I know that I am not alone in this. I can’t tell you how many times I will stop and look back at something I either said or did and then think to myself, “Boy was that stupid!”
Just for fun I thought I would share with you my top three big ones that I still shake my head about today.
Growing up in Dodge City, Kansas my girlfriends and I would sometimes get bored night after night of ‘dragging Earp’ (Highway 50 through town is called Wyatt Earp Blvd.) So we started looking around for something else to do that would be a little more exciting. That’s when we discovered the large high-rise parking garage located downtown on First Street.
We never did any harm. Honestly. It was empty of any cars since it was after business hours for the employees that used it. And we would never even think of vandalizing anything. However, on the roof top level, we found a new game in town. We JUMPED the span of a few feet between the parking garage and the telephone company building that was standing almost side-by-side! From the roof of the telephone company we could observe traffic on Earp, anyone coming or going out of the Dodge Theater that was over on the next block or just lay there and check out the thousands of stars above us on a summer night. We felt we were so cool and bad.
One night though, my best friend Jan Hoover (married name Stevens now) froze with fear at the edge of the first building. She looked down the couple of stories high from the ledge of where she stood to the pavement below. I had already jumped over and was walking over to my favorite observation spot when I heard her say –
“I can’t do it Vic!”
“Oh, come on! You’ve made it before, haven’t you? This ain’t your first rodeo!”
“I can’t! I gonna go back down to the car and wait for you there!”
“Oh for crying out loud! Just a minute”. . . I curse as I jump back across the span to the parking garage roof where Jan stood stiff as a statue.
“It’s not that far Baby Hoover (my nickname for my cherished friend). You can make it” . . . I say calmly as I move over closer beside her . . . and then I yelled “JUMP!” as I gave her a huge shove!
She made it. Arms and legs were thrashing and grapping air like a cartoon character suspended in midair briefly before dropping off a cliff or something.
“Boy, was that stupid!”
Another big one for me was the time I ruined my truck’s engine. I used to love to get away and go on trail rides with just me and my horse Cheyenne. On this particular one we were on a ranch down around the Medicine Lodge area of southcentral Kansas.
I didn’t like to tether Cheyenne out all night on a staked ring in the ground or keep her tied to the trailer somehow. So I camped away from the other riders by a barbed wire fence. I pulled my truck and trailer parallel to the fence and then kinda jackknifed it to form a small holding area for Cheyenne. I then tied a rope from the fence to the open gate on the trailer on the south side and another rope on the north side of the enclosure from the fence to the grill of my truck. Wah-lah! Problem solved.
I crawled into my ‘good-to-thirty-below’ sleeping bag in the bed of the truck and went fast asleep. I was pooped after a long day of riding through the beautiful Gyp Hills. The next morning, I decided I better head back to my family so I loaded everything up and took off for home that was four hours away.
Several miles down the dirt road, I noticed steam boiling out from under the hood and a terrible knocking noise! “Rats! Now what?” I got out and misdiagnosed the problem as something to do with the radiator or something. So I added water in the reservoir and took back out westbound and down. That didn’t help! It was really getting hot! Very, very hot! Not knowing what to do, I found a spot where I could turn around and started retracing my path back to the trail ride area to see if anyone was still there. Nope. Not a soul around. They were all out somewhere in the boondocks on the back of their horses.
I had no cell phone service so I could call Bear and ask him what to do. In desperation I pull out again and started cutting through the country on various back roads trying to nurse my dying truck just a little closer to home. I didn’t make it. The engine seized up. I was dead in the water. I had ruined my truck in my haste to try to get home.
“Boy, was that stupid!”
And finally here is my number one biggest goof. When I was a senior in high school, my Aunt Dee Kvasnicka who lived in Wichita at the time called me one evening at my parents’ home in Dodge City.
“Hi Vicki?” (My birth name at that time before I legally changed it to Victoria after accepting the LORD).
“This is your Aunt Dee in Wichita.”
“Oh, hello! It has been a while since I have seen you or Uncle Chuck.”
“Yes, that’s true. Say, I wanted to see if you would like to go with me to Kemper Arena in Kansas City to see in concert . . . ELVIS PRESLEY!”
Awkward silence on my end. Remember that I am a know it all eighteen year old that was more into Fleetwood Mac, The Moody Blues, or even Pink Floyd. All I could envision was a very heavy set old has-been performer stuffed into a tight jumpsuit, singing and sweating to ‘a hunk, a hunk of burning love’.
“Um, that is so nice of you Aunt Dee, but I’m sorry I am going to have to decline . . . “
That was May of 1976.
Elvis died the next year in August of 1977.
“Boy, was that stupid Victoria!”