Last Monday had been a warm day in Florence and continued warm as I drove down Hwy 101 until just a few miles north of Bandon. There I entered heavy fog and the temps dropped. Bandon by the sea, had become Bandon in the fog.
I arrived about 5 p.m. and my PowerPoint presentation at the Bandon Public Library didn’t begin until 7. It would be about my book (Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges), the bridges, and some of the old-timer’s stories that are intertwined throughout the book. I had arrived early so that I could cruise around town taking photos for next week’s blog about my favorite places in Bandon.
Earlier in the day, I’d worked on my presentation. I’ve given it about three dozen times, and I was ready to make changes in both edit and photos. The night before, I’d made the edit changes but needed to check them and do the photo changes on the PowerPoint. It would be the first time to use my new MacBook Pro in a presentation. I had planned to use Dick Smith’s VGA adapter to connect with my projector, but his MacBook, being a few years old, used an adapter that didn’t work with my new MacBook. At first, I was going to order one online, but there were so many options, I didn’t know which to get. So I went over to Eugene to The Mac Store and got the correct one.
So armed with my new adapter, I hooked up the projector and laptop. No problem. This new laptop has PowerPoint––not just a preview version like I had on my old laptop, but the whole shebang. Before, I couldn’t make any changes to the photos. Now, I can do anything––the possibilities are mind boggling.
At first, I was confused by the “presenter view,” which shows much more than what is shown on the screen. I didn’t look up; so I didn’t figure that out for awhile. I simply wasted time trying to get rid of everything except the photo. When I finally did look over at the refrigerator (my at home projection screen), and realized that the photo was the only thing the viewing audience was seeing, I was amazed. Mind boggling!
Now I could make my changes. I added and deleted photos and changed the order of some. I had wanted to do this for ages, but couldn’t. I have to say that it’s very liberating. Now I control the PowerPoint; it no longer controls my presentations. After getting it the way I wanted, I did a run through and timed it. Perfect! It had taken much longer than I’d thought, but now I was ready.
I had just enough time to eat a quick lunch, change, load up the car, and take off. It takes almost two hours to get to Bandon from where I live north of Florence.
So far the day had gone pretty much to plan, until I got to Bandon . . .
I pulled in at the shopping center on the northern edge of town. I stopped to get a photo of Tiffany’s Drug, which has one of the largest wine selections on the Oregon coast. Who’d a thunk it! I learned about it years ago and did a story for Northwest Travel magazine. So I got out to take a photo and upon returning realized I had locked my keys inside. I could see them clearly. What a sinking feeling, and what an inauspicious beginning to my big night in Bandon. Fortunately, I had time to deal with it.
I’ve had my reliable Camry for 14 years. It’s from before the era of talking back and forth to your car. I can’t click a button and have my car beep, burp, and unlock. So I checked my purse for my extra key and couldn’t find it. Hmm! Years ago I had hidden a key on the car, and about seven years ago had the opportunity to use it. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was or if it would even still be there. It might have fallen off. It was a key holder attached by Velcro up under my back cowling—you know, the non-metal non-bumper on many of today’s cars.
I was wearing my good black slacks, the kind that show everything, but I got down on my knees and reached up where I thought it should be. Your fingers have to become very flexible to maneuver around in there. I thought I felt it and with a little more probing, I did. It was gritty, totally covered with caked on dirt, but it was there. Hallelujah! But it sure didn’t want to come loose. I pried and pried, first with one hand and then the other. The Velcro had developed a death grip. Finally, I got it out, scrapped off the dirt, and opened it to find a very oxidized, very old-looking key. I kissed it!
From my vantage point on the ground, I noticed feet heading my way. This was a busy parking lot at this time of day. A male voice asked, “Do you need any help there, ma’am?” I looked up and showed him the key packet and told him I was going to be just fine.
I got up, unlocked the door, and did a single-person high five. Just then an SUV pulled up and the driver leaned out and said, “I locked myself out just a week ago, but it was easier for me. My spare’s in my wallet.” Then he wished me a good day and went on his way.
So did I. And without further mishap, I got photos of five more favorite places around town. Then I arrived at the library with a half-hour to spare––just enough time to eat my lunch type dinner that I’d packed.
The ladies I was to meet at 6 p.m. were right on time, and the set up was easy. I sailed through my newly revised program with a very savvy volunteer clicker. The only problem was at the beginning with a persistent rumble in the sound system. Since we couldn’t get rid of it, we turned it off, and I projected my voice a bit more forcefully.
There was quite a crowd—at least 25 to 30. A little old lady in the back row, kept me on track by raising a hand to her ear whenever she had trouble hearing.
The question-and- answer period had one person who told me I had my facts wrong about when the I.L. Patterson Bridge in Gold Beach was dedicated. I knew I was correct when I said it was completed in 1931 with the dedication in 1932, but I didn’t argue with him when he was certain that it was 1935 or ‘36. I didn’t back down either. I just did my usual “Hmm!” and went on to the next question.
I sold a number of books and signed each one. Friends of mine from Bandon were in the crowd and had brought me a beautiful bouquet of sweet peas. So it turned out to be quite a lovely evening. While we were packing up, Mike Claassen, who is running for mayor of Bandon, bought a book and was very complimentary. As we were chatting, I told him about my adventure with my keys earlier in the evening. I ended by saying that I’d found a sure-fire way to meet men in his town—just lock your keys in your car! He walked off into the fog chuckling. . . . Just another foggy night in Bandon town.
TO BUY JUDY’S FIRST BOOK
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or email@example.com. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society; in Made in Oregon stores throughout the state; and more and more bookstores, libraries, and museums in western Oregon.
JUDY’S SECOND BOOK DUE EARLY DECEMBER
The second book Oregon’s Coastal Bridges––A guide to the most impressive spans––will cover 15 bridges and have at least one color and one historic photo for each bridge. The cost will be $10 + $3 shipping. This book will also be published through Pacific Publishing.
The half-hour interview with Dr. Veronica Esagui for the “Author’s Forum” program on public access TV in the Portland Metro area ended it’s two-week run June 1-14, 2012, but can be seen on YouTube in two parts: Google Judy Fleagle YouTube.
September 29, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Florence––2nd Annual Florence Festival of Books–an authors and publishers fair held at the Florence Events Center (715 Quince Street, 1 block east of Highway 101). I’ll be there.
October 13, 11 a.m. Oregon City––The historic Arch Bridge designed by McCullough reopens in Oregon City on the weekend of October 13–14. I have been asked to be part of the festivities and will be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Museum of the Oregon Territory on Saturday. The actual bridge reopening celebration will be on Sunday, and I’ll be there too.