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Stories of three Lu Lus

We all make mistakes. Perhaps I can alleviate some of your misgivings about mistakes you have made by telling you about a few made by my friend, Ron.

l No. 1:

Ron was in the ninth grade at East Junior. One of his best friends, Charlie, phoned him and invited him to a party at his home the next Friday.

When Ron arrived, there was loud music, some of the class’ nicest girls, and dancing. However, Ron saw his good friend Bob sitting quietly by himself. He looked a bit forlorn. Ron asked him what was on his mind. Bob said he was quite sad because he was leaving Warren to live with his dad in Akron.

What a surprise that was! Ron immediately sprang up and turned off the 45 RPM record player. “Attention everybody!” he said. “I just learned that our good friend, Bob here, is moving to Akron, and we should take this opportunity to wish him a fond farewell.”

Ron’s announcement was met with dead silence. Then, friend Charlie pulled him aside and quietly said, “Ron, this party I’m giving is Bob’s going-away party.”

l No. 2:

Ron had just gotten out of the Army and was working in sales at Thomas Strip Steel in Warren. His phone rang and on the other end was his old college buddy, Pete. He said he was in Canfield at his sister’s house, and invited Ron to join him, his sister, and her husband for dinner at 7:30.

Ron was off work at 5 p.m. He went home, showered and dressed, and sat down in his easy chair. He knew if he left at 6:45, he could make it in plenty of time. He fell asleep and didn’t waken until 7:15! Then and there he knew he would be quite late.

It was snowing hard when he got into his car, but away he went as rapidly as he dared. There’s a long hill on Route 45 this side of Ellsworth and a big semi was halfway up the hill at a dead stop with its drive wheels churning on the snow and ice. Several cars had pulled to the side of the road to assist.

At the time, it was the highway department’s practice to have barrels of sand and gravel alongside the road on steep grades. Those who had stopped were shoveling the mixture under the drive wheels of the semi.

Oh, boy! Here’s his excuse! He could tell his dinner hosts he was late because he had stopped to help the semi that was stuck on the hill going into Ellsworth. He rehearsed a little under his breath.

Since he had pretty good traction himself, he began to pull around the semi, but not before a snow-tired white Buick that had been behind him pulled around and disappeared in the swirling snow.

Ron arrived at Pete’s sister’s more than a half hour late. However, he explained his well-rehearsed reason for being late. He told of how he had gotten out of his car and helped shovel sand and gravel under the wheels of a semi stuck on the hill going into Ellsworth.

Pete’s brother-in-law asked him, “Were you driving a black Pontiac?” Ron said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, I was driving that white Buick that went around you.”

l No. 3:

Charlie (a different Charlie) called Ron and asked him if he would join him and his mom for dinner to meet their new minister.

On the way over Ron ruminated over some possible intelligent questions he could ask the minister, especially if there was a lull in conversation. He finally settled on what I (oops! I mean he) thought would be a good one to spring on the minister and tucked it into the back of his mind.

During the dinner, the minister told of his family and, particularly, told us of his daughter’s beautiful wedding.

Then, there was a bit of a lull. Now was his chance! Ron could now spring that intelligent question he had so carefully prepared for a time like this:

“Tell me, sir, do you have any children?”

Mumford, of Warren, is a community columnist. Write him at columns@tribtoday.com