Not very articulate, but it expressed my feelings at the time. My thumb was stuck in a car door, that had just slammed shut.
I was only about 4 years old at the time, and was chasing two older Martin boys around the yard. They jumped into the car and slammed the door, and my thumb followed.
It was a traditional Sunday afternoon, friends coming to visit after the morning church service. Not real exciting stuff, but after all these years it still brings good memories.
Except for that smashed thumb. Not a good memory.
The boys’ parents were V.G. and Millie, friends of my parents and many others. VG went down to to the A&W and brought back a gallon of root beer to help make up for the smashed thumb.
I will say one thing in favor of that smashed thumb. It was really cool entertainment over the following few weeks watching it turn black and fall off.
Martins had come from Hungry Horse, Montana to Sheridan, Wyoming sometime about 1962 when I was only a toddler, and my sister was still in diapers. I’m not sure if they were independently wealthy or what, but it seemed VG and Millie always had a lot of time to live life as they chose to. Not that they had a lot of possessions, because they lived simple. But they had a lot of time to enjoy themselves.
Olympics were always a favorite in Sheridan, and my Dad, VG, and Millie would practice to be participants. The event they were trying to enter was dish stacking. That’s right, dish stacking.
The event was born out of boredom, I would guess. But one Sunday evening, as the Martins and my parents set around the kitchen table, my father stacked a cup on top of another cup.
VG, not to be out done, balanced a plate on top of the cups my father had so expertly placed, as only an Olympian could. Them Millie added in. The competition was fierce, and I watched as a towering, balanced pile of dinnerware climbed higher and higher. This competition was shortly followed with the sweep up the broken dishes competition.
Another sport that my father, VG and several other men participated in, was the “Wave.”
Now, the “Wave” was invented by Wayne Ellis. Wayne had a natural talent for getting people involved in Olympic synchronized group sports. Here is how the famous “Wave” was created by Wayne.
It started with a group of men from our church traveling to the annual Men’s Retreat across the mountains in Thermopolis, Wyoming.
Thermopolis has many natural hot springs, and hotels have been built around the springs so that people can enjoy the healing and relaxing properties of the hot mineral water.
Large pools that smell like egg yolkes are built inside and outside of the hotels, and fed with natural hot springs. Since there are so many minerals in the water, the pools have formed smooth, rock formations on the sides of the pools leaving a very unique type of swimming hole.
Inside the steam room the minerals have built up on the walls, ceilings, and floors, leaving a cave-like structure. These pools are said to have magic healing properties discovered by our native Americans hundreds or thousands of years ago.
The pools are so hot, that even in the cold Wyoming winter, with temperatures dipping way below zero, you can comfortably swim outside. Of course you have to dip your head in the water occasionally to stop icicles from forming on your hair.
This was the Mecca our Olympians were traveling to. As our heroes journeyed over the top of the mountain, the new event was born.
In Wyoming, as you travel, you have rest stops in abundance. However, they are not the same kind as you find in the East or West coast of the United States. Wyoming rest stops have leaves, branches, and plenty of fresh open air. We call them “trees.”
As this event was created, our crew was above the tree line. If you have ever traveled over a tall mountain, you will know that there is a line, a very sharp line where trees are not growing.
At first you may think it to be from the carnage of timber hounds, but the fact is, a tree will only grow in soil that is below a certain altitude. When you reach this altitude, no matter how thick of a forest you are in, you will find a very sharp line that starts a bald mountain. Trees cannot live above this line.
So when I say this event happened above the “tree line” you will understand that there were also no Wyoming “rest stops” above the tree line. (No trees, get it?)
So our heroic Olympians created their own rest stop at the side of the mountain road, using the Ford Van they were traveling in. Perfectly lined, in perfect synchronized form, the competitors faced the side of the van hiding them from the road. And this was when Wayne Ellis created the famous “Wave”.
As our Olympian competitors faced the van, in the midst of fierce sporting activity, Wayne drove off in the van, waving back at the stunned sportsmen who were now spinning around desperately looking for cover.
Thus the “Wave” was invented.
Millie Martin was always a source of good spirited fun, kind words, and affection. It would be very difficult not to like her.
Strangely enough, she never aged. As of this writing, she is 73 years old, yet if you talk with her on the phone, her voice is sweet and smooth as a collegiate. Her appearance has always been deceitful to her years also, looking much younger than her actual age.
I suspect that her youthfulness came from loving all those around her, holding no grudges, enjoying life and our crazy Olympian type people, and the ability to laugh often.
I spoke with Millie this week on the phone, as she has only a few days left on this Earth. When it is my time to leave this Earth, I hope that I can leave as many good memories to the world, as Millie has. Even in her last few days, dying in pain from the ravages of cancer, Millie had it in her heart to tell me she loves me.
I dedicate this chapter of “Tim’s Hometown Stories” to Millie Martin.
You can read all the chapters of “Tims Home Town Stories” by going tohttp://timshometownstories.com”. Other stories written by Tim are at http://salessuccessmagazine.com These stories are copyrighted by Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. 1995,1996,1997,1998,1999,2000. Any person using this article must publish it without modification and include authors bio and links.
About the Author
Timothy L Drobnick Sr has helped many people make money on the internet. Websites to visit for income opportunity are yobisc.com, http://virusfreespamfree.com, and http://myshoppingplace.net.
Written by: Timothy L Drobnick Sr.