diary of a mad
househusband

08 july 2000

 

 risks we took

The question came up in the Canada and Friends Forum about risks we took in our younger years that we wouldn't repeat, now that we're older and wiser. Modesty-challenged as I am, I was the first to confess to having unprotected sex with someone I had just met. That's a risk I'm not likely to repeat! But as the discussion progressed, someone else's recollection of being a passenger in a fast car with the pedal to the metal reminded me of a risk I wouldn't mind repeating, were it only possible:

In 1967, when my first wife What's'ername (she who told me, so many years ago, with that logic that was hers and hers alone: "I'm leaving you--get out!") and I were living in Denver, we rode with some friends up the 26 mile toll road to Boulder to attend a concert.

The performer was Josh White, whom What's'ername claimed to have known when she was a folksinger in New York long before me. He recognized her; I guess that claim was true.

The performance was superb, and we wanted to stay for the second set, but our friends wanted to go back to Denver after the first. What's'ername brazenly asked White if he'd be kind enough to take us home, and to my shock, he graciously agreed.

The second set was, if anything, better than the first (though he turned down What's'ername's request for Strange Fruit, to her chagrin). Little did I know that it was still the opening act; the real performance was about to begin.

White's post-concert roadie work consisted in its entirety of putting his guitar in its case, and we were outta there to his rental car. What's'ername took the back seat; I rode shotgun.

I don't remember for sure whether it was a Shelby Cobra Mustang or a Boss 302. It doesn't matter; the steed was adequate to the task. Explaining only that "I want to try to catch a friend of mine who's playing in Denver," Josh White drove.

He drove the 26 miles of the toll road in thirteen minutes flat-- and stopped to pay the toll. You do the math.

It turned out that his friend was actually playing in Aurora. That meant not a limited access road like the toll road, but East Colfax, with its traffic lights and other cars more respectful of the 40mph speed limit, for another dozen or so miles. We probably averaged 80 on that stretch.

Josh White's friend was Dorothy Donegan. As these brief sound clips hint, she was worth the effort, worth the risk, worth the ride.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

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