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Old September 9, 2007   #6
Buffalo-Niagara Tomato TasteFest™ Co-Founder
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Niagara Frontier
Posts: 922

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. ....

I just awoke briefly... musta had a nightmare about ET...

ET! Phone home!!

First, a little story til I'm fully awake and post more, but let me say that the event got off to a scary start for me...

Hour One, 11:50AM...The Departure

I had a special award made for a friend of mine... his name is Ernest J. Topor. Around here, he's known as "E.T." Without his help, I wouldn't have a big garden every year... he's much of my legwork... he's my weeder... lifter... carrier...he even does some planting. Lots of bending and lifting & stuff like that that I can't always do because of my physical limitations (leg/back/carpal & cubital tunnel, etc.)

Ernie is a retired fireman. He's in his mid 60's and still very energetic. He is a little "slow" upstairs as some may say... maybe been that way, maybe work related injury, maybe beginning of Alzheimers... I don't know. He's a "born again Christian" but is past the stage of pushing religion on you but occasionally will throw out a Bible quote in the middle of doing something in the garden. He's kinda like my own version of Ben Quisenberry, but not as tomato-knowledgeable. He sometimes brings up Crockett from the Victory Garden PBS series, or Mel Bartholomew.

He is a very quiet, passive, timid man. He enjoys gardening. He runs errands for me & helps a lot here. He's married for 20+ years, to a woman that has a "couple screws loose upstairs" if I may say so. She is much younger than him...she has a jealousy about him coming over here... it takes away from her time of him catering to her every demand... their preplanned weekly schedule with no spontaneity. It seems like the only excitement he has is, picking out of a hat, from a premade list of places to take her to dinner every Friday or lunch every Wednesday. But I digress...

He had to get permission to come to the tastefest party--it actually took me going over there and pleading. I actually invited both of them. She declined. He met me at my house at the correct time, he's always prompt.

He got in the truck and then said he has to be home by 3-3:30pm! I thought this would be a difficult demand to meet so said for him to follow me with his car. OK, problem solved... he could leave when he wanted, and it was only a 20 minute drive.

Anyway, I had to stop for gas on the way. ET got out of his car and waited for me near my truck while I was filling it. He asked if we were ready & I said yes, and what does he do? He gets in my truck instead of his car! I asked him if he was forgetting anything and he drew a blank. I said "You got your own car!" and he did one of those Oh-Duh's laughing.

On the Thruway, he seemed too dropping a long distance behind me. When we got to the toll bridge, he was in a different lane (I was going to pay his toll.) He ended up actually getting ahead of me, I had to catch up and get in front of him because the exit was just a few hundred yards away. Somebody else got between us.

I got off the exit and where was ET? Nowhere to be found! I pulled over for a few minutes but nothing. I proceeded to Remy's and met up with Hilde, who had a cell phone. I tried remembering ET's cell # but it wasn't correct. My 80yr old Mother doesn't answer the phone here, so tried calling my neighbor to go next door, get my phone, and go thru the redial list or phonebook in it to get ET's #. I got my neighbor's answering machine.

Hilde gave me her phone and her map atlas. I went looking for ET. I must have driven all over the island but no sign of ET. I proceeded back to the party, worried where ET was. After an hour or 2 my neighbor called and got my phone and directed him how to use it to find ET's number. I called it and what happens? VOICEMAIL! He didn't even have the phone on!

Anyway, I did my best to have fun, all the while worrying what happened to ET. I was going to take the award over & personally deliver it, but had to stop & give my Mom her bedtime pills first... I called ET's home #, also a cell phone, and got voicemail! Then I called his cell # and after about 8 rings he answered.

I asked what happened and where he got off the highway and he said he didn't remember. He said he asked about 6 people where the tomato tastefest party was but nobody heard of it. He said he even went to the Police but they knew nothing. He said he got home around 3pm... his wife was mad he got lost--I don't know if mad at him or at me. I told him he won an award and he couldn't believe it, almost overjoyed. I asked if he wanted me to bring it over & he said he has to go... he will get it the next time he sees me... whenever she will let him come over again..........
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