jake had already left for the post office. I hopped in my auto and headed out and it did not register that the Audi was missing. Jake picked up the mail, chatted with a few folks, and since the misting rain had stopped, he started on his walk around town. He stayed with this morning routine until he entered the garage to get in his Audi to drive into College Station…and OOPS, there was no Audi! He calls the police, which were only two blocks away and across from the post office. They arrive at our home two minutes later and begin their investigation. They fill out their report, search for breaking and entering…took fingerprints with the help of their special dusting power…ask a million questions, and assured Jake that they will find his auto.

“On SATURDAY: Jake and I do not do our routine on the weekends; but he did call the police station to check on his Audi. No leads. Jake mourns the loss of his Audi!”

“SUNDAY: Jake calls the police station and they tell him his auto is probably on its way to Mexico. Jake again mourns the loss of his Audi!”

“MONDAY: It’s routine time, breakfast, newspaper, and I leave for work, Jake walks to the post office…enters the post office…picks up the mail…greets various local folks who ask about his stolen auto…walks outside…skims through the mail…was about to step off the curb to continue his morning walk, when it registers with him that he is standing in front of his new Audi…PARKED AT THE CURB! Jake blinks; his mind is racing…. Sha-zam! His memory is suddenly restored! “Friday I drove my auto to the post office because it was misting rain! And here it sits. I am one lucky dog…”

“Back at home, I am about to leave for work when the phone rings and the lady from the post office says, ‘Nancy, Jake ask me to call you to bring his set of Audi keys to him.’ I began laughing, figuring out what had happened. I pick up the keys and head down to the post office…which, remember is ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE POLICE STATION. As I drove up to the auto, Jake was standing there looking at his automobile and shaking his head back and forth…I could read his thoughts… ‘I can’t believe I forgot about parking my Audi here!’ I rolled my window down and before I could say a word, Jake pointed a finger at me and said, ‘DON’T YOU SAY ONE WORD!’ Putting on my best serious face, which was very hard to do, I simply held up the keys, which he took, and I left for work.”

“The weeks following, many of our neighbors and friends would see Jake working in the yard and would slowly drive by as they said their hellos…and then ask if he had lost his Audi lately!”

After the laughter died down at our table, we all began talking at once; each of us having similar situations that had happened to us in the past. It was a great evening with our friends.

Jake, you were a good sport taking our kidding and I know you will agree with me…we are all guilty of having those “SENIOR MOMENTS.”

Ah, these are the days...