“Hands Off, My Man!”

Oh, she was cagey.

Before the attendees arrived, she slunk in and chose the seat at the back of the room, right next to Paul who, for all intents and purposes, was oblivious to her intentions. It was then I saw and heard her: “Oh, you look just like Roy Rogers (I explain who that is, below, for the younger set). Even more remarkable, she leaned in while she said it and stroked his arm, slowly, in upward motion.

All I could think was: “You brazen hussy.”

In the time Before Covid (BC) and before Paul’s Alzheimer’s (BA), Paul would accompany me on talks before audiences, where I introduced folks to our 2 children’s books “Grandpa and the Truck.”

The books had a crazy birth story. We’d begun writing them when he was recovering from his broken neck in Asheville, North Carolina…you know, after the 12-year-old driving the GMC truck plowed into him, on a mountain road. That alone was crazy since he’d driven all over the United States for 30 years, in his big rig, singled out in his industry, winning national awards for safety and professionalism.  All that experience didn’t help him that day.

I wrote the stories; we hired an illustrator; she designed the lay-out and interfaced with Createspace, the self-publishing arm of Amazon.

And because Paul is the namesake and hero of the books (Grandpa), whenever I spoke on these books, he dressed for the occasion in western hat and boots, a crisp colorful shirt, trucker belt buckle and jeans. In other words, he wore his trucker “uniform.”

He sat in the back of the halls, whereas I went to the front to set up my easel to display pictures, banners, and hook up sound equipment, etc. So, audience arrivals didn’t necessarily suspect we were a couple.

Our crowds were mostly older women with a sprinkling of men, grandparents who might want an appropriate gift for grandchildren. Or they came to hear a good story. Books about a cross-country trucker’s adventures, as he traveled across America, were sure-fire crowd favorites.

And because the older crowd is reflective of reality where there are far more women than men, a handsome older guy, nicely dressed, on his own power (no wheelchair, cane or oxygen) becomes a much sought-after target.

So, what did I do when I heard her obvious come-on to Paul?

I turned and said “Well, that must make me Dale Evans.”

Now recognizing our relationship, she quickly dropped her hand (and her coquettish ways) and slunk off to the refreshment table.

We laugh about it to this day. To see and hear excerpts of our books, go to http://www.grandpaandthetruck.com/.

***P.S. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were a husband/wife, cowboy/cowgirl team who sang for America’s audiences in the 50’s.

P.P.S. We don’t sing.

#RoyRogers #DaleEvans #Alzheimer’s #GrandpaAndTheTruck #KidsTruckerStories



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