In the summer of 2012 my husband and I went on a road trip to Oregon. I am from Oregon, but it was his first visit.
We went to Crater Lake, Bend, then up and over to the Portland area. I grew up in Damascus, which is just outside Portland. Back in those days, Damascus didn't have its own post office so our address was actually Boring. 21881 SE Foster Road, Boring, Oregon. I still remember it for some reason, even though our old house is gone.
I love telling people I'm from Boring.
After Portland which, Doug agreed, is awesome, we had a little side trip to tend to. My Gramma died in 1987 and, since then, she had been in a box that had "Mother" written on it in Sharpie in my parents' hall closet. Doug and I released her ashes in the place that Gramma had requested. (You know, when she was still alive).
Next we drove through Salem, where I was born at the Salem Chiropractic Clinic, and approached Eugene about bedtime. I hadn't been to Eugene in a few years but remembered it being a college town and, when I was there before, kind of remembered some rowdy college kids at our hotel. I figured if we stayed at a fairly nice hotel, maybe it would be more quiet, because that's what I wanted. Some quiet.
I got on Google and found The Inn at the 5th. It seemed to be our best option. And it was! It was great. I liked that when we ordered room service, the waiter put the tray of food in a little door by our front door, then to access it, we opened a little door in our room and there was our food! How amazing to get to eat AND not to have to wait to take my pants off!
The next morning we brought our suitcases down and set them next to then bench where I planned to sit while we waited for the valet, except I turned around and Doug was gone. I went back inside to find him standing in line at the front desk. This is a thing he does. He sometimes likes to go to the front desk and actually check out instead of just leaving like I usually do. After I located Doug I went back outside and saw a guy sitting on the bench next to our luggage.
He was sort of bent down with his head between his knees and he was smoking. Uh huh. Yep. There was one of those rowdy college kids I was trying to avoid. Oh well. I stepped past my suitcases and plopped my ass down next to his, trying to sniff in a little of his cigarette smoke.
We sat in silence for a moment before he asked me about my tattoo. I have a tattoo of Dave the Barbarian and his sister, Princess Candy, on my right arm. I told him the story about how I used to watch the show, and how I met Doug, and how he created the show, and how my name is Candie! Isn't that cool? He was right away interested in the whole cartoon thing and asked what other cartoons Doug had worked on, and I told him, and I mentioned that I also did a few Scooby Doos.
He was really impressed by Scooby Doo. He said he loved Scooby Doo. He watched it with his kids. Kids? This young college guy has kids? Okay. That can happen. Stay in college, make a good life for your kids. I told him I grew up nearby and was showing my husband around. See? Stay in school and you, too can have a successful career in the big city of Los Angeles!
We talked about animation for a while before he told me about his motorcycle. He said he rides a motorcycle with his friends.
"But, the weather in the winter, it gets snowy here! Isn't that dangerous?" I lectured him about being careful, motorcycles are not toys. He was very polite, but I could tell I was being a tiny bit irritating.
Doug joined us and the young college guy said, "You're a very important person to me," and he went on to tell Doug how much he loves Scooby Doo. Doug looked confused and embarrassed but thanked him.
We chatted for a little bit before the valet arrived with our car. I said good-bye to my new young friend. I was thinking it must have been kind of cool for him, being an animation fan and all, to meet Doug, someone who actually creates and writes cartoons.
I gave the valet five bucks and asked him to throw away the cardboard box that said "Mother" that was now empty in the back of our car, explaining to him that it had held Gramma but she's not in there any more. We threw our suitcases in the car and drove away.
Doug was quiet, but kept turning to look at me.
"What?" I finally asked.
"You know that was Dave Chappelle, right?"
"No. That was some young college guy. He looked like he had been out all night being rowdy."
"No...that was Dave Chappelle."
"Yes it was!"
"What would Dave Chappelle be doing in Eugene?" Eugene. The college town. Where Dave Chappelle would have lots of fans.
I pulled out my phone and Googled, "Dave Chappelle, Eugene." Sure enough, Dave Chappelle was in Eugene for a show. He had been traveling around on his motorcycle with his friends, doing shows along the way. He did a show at that place we just drove past, that was right by the hotel we just stayed. The nicest hotel in town. The kind of hotel where Dave Chappelle would stay.
Later I watched a bit of video of Dave Chappelle's show the following night. He talked about people from Oregon and their big calf muscles. I looked down at my giant bulbous calves. I was touched.
I thought back to everything I had said to that young college guy on the bench. Oh my Gawd. I'm sure it was a big thrill for him to get to meet someone who works in animation.