And then while I’m away, I’ll write home every day.
And then while I’m away, I’ll write home every day.–The Beatles, “All My Loving.”
The morning of October 29 had begun with a simple Facebook update for those who had joined us, virtually, on our journey home after our secret mission to secure the coveted Paul McCartney autograph on The Beatles themed piano.
“And we’re off to pick up the (hopefully really repaired this time) Habitat truck. We must give a huge shout out to East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity’s Eric Jones, a true ‘Rock Star’ in our Beatles autograph journey. Though all the vehicle breakdowns, piano transfers, late nights, skipped meals and all of the other crazy things that have happened along the way, he has been a true gem–cheery, determined, great sense of humor and ‘whatever it takes’ attitude. Bravo, Eric, for a job well done. We could not have done it without you! (Feel free to show him some love with a round of applause.) He doesn’t have Fb so I can’t tag him but we will show him the post.”
The mild mannered Habitat ReStore manager indeed had been a warrior throughout the journey. With the autograph secured and the Habitat truck still in the shop, his primary concern was making it home in time to enjoy Halloween festivities with his wife and children.
So when he learned that the repairs had not yet been completed, he became a bit disheartened.
When we originally had departed from Slidell, we had allowed one day to make the drive to Louisville, an overnight stay, securing the sig on Day Two and beginning the journey home the same night, with another overnight stay and the final few hours of the trip on Day Three, October 29.
But things don’t always go as planned, and we learned that we’d be hanging out a little longer in Kentucky. Alas, it was what it was.
Day Four began with another social media update for those who were still “with us” on our journey.
“So I once saw a riddle that asked, ‘Do you know the difference between a Yankee fairy tale and a southern fairy tale? A Yankee fairy tale begins with ‘Once Upon a Time’ and a southern fairy tale begins with, ‘Y’all ain’t gonna believe this sh*t’
“The past four days, we’ve been living in the latter of the two. A 10 hour trip that took 29 hours (one way,) a broken down Habitat truck (thrice), a last resort hotel stay in White House, TN for which a mechanic made a 2 am emergency repair call (yes, a White House mechanic ‘fixed’ the truck,) a substitute rental truck and piano transfer to make the deadline for the Sir Paul autograph, a surprise gift of sound check attendance and Row 10 tix to one fabulous concert, meeting the second of two Beatles in one week, securing the second, coveted autograph, attempting to make the journey back home only to find the nearest hotel was nearly two hours away due to a convention, finding a hotel at 2 am in the middle of nowhere, finishing the story at 5 am and sending to Slidell Magazine, catching a few hours of sleep then returning to the location at which the Habitat truck was left in the good hands of mechanics while we forged ahead.
“Days Three–waiting for parts, introduced to…wait for it…Hoe Cakes and Cooter Pie (which Eric Jones tells us was out of this world) at Cooters BBQ, and another hotel for our first full night of sleep. Yeehaw. Plus a quick store run to purchase a change of clothes, because we packed for two days, not five. And a very sweet phone call from one of the crew at the KFC Center in Louisville, in response to the email I had sent thanking them for all they had done to help us make this fairy tale a reality. She shared that she and her colleagues were quite inspired by hearing the whole story and our determination and the challenges along the way.
“Now we wait for the repaired truck and hope to head home tomorrow.
“It’s been a hard day’s night (after night after night) but for every step along the way, there has been a Beatles song or a Paul McCartney song to inject a little joy.
“We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Arts Club Band, we hope you have enjoyed the show…
“Yeah. You just can’t make this stuff up.
–with Debbie Crouch and Eric Jones”
To be continued.