photo © 2009 Emran Kassim | more info (via: Wylio)
I love Henderson, Kentucky, and its annual Tri-Fest that starts tomorrow. As I pulled into town tonight to teach a Facebook class at the Henderson County Public Library, they were beginning to set up. Cool! They have great food, rides, and more, in their historic downtown district. I parked across the street from the library and went in to prepare.
My classes are taught with my Facebook profile live, on big screen, with my own News Feed.
Just over halfway through the 2-hour class, a Henderson friend posted, “The police just towed all the cars off South Main Street for the Tri-Fest.”
I had parked on South Main Street.
So I excused myself and went across the street. My car was gone. When I tried to ask the festival workers where my car was, my Spanish wasn’t good enough to communicate. So I returned to my class.
“Is your car there?” The class asked.
“Do you need to end class to find it?”
“No. We have 40 minutes left. I can find my car then. If I can teach through an earthquake, a flash flood, and a storm that rips the front door off a building, I can teach through a towed car.”
I didn’t tell them that if I could hitch-hike alone through a thunderstorm in Ireland 25 years ago, survive a near-death hemorrhage during a pregnancy 15 years ago, and rebuild a burned out business 10 years ago, a towed car in Henderson was something I knew would have a happy ending. Somehow. The only thing to do was laugh about it.
This could be an example of Facebook problem solving for my class. I posted that my car was towed during my class, telling the class in the time that remained we would see if Facebook would help me solve my problem. Then we went back to our objectives list to keep going.
Friends posted phone numbers of who to call. I answered conversations while we kept on our to do list. Friends, both in Evansville and Henderson, offered me rides if needed. My friends Jo Ann and Joann both gave invaluable help. My phone started ringing with friends asking me if I needed a ride.
A grandmother taking the class posted on her own wall that my car had gotten towed. Her grandson commented, “WTF?” When she asked me what WTF stood for, I suggested she ask her grandson as I wasn’t going to say it in class.
After the class was over, I called the first number, a towing company who said they had towed nothing. Then I called the police. They had posted in the paper they would tow cars but acknowledged they had posted no signage that out-of-state visitors would see. They asked me what my car was.
“Blue. With 4 doors.” We just bought my car last month, and I was so rattled I could remember neither the make nor the model.
So I called my husband, who had just read my Facebook saga. “What’s my car?”
“No. All I can remember is it’s blue with 4 doors.”
“You can teach any kind of computer class and don’t know your own car?”
“Nope. Not when I just taught a class for 40 minutes after it happened.”
“It’s a Mazda 626.” So I told the Henderson City Police, they told me who had towed it and gave me an address. They said there would be no fine.
A librarian offered to drive me to it, though the address didn’t match Google’s. We drove to the address given, and it was a crop production business. When I called the police, they insisted they gave me the right address and we were lost.
Then Nibby Priest, a dear friend who lives in Henderson, called me. He gave us the correct address, called the towing company, and they said they would have it waiting for me. As we struggled to find the towing company, he talked us by way of speaker phone through the neighborhood for the right house with the tow truck with my car on it.
Another librarian called me various times as we searched for my car, and she met us at the tow truck to make sure I was able to get my car and journey home. I was never so happy to drive to my home sweet home.
Lessons from tonight?
- Even when bad things happen, good friends can help you survive them.
- Henderson, KY and Evansville, IN are full of nice people willing to help others.
- I don’t need to watch reality TV because I live it.
- My life is a string of adventures that mix Charles Dickens with Bridget Jones with Lucille Ball.
- If I teach the night before Henderson’s Handy Blues Fest, I’ll pick my parking spot more carefully.
Thanks to the Henderson County Public Library, Nibby, and all my friends who pitched in to help me find my car so I can click my heels and say,
“There’s no place like home. And no car like my…..blue one with 4 doors.”