#353––The eyes have it and so do the eggs . . .

 “The Eyes Have It,” is the theme of Backstreet Gallery’s 2022 Community Challenge show, which is a take off on “The ayes have it!” heard at many a business meeting.

The Eyes Have It Community Challenge

If you’re interested in entering The Eyes Have It Community Challenge, now is the time to let the creative juices flow. Now is the time to think about some form of art where “the eyes” are all important. It can be any media––a painting, a collage, a clay sculpture, an assemblage, or something I can’t even contemplate. All submissions are due October 25 at Backstreet Gallery. And will be on exhibit at the Gallery from November 1 through December 3. Go to www.BackstreetGallery.org and click on Events and then Click on The Eyes Have It Community Challenge to find the rules for entry and an application.

These shows always have great community participation with amazingly creative pieces of art and are among our most popular events. A reception will be held at the Gallery on November 12 to honor those who entered and to pass out the ribbons to those who won 1st, 2nd,  and 3rd  placements.

Then I got to playing around with the words “The Eyes Have It” and before I knew it, I was saying, “The eggs have it,” and thinking of Easter eggs with big eyes. . . . Then I remembered two situations where eggs really were the major players.

1933 Montana

Grandma all dressed up and standing in front of the Willys Knight that Dad got to drive occasionally.

To set the stage, this was about 1933 on a remote ranch in Montana where it was a 12-mile drive along a dirt road to town, Melstone. Don’t know what the population was in 1933, but today it’s around 300 and the streets are still unpaved. This story is true, and my Dad loved telling it. Here it is in his own words as I recorded them and then put in the book, Chuck & Jean, the Interesting Years.

“Dad didn’t drive much, and he always had problems with the stick shift. So, he had me do the drivin’ on this trip in the old Willys Knight. I was only 14 and knew how to drive, but had hardly ever driven this car.

Although the road was muddy, we did fine until we got to the Musselshell River. We came around the bend, and saw a car sittin’ right in the middle of the narrow two-lane road on our end of the bridge. They were lookin’ at all the water comin’ down the river.

I shifted down to get better slowin’, and about that time Dad got excited and put his foot on what he thought was the brake. Instead, he hit the accelerator. We roared up on the bridge, hit the other car on the front fender and rode right up over it. Then it was like slow motion as our car just tipped over on one side and then over again until it was restin’ on its top with the hood hangin’ out over the rushin’ water. It only took a minute to figure out that we weren’t hurt. We climbed out very carefully, so as not to rock the car into the river. The people in the other car got out too. Except for their fender, they had no other damage. With their help we were able to turn our car upright.

I remember Grandpa as a man of few words and not being too fond of kids. This is the only photo I have of him. We were visiting from Washington, which we did every couple of yers. This was the late 1940s and they had a well out front, an outhouse out back, and used kerosene lanterns for light and a wood stove to cook on. It was a tough, difficult place to live, but as kids, we loved visiting.

It looked in pretty good shape, but in the process of uprighting the car, we put a fence stave right through one of the windows. After it was back on its wheels, the old Willys Knight started right up. So, we continued on to town. The top was a kind of cloth, and as we drove along. I could look through holes that weren’t there before. The car started overheating because we had lost a lot of the water and oil while it was upside down. Thank goodness, we didn’t have far to go. When we got to town, the first thing we did was to get more water and oil.

After taking care of the car. Dad turned to me and said, ‘Charlie, what do ya think we oughta do with all those eggs?’

We normally traded eggs for groceries; eggs were worth 10 cents a dozen then. You can imagine our surprise when we opened the crate in the trunk and not a single egg of the 30 dozen was broken. So, we went on to the grocery store just like always.”

I always loved that story, and Dad always got a big kick out of telling it.

1948 Washington

This next egg story, also true, also involves an accident involving a car.

We lived on the outskirts of Vancouver, Washington, on Fourth Plain Boulevard. It was a busy street even then. We lived near an intersection with a not-nearly-so-busy cross street. On the corner across the cross street was a grocery store

When I was somewhere around 6 ½ to 7 years old, my sister, Edna, who was about 4, and I walked to the store to get eggs for my Mom. We probably crossed at the corner where a stop sign and crosswalk would have been located. We bought the eggs, and headed home. We came out of the store and for some reason, I didn’t go to the corner to cross. We jay-walked. I told Edna she could run to the yellow line in the middle. About that time, a neighbor directly across from us waved. I don’t know if Edna saw her or not, but she didn’t stop at the yellow line. She kept going and collided with a car coming around the corner.

My brother Harry, me, and my sister Edna. I was the oldest and they were only 11 months apart and like two peas in a pod. So much alike! According to my sister, I was the serious one, always taking care of things. In this photo, I’m about 6 1/2 to7 and Harry is about 5 and Edna 4 or close to that..

Before I knew it, there she was lying in the street. I got to her about the same time as the neighbor. She seemed dazed and her lip was bleeding, and she kept trying to get up. But the neighbor made her stay put. Edna doesn’t remember much after being hit. She does remember the ambulance, and that’s about it.

While the neighbor stayed with her, I ran to get Mom. I clutched the eggs as I ran across the corner lot to our house, which was adjacent to it. A new Dairy Queen was in the beginning stages of construction with piles of lumber and equipment filling the lot. Mom and I made it back to the scene of the accident in record time, while navigating a route through the construction site. Apparently, Mom went with Edna in the ambulance. Neither Edna nor I can remember.

I’m sure there were bruises and soreness, but the only lasting reminder was a scar on Edna’s lip. She was very lucky; it could have been so much worse. I felt guilty for years, thinking it was my fault for not crossing at the corner. And I totally don’t remember what happened after Mom and I got back to the accident scene. I don’t remember the ambulance at all. What I do remember, is walking back to the house alone, still clutching a carton with a dozen eggs. And none of them were broken.

In each situation, the eggs were the reason for the trip. In each situation, there was a car accident involved, and no one was seriously hurt. And in each situation, no eggs were broken. I didn’t realize the similarities until I was saying––“The eggs have it!”––and these two stories popped into my mind.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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1 Response to #353––The eyes have it and so do the eggs . . .

  1. Phyllis Bright says:

    Cute stories!

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