Musings: Franconia College Reunion 2000
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Road Rally

"How many people?"

"Five!"

"OK, here's your questions and your answer sheet......it's 10:37."

Gravel flies from the spinning tires as we leave the lot. We proceed forty
feet and must re-consult the directions. "Left or right."

"Left?"

"Right."

And away we go....

"If it bothers anyone that I'm driving this fast, just let me know."

"Me."

"Me."

"This isn't a timed thing. He even said so."

'It's not a timed thing, but they took down the time we left...."

"Typical Franconia contradiction."

"I thought you were going to slow down?"

The brakes applied.... too quickly. Collarbones snap into shoulder belts.

"Ow."

"That hurt."

"OK....what's the first clue?"

"What's the name of the place....Stock something...gun parts..."

"Oh, right. What Franconia student knows the names of gun parts?"

"Stock, barrel, bolt, extractor, trigger guard, firing pin..."

"And if it's a flintlock, the firing pan and primer..."

"You guys are scaring me."

"There's the hotel!"

"OK..'Prove you were here...what's climbing up the sign?'"

"Bear cubs."

"OK, now what did the name used to be?"

"Should I go in and ask?"

A Greek Chorus of agreement.....loud agreement.

And as other cars appear in the lot...."And tell him not to tell anyone
else!"

Information secured, we resume the chase.

"Where to next?"

"Into town!"

"Slow down!"

"Who was the house band at Hillwinds?"

"Rush."

"Ira and the Four Closures."

"Any answer we don't know, it's Ira."

Other cars appear in the Hillwinds driveway. We do a donut and are facing
the street, ready to leave.

"Should I go in and ask?"

Greek chorus resumes.....

I ask one of the other drivers..."So...what name did you guys come up with?"

"Why should we tell you?"

I ask Jory.

"Oh, we thought it was either Pan or Rush. Could be some other bands,
though..." as the passengers in his car begin accusing him of collaboration.

Off to the next location.....

Three cars parked between Heartbreak and I-House....three-point turns
executed...aha! The Swamp! Lone on our genius, we leave the other cars to
ponder while we head to Dow.

"Dance studio...dance studio...do they mean, where is it now?"

"No, where was it then?"

"Did it move?"

"I think it moved, and then moved again."

Meanwhile, we are taking laps around the building. Alumni from the 60's are
gathered on the lawn. "Hi, Moose!" Fortunately, as they are alumni from the
60's they don't think there is anything unusually odd about us driving
around and around in circles.

"That building?"

"No that building."

"Those doors?"

"No, those doors!"

"North?"

"That's North."

"We got it! Let's roll!"

At the intersection, we stop.

"Did you see a dance studio?"

"I didn't see one."

"Were we supposed to be looking for one?"

"You drive too fast."

"We have to go back."

"Are we going back?"

"We're going back now," as we roll down the street at a fair clip, in
reverse.

"Watch out for those guys!"

"Man, did you see them get out of the way?"

"You know...this isn't a timed event...."

We circle the building again...."That building?"

"No, it must be that building..."

"OK! Let's roll!"

"We don't have to go straight, but we do have to go forward."

"What was Frost before the college days?"

"Ira's Mother's Whorehouse."

"We have to get our picture taken at the store."

"Individually, or as a group photo?"

"What does the sign over the meat case say?"

"'You can't beat Heat's Meat!'"

We pull into the store, followed quickly by other vehicles in the same
chase. Christie meats us with a camera. We gather behind the meat counter -
vegetarian and all.

"We've got it...let's go!"

A perfectly executed reverse two point turn...into the path of a Connecticut
tourist. Horns. Unbelieving stares. 

"Sorry!"

"It's OK..we're college students!"

"What purple house?"

"How many stories did that building used to have?"

"When I lived there it had three."

"What purple house?"

"What kind of cars were sold there?"

"What was it called?"

We pull into the Dairy Bar to collect our thoughts and find out where to go
next.

"What does it say?"

"Pull into the Dairy Bar..."

"Whoo hoo! We're psychic road warriors!"

Competition in the form of a Jeep follows us.

"Hi!"

"How you doin'?"

"Ditch 'em!"  ...and we're off.

Out into the country.

"Hey, I used to work out here. I taught cross country skiing out here!"

"How many pillars out front?"

"Is that load-bearing pillars or does that include the decorative
half-pillars?"

"It doesn't say. It just says 'pillars.'"

"It depends on what your definition of 'pillars' is."

A scene repeated at grocery stores and vegetable farms...

"There's a lady...she's old....she'll know!"

"Do you know what this place used to be called?"

We get the answer. "Thank you!"

"And don't tell anyone else!"

And, as we speed away, "Or we'll have to kill you!"

"You know, this isn't a timed event....."

"Welcome to Dunkin' Donuts. May I help you?"

"Uh...yeah...what did this place used to be called before it was Dunkin'
Donuts?"

"Please pull up to the window."

The young girl on the headset hasn't got a clue. But...there's an older
woman in there...yes! God bless older women. They knows the names of
everything. Information in hand, we depart....

"To Thayer's!"

"I should got some donuts while we were there."

We park.

"This isn't a parking zone."

We re-park.

"This isn't as timed event."

To the book store. To Rusty. He is handing out color photographs of himself,
autographed. Our prize in hand, we harass a store employee for other
answers.

"Did you get any answers from him?"

"Yes."

"Did you tell him not to tell anyone else?"

"Or we'll have to kill him?"

"He was so ticked off, by the time he answered the last question, I don't
think he'll talk to anyone else."

"Success!"

"Wait - burritos!"

"That's not on the list..."

"This isn't a timed event!"

We step up to the counter and peruse the menu.

"What do you have that can be eaten while driving? Give me three of those."

We find helpful alumni sitting in the courtyard....."What could you pay for
at the hotel?"

"Prostitutes."

"People had to pay for it? At Franconia College?"

"Deep Throat. We were arrested."

"We applaud your social commitment to your rights. (Write that down - 'Deep
Throat.')"

Burritos in hand, we are off once again.....

"Wait - is that three new lights or four new lights?"

"Should I back up so we can -"

"No!" 

"No!"

And so it goes...we fly through the New Hampshire country-side....."I used
to work there!"...."I got thrown out of there!"....collecting answers.......

"Look at the size of that flamingo!"

"Should I go in?"

Greek chorus resounds.....

We are diligent. We prove we were "there" many times.....we collect raffle
tickets.....we wave at fellow alumni carelessly walking on the sidewalks of
Bethlehem, where we know we may be driving. After all, that's where we are
parked.....

Finally, away from there...and toward the college....

"Fox Fyre! Go there! Turn in there!"

"It's not on the list..."

Much head-slapping of the driver.....I turn.

"It used to be more rural than this.......the gas man came once and we were
nude sun-bathing on the roof."

"I'll bet he still talks about it."

As we tear down the road, toward the end-point...."Do we have all the
answers?"

"What's the name of the band?"

"Ira. Ira and the Cash Flows."

We arrive.

"Geez...look at all the cars."

Nonchalantly, I ask the competition..."So, what did you get for the name of
that band?"

"Why should we tell you?"

"Because it's over. We're here."

"Think big. And sad...."

"Widespread Depression!"

"Write that down!"

"Don't tell anyone else!"

"Or we'll have to kill you!"
 

Musings: Franconia College Reunion 2000
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