By eight o’clock after more back slapping and laughter I said my goodbyes and was back on the road headed south toward Saginaw and with any luck, home before nightfall … continued
A lot of cars passed by heading north; men wearing bow ties women with their pill box hats, kids in the back seat heading into town I supposed for chuch since it was Sunday.
Then I got lucky.
Two guys with a gutted 10 point buck strapped to the roof of their car drove me all the way into Saginaw down M-52 past the Outpost (where I paid for foot long hot dogs), past Deer Haven where for years my parents stopped to let us pet the tame does with their fawns looking just like Bambi which I thought was pretty ironic since I was passing by with a dead gutted deer on the roof of the car.
When we passed those huge Victorian style homes in Saginaw with all that fancy scroll work built by the lumber barons who strip cut the ancient pines along the AuSable River during the mid 1800s to build Chicago … the same wood that fueled the flames of Great Chicago Fire in 1871 … I remembered the time we were stopped at the same traffic light five years prior coming home from summer vacation when our weimeriner dog named Gray leaped out of the open window just as the light turned green in pursuit of the car next to us containing a big black dog that barked at her while we waited at the light.
Traffic wasn’t heavy and we got her back unharmed but not until she gave up after a good half mile when the driver with the black dog realized what was happening and sped away.
That incident became one of those cherished family stories told, retold and laughed about not just when passing that same spot but whenever one of us became nostalgic and wanted to share the laughter one more time.