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"...Sarah slowed as she exited the 101 Highway off ramp and drove by an old Western-style bar called the Riverside Saloon just within the southern limits of town. The place backed up to the Eel River with an outdoor patio overlooking a narrow wooden footbridge crossing the river’s one-hundred-foot deep chasm. A group of heavily built lumbermen and rough-and-tumble loggers, who just got off work early on Saturday after a few extra hours overtime, gathered together in the saloon’s outside patio.
Making boisterous noises to match and almost overwhelming the town’s street sounds, a group of lumberjacks were having great time after work. Their checkered shirts, bulging arms, cowboy hats and work-stained jeans, easily caught Sarah’s attention.
She had an impression, they were having a good-old-boy style end-of-workweek celebration; more importantly, they were ready for some good coed company and a great country and western sing along to match the music coming off the saloon’s bandstand.
As she made a show of waving and smiling at them, she said to Marceline, who was trying to ignore the noisy bunch, “Those boys look like they worked hard all week; they deserve at least a wave and a smile and perhaps a conversation. I want to stop the car for a moment. I’ll get out and you can drive over to the inn.”Marceline’s curt reply to her rambunctious and party-eager girlfriend was, “No, we must register at the Humboldt Inn up at the other end of town; and I need to rest.”
As the fellows hefted tall mixed drinks of tequila, rum or most things alcoholic, the daily roar of chain saws having dulled their hearing and made their conversations louder than a reverberating Timm…berr call. Their demeanor gave an impression they thought they were still in a deep forest and denuding it of redwood trees, rather than whooping it up a country saloon.
Alternatively, they might have been hitting the hard stuff a bit too early for a Saturday afternoon. A few men quickly forgot their personal conversations for a moment, hung over the waist-high patio fence, whistled and waved at Marceline and Sarah.
Even though she was supposed to drive into the Humboldt Inn parking lot, which was across Redwood Drive and up north a bit from the Riverside Saloon entrance. Sarah encouraged and urged the boys on with a big smile and a friendly wave of her own.
Marceline was a bit apprehensive as she said, “Sarah, from the looks on those eager beaver faces, their flattop haircuts standing tall and erect; those ear-to-ear smiles are a call to arms. If we stop, they might even leave their corral and try to jump in this car with us. Then you’d have your hands full.”
"Oh, please may I, Marceline?” Her voice sounded more like a cruising teenager rather than a graduate ingénue. At the moment, Sarah was more like a young child, begging for candy through the glass counter of a candy store, than a college sophisticate.
When Sarah saw no cars behind her and the empty of traffic Redwood Drive, she slowed to a stop, did a U-turn past the Humboldt Inn parking lot entrance and drove south, back toward the saloon’s patio fence. And then she set the parking brake, checked for cars nearby, unbuckled her seat belt, threw open the driver side door quickly, practically tumbled out of the car and brushed the wrinkles off her skirt.
After she went around to the passenger side to open Marceline’s door, some of the loggers saw, Sarah as an afternoon delight driving a classy Corvette. She tried to pulled Marceline’s passenger door open like it was a station wagon tailgate, but to no avail. Marceline’s reluctant manner said at the moment, she would not be honoring any lumbermen hijinks. Stubbornly she held her finger down on the door lock button.
“Come on Marceline, ease up on the lock. You know you’ll love it; all the attention from men in uniform.” Sarah's tone was that of a prepped and ready teenager, begging her parents for the car keys on a Friday night."
“What uniforms; those are lumberjack’s checkered shirts, jeans and work boots.”
“Whatever Marceline; but their clothes look so similar; don’t they? They have a sort of uniform look, if you will; at least they’re consistent. Besides, Marceline, I saw you almost swoon when Deputy Harding was giving you first aid. I just know you could go big time for a liveried approach.”
“It was different then Sarah; he was helping a girl in distress. All those lumber monkeys want to do, is to help themselves..."
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