Thursday, January 27, 2011
Call Me the Matchmaker
The first time I worked the Kodiak, AK rodeo, back in the 70's, the busy fishing port was home to the lucrative Alaskan crab fleet, successful shrimpers, and a big salmon seiner fleet. The town was awash in money and high-liners timbered the bar regularly, you could spend a whole night in the saloon without ever buying a drink. Saturday night my pal Ozzie, a native of the Nebraska sandhills who had become a crabber, and I made our way down to "The Harvester Inn", flamboyant Jim Fisk's drinking and eating establishment on the outskirts of town. After wearing out our welcome in that spot we decided to head back to the city center. On exiting the bar we noticed an empty taxi just sitting there idling. Always concerned about wasting resources, we put the vehicle to immediate use, drove it downtown and left it parked on the street with the keys in the ignition. I never gave the matter much thought.
A couple of years later I was standing at the bar in that same "Harvester Inn". A gentleman approached and set his beer beside mine on the bar. "I believe I know you", he said. "I'm pretty sure that you're the guy that stole my cab outside the bar here two years ago".
"Gee", I answered, "I really don't think that could possibly be the case."
"Well, there's not much to be done about it now, I don't guess", he responded, "I just want to tell you what happened after you ran off with the cab. When I went out there and saw the thing was gone, I just said ,'Hell', and went back into the bar and ordered a drink. As I was standing there figuring out my next move this gorgeous young lady walked up and we got to talking. She gave me a ride back to town and we started going out together. Three months ago we got married. She's the finest girl I've ever known and the greatest thing that ever happened to me. If you hadn't run off with my taxi I'd probably never have met her. I just wanted to thank you for stealing that cab. Funny the way things work out some times, ain't it?"
I was very happy to hear this story and bought the fellow a drink. Wish I could have met his wife.