Sand Lake, OR
”Now you can say you have a photo of a hillbilly from Michigan.”
He was the camp host at the State Park. I asked him to tell me a love story.
”I’ve got a boring love story. I’ve had two wives, and I met both of them at the same place: my mom’s house.”
This didn’t sound boring to me. We walked from Sand Lake back past his RV. He pushed a bicycle the same colour as his shirt.
”My mom ran a halfway house for women. Abused, runaways. The local police called it ’Shady Lane’. That’s where I met my first wife. She was 16. We were married for 38 years. While I was married to my first wife, I met my future second wife at a dinner party. After my first wife passed, I called up the other one. She was living in Oregon at the time. I asked, ’do you have a boyfriend?’. She said she was seeing someone. I said ”well, get rid of him, because I’m a’comin’. She did and we’ve been together ever since.”
I asked about kids. He said ”I’ve got 8 kids, 36 grandkids, and 27 great-grandchildren.”
”Wow, that’s a football team!”, I exclaimed.
”Well, where I come from, we play baseball…”
He walked me to the road and waved goodbye. It was a long walk under hot sun to climb the big sand dune over Cape Kiwanda, but the view of Pacific City at sunset was a wonderful reward.