By Jack Hackley
My Army reunion this year was in Branson. Since my wife Laura wasn’t doing too well, I decided to get up early Saturday morning, drive to Branson, visit with my buddies, go to a show with them, and later attend the banquet, then drive back the two hundred miles to Oak Grove. Which I did.
On the way to Branson, my instructions were to turn left off Highway 65 onto Highway 76 to get to the motel. However, I naturally made a wrong turn somewhere and got lost. I stopped at a Visitor’s Center and said, “I am hopelessly lost.” The guy sitting at the desk said, “Not any more.” And sure enough, he gave me a map with easy directions.
Our Army group is closer than most. After Advanced Infantry Training, we were designated a “Carrier Company” and were never separated for the next 19 months. One of my buddies Ralph Chrisler from western Kansas, told me had retired two weeks ago. Although he is 79, I asked him why he retired and he said, “They struck oil on my farm.” He was the only one in the group hoping gas would go up in price.
We attended a fabulous show together and saw Alan Jackson, Johnny Mathis, Bette Midler, the Blue Brothers and an Elvis impersonator.
Our catered banquet for our small group was great, and over the objections of all my buddies I headed back to Oak Grove in the dark, which included rain and fog. After about a hundred miles, I got to thinking about what a comedian in Branson had said when he was caught in a similar situation. He pulled off and got a motel that had a big sign saying “Adult Motel”. He said that suited him fine since he didn’t like kids anyhow. Only thing wrong, all the mirrors were on the ceiling. He asked the question “Have you ever tried shaving laying down?” And then he said he brushed his teeth and almost drowned.
Well I didn’t pull off the road and get a room, but I might as well have stayed in Branson that night because at my age, it took me two days to recover.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or firstname.lastname@example.org