THE OLD MAN AND THE RIVER VIII

6/3/2022     

Joe was always reserved because he spent the vast majority of his adult life locked and protected in a cockpit, far removed from any major human interactions. Bill had similar reservations but remembered those occasions where mechanical malfunctions had forced him to the side of the road in foreign lands. On nearly all occasions, a Good Samaritan had stopped and lent assistance without financial gain to get Bill back on track. It was time to repay this debt. “Turn around and see what they want,” Bill instructed Joe. The pilot analyzed the situation and turned the steering wheel 180° towards the beached craft. There were 3 people on the shore next to a 26′ pleasure boat that failed to live up to its name. “Can you give us a lift to Wabasha? Our boat broke down,” exclaimed the extrovert male named Gary. His wife christened: Deb, were of an early retirement age and in tow was a female, German foreign exchange student named Hitlerina. Not really, but the 2 old men in the GUPPY were of 1950’s vintage and grew up in a world teaming with racism, so she inherited her namesake. A quick introduction to all parties involved and the 5 some headed upriver. Enroute, Gary asked their destination as Bill gave information of their current goal. “We left La Crosse around noon today and will try and find a motel and restaurant in Wabasha for the night.” Exuberant Gary responded quickly, “the both of you are staying at our house tonight, and I’m cooking beef tips with sautéed vegetables and a surprise dessert. Turn into that marina up ahead on the left and park your boat in my slip for the night.” Joe and Bill looked at each other in amazement. Here was a couple offering 2 strangers an invite into their lives and home that would relieve them of an hour’s worth of research and hundreds of dollars of cost. With Gary and Deb’s insistence, the 2 guests agreed. Hitlerina faded from this tale. With the boat secured they all walked to their beautiful, new home. 

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