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Friday, February 27, 2009

HOM: Wards

I got a job at Monkey . . . err . . . MONTGOMERY ... Ward shortly after we hit Kalispell. Bob Pohl was driving the delivery truck and they put me on with him as a trainee. Not too many memories left from those days, and no chrono order, so I'll just dump them in here as I recall them. I brown-bagged my lunches to save money. Bob usually ate in a restaurant, so I usually spent my lunch hour curled up in the truck with a book. The Park Inn was at the corner of Main & Idaho then, about where the DQ is now, and was one of Bob's favorite eating spots. The Inn had a daily lunch special for $1.50 and that was his usual order. I already mentioned what happened the day he offered to buy lunch for me there, but I'll run it by again. He derided my lunch and offered to buy a "good meal" for me too. When we went in, he ordered two specials. I asked him what the special was, and he said it didn't matter -- you couldn't go wrong for the price. When the waitress flopped down two platters of fried liver he found out you could go wrong. . . We went back out to the truck and I offered him one of the sandwiches he'd made fun out of my brown bag lunch. He said no, paused, then helped himself to one. Speaking of the Park Inn -- their cinnamon rolls were bigger than dinner plates. Gordon & I stopped in for coffee and he ordered one for me. I asked him why he wasn't getting one and he just shook his head. When the waitress dropped the cake-sized roll on the table in front of me, he laughed -- he'd known what was coming. We split it... Bob. Later on he moved into the sales floor and they hired Tim Hill as a driver/warehouseman. We worked part time in the warehouse and part time as drivers, with us alternating a week at each. The warehouse was across the street on 5th from the High School and its old location is now a parking lot. Mark Mains worked as the helper on the truck and in the store. I used to laugh at Mark because he was afraid of dogs. When we stopped at a house and no one was there for the delivery, we would leave a note on the door. Sometimes we stopped and asked directions. Mark, as the helper, was the one that was elected to do the door knocking. We stopped in front of a house in Whitefish and Mark sauntered up the long driveway to see if we had the right place. A few seconds later, he came back down to the truck as fast as his long legs could carry him, went air-born, landed on the seat and slammed the door, all in one move. All he could pant was "Dog ... Dog!" Yep, here it came -- a big old black lab, tail wagging and wanting to play.... I gave Mark a pretty hard time over that. So -- a few weeks later we were up in the Coram area making a delivery. When I drove in, I saw a sign that said "Beware of dog" but ignored it. When I drove up in front of the house the garage doors were open and it looked like no one was home. When I opened the door to get out and go knock, a BIG German Shepherd walked out of the garage and half way to the truck and stopped. He did not bark, did not snarl, did not wag his tail, but just stared at me. I closed the door . . . Mark called me chicken that time, and he was right. I read the body language on that pup as "Make my day," and I didn't want to! I blew the horn and waited, but nobody came out and the dog didn't budge so I filled out the "Nobody was home..." slip for the door and handed it to Mark. He handed it right back. I thought about it a minute, then dropped the slip out the door, telling Mark "Too bad the wind blew that off the door." TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)