In honor of my father’s birthday, I’m going to tell you guys the Waco Texas story, which still makes me laugh to this day. In December 1986 two major events happened in my family. First, I graduated from CMU – Central Michigan University (Fire up Chips!), and second, my older brother (the one two years older than me) got married.
Because of the dual big events, and the fact that my father is a great distance driver, my parents decided to take their time and drive up from San Antonio Texas to Mount Pleasant Michigan. Back then, they owned a mini-van, and on that trip my mother decided to lie down in the back while my father drove the first shift. After several hours of driving, my father stopped for gas at a station in Waco. Before he got out of the van he asked my mother if she had to use the bathroom or wanted anything from the store. “No,” she said, and continued resting. So he filled up the tank, bought a few things at the store, and hit the road again.
He drove another hour and a half, started getting drowsy, and called back to my mother for her to take a turn behind the wheel. She didn’t answer. He called to her again. No answer. He shouted her name, but still my mother remained silent. Finally he pulled over, stormed to the back of the van, and snatched the door open. “Didn’t you hear me calling—“He glared at the empty spot. “Ohhhh no.”
I was at my apartment cleaning for their arrival when I received a call from my father. “Sharon, have you talked to your mother?”
Mind you, this was before cell phones were in existence. So you can imagine how disturbing it was for me to receive such a call. “What do you mean?” I said. “She’s with you.”
I heard stress in my father’s voice, and pictured him pacing on the other end of the line. “I think I left your mother in Waco.”
He told me the story, jumped back in the mini-van, and back-tracked 1.5 hours to the gas station where he had last stopped. Sure enough, there was mom. No purse, no money, no nothing. Needless to say, their adventure made for a lively discussion all the way to Michigan.