Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 19 June 2012 11:30
If you do road trips by yourself and want to ease the boredom, I have just the idea for you to make the trips seem much shorter.
When I mentioned last week that I was driving to Iowa the next day and it was going to be eight hours in the car, Shelley suggested I check out a couple of audio books from the library.
I remembered the time we drove to Atlanta in 1998 and rented “Into Thin Air” at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. You could drop them off at another restaurant, which made it easy and smart on their part.
Back to my original thought. I was surprised at how many audio books our local library has available. The one that first caught my attention was the “Best Game Ever,” which was about the 1958 NFL Championship game between the Giants and the Colts. I actually watched that game at the age of 12, so I wanted to hear about it again. I also picked up a John Grisham book, “The Firm,” for the trip back.
The “Best Game Ever” was extremely interesting. The big names I remembered from back then—Unitas, Berry, Lipscomb, Grier, Rote, Gifford, Huff and more all came to life again. First disk one, then two…then five. Holy cow! I just passed Ames, Iowa, and worse than holy cow, I’m out of gas and the next town is 12 miles up the road.
I checked my Distance to Empty indicator and it is on 0. I hadn’t seen that number before.
Now I’m sweating. Then I’m driving 40 mph to save gas consumption. The exit for the next town comes and no gas stations visible. OK, keep driving. Now the semis are racing by and honking at me.
Finally, I pull into Story City and roll up to the first gas pump I see. My tank holds 17 gallons of gas and I had less than one gallon left.
The book was that good. The best part was about Raymond Berry. If you are a kid and wanting to be great, you have to listen to this book.
The amount of preparation Berry put into becoming a great football player is like nothing I have ever heard. He even studied the field conditions to see where he could take advantage of the opposition by making a cut on good turf and the opponent would have a good chance of slipping and falling. In his professional career, he fumbled just one time.
OK, it happened with the second book, too. On the way home I almost ran out gas again in southern Missouri. This time, though, I had a little more than a gallon left in the tank. No problem.
I hate to admit this, but the second book was very confusing. It seemed like the story was all jumbled. It would play Track 1, then 5, then 9, then 4, etc. Then I realized I had hit a button that made the CD play the cuts in random order. When I hit the random button again, the tracks played in order.
After I had listened to all of the disks with the random thing going on, I listened again to the first disk in the correct order. It all made sense and everything sounded very familiar.
Weather added more insult to the trip this past Thursday night. The blinding wind and rain started about 25 miles from home and continued the rest of the way.
But what a light show. The lightning was terrific.
If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.