The Circle Of Life………………#249 (the 90’s)

Parking entrance to Botanica – The Wichita Gardens

The Saturday Journeys to Wichita continuing,  the Buick accumulating 190 mile per week,  making new acquaintances from his Wichita Eagle Beacon social page and the Internet’s social networking ICQ.   Gary once again having meant and visited a new friend who had replied to the Eagle Beacon publication and was also a subscriber to ICQ , the two having got better acquainted via the computer.  Diane, an employee of Boeing in Wichita for the past twenty years shared many of Gary’s interest, the two deciding to spend  an evening together.  Gary arriving at Di’s residence in the evening hour,  his lady friend having packaged a basket of delectable’s and a bottle of wine.  Diane having made the plans, the two journeying to “Botanica, The Wichita Gardens” in the 700 block of Amidon St  for an evening of music, a concert in the pavilion club house performed by a young lady folksinger.  The two partaking of the folksingers presentation and later enjoyed venturing thru the lighted pathways of the Botanical Gardens,  the fragrant of the flowers and shrubbery presenting an aura of contentment.   The two discovering an area to sit and enjoy the serene surroundings including the comestibles of the basket and outdoor night sky.  The evening providing Gary with a repose from the doldrums of employment at the hospital and the confines of a small Kansas town,  the two enjoying the eventide.  The 90 mile return to Kiowa with the car windows down,  the cool Kansas night air bringing the wisp of the rural countryside,  its aroma, a bouquet of the farming habitat,  the livestock and the moisten wheat and alfalfa, all providing an ataractic ambiance journey.

Flash Cadillac with the Wichita Symphony

Concert Ticket

Gary reciprocating Diane’s Botanic outing the following week,  obtaining tickets for an entertaining evening at Wichita’s Century II,  a concert featuring a historic renown band from another era.    The Wichita Symphony endorsing with their presence,  Flash Cadillac,  a band organizing in 1969 as Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids.   An appearance on Dick Clark’s American Band Stand lead to opportunity,  participating in George Lucas’s movie  “American Graffiti”  as Herbie And The Heartbeats.   The band performing three soundtrack songs,  At The Hop,  Louis Louis and She’s so fine,  also providing sound track songs for Francis Ford Coppola’s   “Apocalypse Now”  and  appearing on the Johnny Carson’s  “Tonight Show”  and the TV hit series  “Happy Days”.   The Century II concert was a capacity event, Gary having a floor level table, center stage.   The band making the classical artist of the symphony perform in a new proclivity, challenging members to duplicate the riffs of rock-n-roll.   Gary suspicion were confirmed,  the classical musicians were up to the task,  even to the concert musicians,  music wasn’t just something you read and played,  it was a state of mind.  The latter part of program found an invitation for those in frontal section to dance below the stage,  Gary and Di participating,  taking advantage of their down front  table.   The evening performance concluded,  Gary returning Di to her residence, acknowledging his Sunday morning church calling, the Buick traversing south to Kiowa.

Welcome to the Sac-Fox Nation

Bob,  the X-Ray technician at the Kiowa Hospital,  the person whom transported Gary to Pratt when his colon ruptured  was somewhat of a braggadocio, proclaiming that he was never a loser when playing casino slots.  Declaring that he possessed an ability to communicate with the machine,  knowing when and which machine would pay off.   Gary found this hard to believe,  advocating  he and Bob pursue a trip to a casino  so Bob could affirm and confirm his ability.  Gary mentioned his endeavor to Di and she was interested in joining the two,  Gary asking if she had a friend who would be interested in meeting Bob.   Di confirmed that she had a friend Vicki that might be interested in a casino trip.   The journey commencing early Saturday morning,  as Bob related that his ability to communicate with the slot machines worked only in the morning before noon.   Gary directing the Buick to Wichita,  the two hospital employees  greeting Di and  making Vicki’s acquaintance,  then venturing southeast to the Sac & Fox Indian casino at Stroud Oklahoma,  Gary’s skepticism abounding.

The slot machine that talks

The four arriving at the Indian casino at 10:45 a.m.,  Gary not an avid slots person having $100 on his person,  willing to lose about $50 of it before halting his gambling effort.   Bob immediately started scouting the casino for a particular model slot machines,  the Red, White and Blue.   He tried several,  but shaking his head that the machine wasn’t responding to his beckoning.  It was 11:15,  Bob having failed to win but a token amount,  when he spotted a group of Red, White and Blue slots near the entrance,  approaching one inserting a hundred dollar bill, playing three dollars at a time, bingo, three sevens, the machine paying $240.    Bi-Pasting the next one,  but playing the machine beside it,  bingo again, another $240.   He walk around to the other side, finding another Red White & Blue and  another $240,  only this time the continuous sounding of the bells having drawn the attention of the security guard at the entrance.   Gary making a comment about being watched by security and mentioning that his luck was nil and he hadn’t won a dime.   Bob pointed to another Red, White and Blue, telling Gary to play it,  ” it would pay off”.   Gary starting to wonder how lucky one person could be, reluctant  but deciding to tap into his $50 dollar reserve, putting a twenty-dollar bill in,  when the three sevens appeared it was unbelievable,  Bob was right, the machine came through.  It was nearing 12:00 p.m.,  Bob noting the time saying it was about time to go,  Gary noticing that the security guard still watching them as they left the building a puzzled look on his face.  Di and Vicki buzzed with excitement over Bob’s demonstration,  Gary chalking Bob’s success to pure luck,  telling  the big winner that he qualified to pick up the lunch tab,  questioning him on how much he had won, Bob replying, somewhere between six and seven hundred dollars, Gary happy that he didn’t leave the casino his usual deposit, but for a change left with substantially more than when he entered.    The arrival in Wichita finding the four having lunch at Applebee’s,  a discussion on how to spend the rest of the afternoon was conversed, Gary remarking, there was a current film everyone was talking about starring Tom Hanks,  a movie that depicting the  reality of World War II,    “Saving Private Ryan”.    Di and Vicki didn’t seem too enthusiastic about seeing the feature, but didn’t have an alternative.  Gary thought the  movie was everything the critics proclaimed,  a very moving experience, especially to Di,  she was upset after seeing it.   Bob making light of  her reaction,  but backing off any more comments as her disposition turned aggressive and bitter.  Gary realizing that she was either a very emotional person or there was some hidden memory that the movie brought to the surface.   The two host returning the ladies to Di’s residence, satisfied they traversed back to Kiowa, concluding a very remarkable day.

Montana Parking

Bob’s Ford pickup truck license plates proclaimed it was from Montana, the Lab Tech not very open about his past.  His Price Apartments was sparsely furnished,  so it wasn’t surprising when one day he mentioned that he procured  another job in Blackwell Oklahoma and was moving on,  asking  Gary to help him move.   Gary agreeing,  the two loading the pickup with what little furniture he had,  asking if Gary would mind making the trip to Blackwell with him,  being told he had already had a small one bedroom rental with appliances.   The two arriving unloading the belongings,  Gary anxious to return as he hadn’t planned on spending the day when Bob made a startling statement,  “ I’m not returning to Kiowa”,  Gary saying okay, then Bob repeated it again adding the ever to not returning to Kiowa, Gary was stunned, questioning him  how he was going to get home.   Bob continuing to shock Gary handing him the keys to the Ford,  asking him to drive the pickup back to Kiowa,  park it somewhere in town, walk away leaving the keys in it.   Gary immediate reaction was disbelief, but responding with an Okay, no questioned asked.   Bidding his friend goodbye, it was all unsaid but suspicious, in all probability the pickup from Montana either didn’t belong to Bob or was being repossessed.  Gary keeping his promise, on arrival in Kiowa  finding himself nervous about what was to transpire.  Once in Kiowa, making sure he was not being watched, he decided to park the pickup across the street  from the park then stroll back to his apartment.  Surprisingly he was never questioned about Bob or heard anything about the discovery of an abandoned pickup with Montana tags,  his curiosity held in check, another questionable ending to a questionable event involving a questionable person, deciding.somethings are best left unanswered.

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