For fifty dollars my sweet Sven and another coupon boy bought a brown boat of a Chevy from a friend under the stipulation that if it made it back they would give it back.
That was a long time ago.
And who are the Coupon Boys?
The guy on the left is a motorcycle enthusiast who loves to spend time in the foothills in Jamaica not far from the Blue Hole and Bob Marley's old stomping grounds. He is a talented writer, a husband and father of two, who is sarcastically hilarious and plants daffodils all over the place.
The next guy in line went to school with my Sweet Sven. They met in the eighth grade and grew into a couple of high school jocks, playing golf and football, back when the games were at the park where there were no lights and the spectators sat on rock ledges built into the hill.
Guy Number Two was going steady with the cutest girl in the class of sixty-seven.
They broke up.
Sven asked her out.
She went right back to Guy Number Two after that date and they are on a record setting course for most number of years ever married.
The third guy is my sweet Sven. He married me and is so happy that he has a hard time expressing his joy. That is why I am.
And now we come to the silhouette on the right. The one that looks like, the Big Lebowski. I thought the same thing before I colored in the photo.
Number Four and Sven took a little trip back in the seventies.
The one that began with a Chevy for fifty dollars.
"Where was your destination?" I asked.
"Mexico," said Sven.
They hopped in the thing, and I am guessing they tuned the dial to the Grateful Dead before leaving the little town in Southern Wisconsin.
On their way they stopped in Santa Fe to pick up a friend and his friend and then all four drove through the long, hot and dusty state of Texas, together.
It finally appeared on the horizon.
There it was in front of them.
"Mexico would not let us in," said Sven.
"What do you mean Mexico would not let you in?"
"They said we didn't have enough money."
That is why they ended up on South Padre Island where they lived on a steady diet of peyote buttons and oranges, watching the phosphorous and plankton dancing on the waves like diamonds for three days.
It was time to get straight.
They dropped their friends off in Austin and continued on their journey to Seattle where not only did they crash in an attic bedroom of an old girlfriend of Sven's, until her boyfriend who had just gotten out of prison for forfeiting grew tired of their faces and accused them of bringing fleas into the attic, the Chevy died.
They had to pop the clutch to get it going.
"Millie," said Sven. "It was an automatic."
"So it had to be moving really fast," he said.
Sven directed traffic while Number Four ran the controls of the boat who was picking up speed as she coasted down a steep hill.
To no avail.
They parted ways at the bottom of that hill.
From there Sven hitch hiked to Bellingham to stay with another friend and Number Four thumbed his way to Sacramento to visit his sister, with plans to regroup in a week.
On Sven's way back to Sacramento he was picked up by a writer on his way home from a talk he had given to lifers in prison. Sven climbed into the back seat and found himself next to another hitchhiker. The two of them would be guests for the the night in a chicken coop made into a pretty nice room except for the dog who was not into giving up the only bed.
It wasn't until later that Sven realized the writer was Ken Kesey. It was the psychedelic bus parked next to the coop with rows of sixteen millimeter reel to reels in it and something about the Merry Pranksters, that eventually led him to this conclusion.
By the grace of God, Sven ran into Guy Number Four who was walking across a parking lot of a hotel in Sacramento.
"Number Four was on his way home when I spotted him," said Sven. "I guess he taped a note on his sister's old door for me because she had moved and he'd been staying in that hotel and was out of money."
The one hundred and fifty dollars they'd each started with was getting slim.
They decided to take a southern route home as the air had a chill in it.
After twelve hours without a ride out of San Diego they soon discovered that wasn't so bad.
El Centro proved to be the worst place in the world to hitchhike.
Finally they got a ride.
But it was only good for ten miles.
This is when they realized that El Centro was actually the second worse place in the world to hitchhike.
They walked back to El Centro.
Well, it had to happen.
They were starting to get hungry.
They pooled their money together and bought two bus tickets to Yuma Arizona.
"Why Yuma, Arizona?" I said.
"That is as far as we could get."
The guy however never collected their tickets so they cashed them back in at the window and they were not completely broke after all.
They were sleeping next to the railroad tracks on the morning a man prodded them to see if they were breathing.
Sven pulled out a dime and called his dad who wired enough money for two bus tickets plus five dollars.
They scored a dollar as a tip for carrying a fella's luggage and took all their money and splurged on a box of crackers, which was their diet for the next two days on the Greyhound Bus that was homeward bound.
Anyway, that summarizes up the coupon boys.
Today they play with irons, woods and putters and drive carts because all four posses a coupon book.
And not just any coupon book.
It is the book with the nice courses.
The golf is free.
But, you have to rent a cart.
Once a week, the Coupon Boys get together and they drive away for a whole day.
Like this morning for example.
"What's that Louisa?"
Hang on my sister just walked in the door and she is always talking.
"Louisa, I can't hear you!"
It is fun to crank your music when you got the place to yourself, ya know?
Louisa says there is more to those Coupon Boys than my story.