Another View: Why my buddy was driving a motorcycle while holding a pigBy: Robin Enos & John Downs
Last week, while exchanging lies with Auburn’s self-appointed movers and shakers who meet weekday mornings at Depoe Bay Coffee to see who can out-filibuster whom, I overheard a millennial at the next table talking about her 500 Facebook friends. As a 19th century throwback I was stunned. How did she do that? In my entire 70 years I’ve collected maybe ten or twelve true friends and out of that number, six of those SOBs I don’t even like. And two of them don’t like me. Kathie Harris from Harris Industrial Gases tried to explain Facebook to me but when people attempt to explain online stuff it sounds like the adults on a Peanuts cartoon talking to Charlie Brown; “wa waaa wa wa wawa.” I just quit listening. It did get me thinking about what a real friend is. The guy or gal you work with and occasionally eat lunch with—not a friend. Thy guy you go to a football game with—probably not. The guy who calls and asks “are you busy and do you still have that pickup truck?”—definitely not a friend. Then there is a friend that you can confide in and be reasonably sure the information will go no further—probably a friend.
The next level up is a friend who knows stuff that could get you locked up in San Quentin for eight to ten. Unfortunately all my friends that achieved that plateau have died inexplicably violent deaths. One friend who avoided the purge was my first. Regular readers of this column may remember I was raised in a very rural setting surrounded by adults. I assumed I was one, too. I rarely saw a kid my age and when I ran into one I considered them to be dirty, snotty-nosed little cretins. In the years since I’ve discovered I had it backwards. It’s the adults who fit that description much better. Back to my first friend, one day Harold Snider came down to visit my dad and brought his little boy Eddie. Eddie and I, with one hand clutching our dads’ pant legs sized each other up suspiciously. I didn’t know whether I liked him or not. So I chucked a rock at him. Eddie replied with a bigger rock. From that sweet tender moment a bond was forged that has survived for nearly seven decades, maybe due to the fact that we both know too much and then there’s that statute-of-limitation thing.
Eddie and I have grown up to be respectable members of the community. But alas, it was not always so. I recall one event in the mid-sixties. Eddie had given a miniature pot bellied pig to a woman on Cold Springs Road in Placerville. Several weeks later he got a notion that the pig was being mistreated and decided to repossess the portly little critter. Eddie’s motives were pure but his plan was flawed. In the middle of the night he went over and purloined the pig but didn’t plan the escape well. He was pretty well liquored up. He was on a motorcycle and he had a squealing pig on his lap. A patrolling El Dorado county-mounty noticed the impending disaster and, being concerned for the porcine’s safety, took both into custody.
A couple of days later, standing before the bench in the Georgetown Courthouse, Eddie was asked: “Mr. Snider, you have been charged with drunk driving and stealing a pig. How do you plead?” Thinking the judge had a sense of humor, Eddie replied that he wasn’t stealing the pig but rescuing it and anyway he wasn’t driving—the pig was. Eddie claimed he was on the back reading the paper and drinking a martini. Eddie was wrong about the judge but he did set aside the pig thing. So why of all the stories I could tell do I tell this one? It’s paybacks for the time in 1968 when Eddie walked into the State Theatre where I was working as an usher needing to borrow gas money to drive to Reno and marry Stella. I loaned him seven bucks—all I had. That’s the last I saw of my seven bucks. Just so you know Ed, I ain’t forgot.
Can you believe it? It’s almost Christmas, my favorite time of the year, and maybe the elections were a close second this year—NOT! Ok, Newcastle’s Fourth Annual “Christmas in Newcastle’s Marshall Square” event is being assembled at a fever pitch! Thank goodness for the Newcastle citizens who have already stepped up to help and those who have already made donations. Come have a little supper and then some desserts like funnel cakes, cotton candy, kettle corn, S’more’s, Mandarins and much more, I’m going to have a bellyache by night’s end. Image Pathway will be open again with a night of craft making. There will be other vendors there with beautiful handcrafted Christmas gifts or just a gift for you. Newcastle Elementary School youngsters are returning to wow us with their beautiful voices. We’ll have other music to help fill in the rest of the evening. Santa Claus will come-a-ridin’ in on the Citizens of Newcastle’s Antique 1941 Van Pelt fire truck; and if that’s not enough Mr. Jim Homes, 3rd District Supervisor will do the honors again of our Christmas Tree lighting. Time Traveler, be sure that power switch is ready to light that tree up! Yes, Time Traveler and I have cleared our busy calendar to be there autographing our photos and posing for pictures. Our agent told us not to charge for photos or autographs. When I asked why he just laughed, turned and walked away. What’s that all about? The fun-filled event is on December 14th this year (annually on the second Wednesday of December) from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. And yes, located right in Newcastle, Capital of Auburn.