By Bob Spiwak
Bob Cram, his daughter Robin Hall, her husband, Tim, and brother Doug were all in residence at the family manse last week. Bob had called a few days earlier urging Rick LeDuc and me to take him golfing at the new Gamble Sands course outside Brewster — “before I am gone,” he laughed. Bob recently turned 88, and aside from hearing loss is the same upbeat and funny guy we have loved for years.
Last Friday night brought on the second cow-car encounter of the past month. These are Black Angus and needless to say, hard to see in the night. The first one destroyed the car that hit it, and the bovine was upside down and quite dead on the roadside. The latest casualty, as we get the story from an observer, was hit by a car, and we don’t know if that was fatal because a second vehicle then ran over the creature. A neighbor said he saw a stock truck shortly after and heard the sound of horse nickering and clacking hooves on the road. I’ve no idea of the cow’s whereabouts.
Ms. Gloria did a review of the range laws in Washington and it is the responsibility of the attacking vehicle in the event of collisions such as these on any open range area. She also checked the law in Idaho, which apparently has even more lax conditions whereby almost any domestic animal collision on the range area is the driver’s fault. This includes sheep, goats, swine and others I don’t remember. The moral here is that when the cows are coming out of the hills in the autumn, slow down at night — way down if you see a dark or black object however far ahead. It can be an expensive steak you can’t even eat, or baaaad lamb chops in Idaho.
On Sunday, Dee Dee dog and I drove up to Washington Pass to check out the turning colors of the larch trees. It was quite surprising to see a line of cars parked in the wide parking area just above the horseshoe curve. I did not count them but guess at seven, all with people out of them, and it seemed there was at least one dog per car in the entourage. Apparently this group of a dozen or more people and canines were going for a walk.
As I prepared to leave and was lighting a cigarette in the car, Leahe Swayze came up to the window and asked if I had to go all the way up there to smoke. Ha ha. She was accompanied by a Mazama part-timer, Seattleite Tom Hinckley, a retired professor of plant physiology.
The high point of the year for me came at the Evergreen IGA grocery, where I was introduced to “pay it forward,” a concept I had not heard of that was recently popularized at some Starbucks stores.
There was a woman about my age ahead of me at the checkout and I fumbled for my wallet, only to discover I did not have it. The woman reopened her purse and told the checker she would cover it. I insisted I could not let her do that, but she was already handing over the money — $17. I reluctantly accepted her generosity and asked her name. “Pat” was all she offered. What’s the last name? I asked. She shook her head. I asked the address to send her a check, explaining I was not going to stalk her. She laughed and walked out with her package.
I apologize for not getting the name of the woman who checked us out, who was most helpful and seemed not at all surprised at the departing woman’s action. “Pay it forward,” she said in response to my inquiry, means that I could return the favor to an unknown person if I came across a similar situation.
I thank you both, ladies. My Cheerios never tasted better.