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Worth About a Dollar


In September of 2008, I purposely put myself in the path of Hurricane Ike in Houston. I detail most of it here. The long and the short of it was my elderly Father had surgery earlier in the week and was still confined to the hospital and my Mom was with him. They were quite concerned as they should have been and welcomed my presence and assistance prior to Ike’s landfall.  A reprise of the episode from my blog entry:

Late on September 12th, 2008 I had the unfortunate opportunity to be present when Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas and swept over Houston. My elderly dad underwent hip replacement surgery earlier in the week and my parents did not feel comfortable with the hurricane so I went down there to help. I got them all squared away in the hospital and stayed until they locked the facility down at noon. I rode Ike out in a hotel a few blocks away. The next day I checked on my parents and all was well. They were probably in the safest, best prepared place in Houston to deal with the aftermath of the storm and the hospital was going to stay locked down for at least 2 more days so my work was done. I left Houston and headed north on the heels of the storm. I did not see a single fuel stop open or a single light burning for the first 100 miles. Ike had devastated the infrastructure in that area and on to the north.

Our jobsite at the time was in an extremely rural area about 175 miles north of Houston and I arrived there with 60mph winds still blowing. No electricity and no water since we were on a well. Taking stock, I had 60 gallons of propane and 40 gallons of fresh water. The refrigerator and pantry were well stocked — well stocked to bachelor standards! Lots of frozen dinners and fix quick foods. I estimated I could do fine for 7 days and could even stretch it to 10 days with little trouble. The power was restored 6 days later.

John Quincy Adams $1 coin

I went to the parking garage and got my Suburban and prepared to depart. I paid for the parking in a self service kiosk and received a John Quincy Adams dollar coin as change. Just another odd occurrence during the course of an odd week. I had never seen one of the $1 Presidential coins before and have not seen one since. Maybe I need to get out more.

I put the coin in the console tray of the Suburban for the next few weeks and it just bothered me. I couldn’t spend it, I couldn’t put it in the big glass change jar that is called the “Ranger the Wonder Dog College Fund” and I couldn’t put it away. It constituted a direct link to a memory that was neither good nor bad but just the fact I got it as a parting shot before fleeing Ike, I thought it had special significance. So I drilled a hole in the top of JQ Adam’s head and put a keyring through it and hung him on the carabiner D ring that keeps my wad o’ keys together. Sort of a rough and rude guy thing to do but it satisfied the nagging need to do something whenever I thought about the coin laying in the console.

9 months later, I was getting out of the Suburban at the Newton County job and discovered JQ Adams was missing from the wad o’ keys. I knew what had happened…. somewhere along the way when I had hooked or unhooked the carabiner from my belt loop JQ Adams had gotten cross-ways of the process and fell to the ground unnoticed. Well dammitt all!  I searched high and low. Down between the seats of the Suburban where all the McD French Fries go to turn into little stick mummies, on the ground and in al the likely spots inside the Old Girl. I was not successful. Well , hell it was only a $1 coin like about a bazillion others I told myself. No biggie. Yah, that is what I told myself.

And then…. And then, just about a week before we were getting ready to leave Newton County I was out in front of the Old Girl working on some equipment. The area in front of the RV at Newton was like a train switching yard or La Guardia or Grand Central Station. A constant stream of in transit traffic; trucks coming and going, utility vehicles speeding by like buzzing insects and dozers chewing up the ground. So I was out there and it was like a laser beam hit me

JQ Adams rediscovered

right square in the eye. I looked down at the ground and JQ Adams was just laying there –almost a year after he had disappeared. Picking him up, there was obvious evidence of the wear and tear he had experienced over the last year.  The spooky part is we were scheduled to complete the driveway that ran in front of the Old Girl — where JQ Adams had been living – the next day.  6″ of fill was going to be added and JQ Adams would have been buried forever more.

The re-discovery of JQ Adams leaves me even more perplexed.  Is he indeed some sort of talisman?  Is there some sort of underlying meaning that I feel but I do not understand?  I mean, I got up this morning and walked straight into the kitchen area of the Old Girl and lifted the wad o’ keys off the hook where they reside and looked right at JQ Adams knowing I had to write a blog post about this odd association ; what is up with that? — I just don’t know. I wish I was smart enough to figure it out.

End Note: Willie and Lauramae Jones by Shelby Lynne from the Just A Little Lovin’ album. Shelby Lynne jumped right into the middle of Trashville a few years back and made that ripple that so many good lookin’  blonds with a set of pipes have done before. Instead of hanging on and doing that fake Trashville thing she bailed out and decided to be a true performer. This is a remake of a Tony Joe White song and she sure does get that swamp funk right. Some say Emmy Lou Harris has the purest voice in country music; this gal gives her a run for the money.

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1 comment to Worth About a Dollar……

  • Now Quincy resides above Tuco’s bed. Maybe that’s why she’s such a Good dog!

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