Well, one day, a college buddy calls up and says he and his bride are driving East to visit. “Great!” I say, but when they arrive I’m caught in a fix because that night two runaway 17 year-old girls from Dauphne, Alabama are crashing at my place. I had to entertain Rocky and his bride and I had to safeguard two kids. That night we would have to all crash at my place, some on air mattresses, some just on the floor. But I announced a better plan: It’s Friday night; No work tomorrow; Let’s get in Rocky’s car and head down the Jersey Shore for the weekend and rent a motel room.
Entertaining Rocky included buying some beer. Well, I got lost trying to find Ship Bottom. Worse, while we’re lost driving down U.S. 9, Rocky’s car breaks down. The first car that pulled over wasn’t much help – a station wagon filled with an immigrant family from New York, also lost. The second car was a police car. “Oh, Oh; we’ve got beer; there are two underage missing persons in the car; this could be big trouble.” But Nancy to the rescue! Nancy, Rocky’s bride, was all straight A’s in college and pretty midwesternish straight-laced generally. She gets out of the car, even before the cop gets out of his car (you could do that in those days), and tells the cop – almost exactly – what’s happening. The cop never looks into the car, never checks anyone’s IDs, and Nancy comes back announcing that the cop was extremely helpful, knew of a car repair place just across the street from a beach-front motel in Ship Bottom, and had used his police radio to call a tow for us. Not Lost Anymore.
Turned out to be a totally rainy weekend. We shot a lot of pool. Enough that Nancy earned the moniker “Minnesota Slim” with the locals. On the way home, in our repaired car, we nicknamed the town “Shipwreck,” and I got us into Philly on the back streets. Ended up on Rising Sun Avenue. And that’s how everything turned out. The two girls reconnected with their parents, who were so grateful that I was invited to stop in the next time I was passing through Dauphne. All these travels and adventures, Granby Colorado, Miami Beach Florida, Berkeley California, Voyage House and Shipwreck New Jersey, led to my introducing the Youth Works legislation once I got elected to the Minnesota Legislature, but again that’s another story.
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