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Deeker's Message of the Week

July 20, 2003

A Retraction

I feel that a recanting, a retraction of my comments about my stop in Rock Springs, Wyoming, in last week's MOTW are in order. In that entry I wrote about my experiences with that locale while traveling from Wichita, Kansas to Boise, Idaho via a 17-foot U-Haul moving truck to help a friend move and get a job where I work. We encountered some unsavory and rude people at the motel we wanted to check into and I passed this judgment onto the town as a whole. One person from Rock Springs, Wyoming kindly and apologetically responded and hoped that I would stop in his town again. While I don't anticipate traveling back in that direction for awhile, if I do I will give the place another chance if I have reason to stop there.

In case you missed it, or you don't want to go back and look, I wrote about a weird-looking and acting guy and his girlfriend who were in the lobby of the motel and then the surly desk clerk who curtly told me she had no rooms available. For all I know, the people in the lobby (who precipitated my negative impression of the town) may not have been from Rock Springs (they were in a motel, after all, and likely to have been travelers, too). Second, it was late and I was weary, having driven a moving truck 800 miles, starting in Salina, Kansas and enduring rush hour traffic in Denver followed by driving across the long, vast expanse of southern Wyoming along I-80. My weariness from driving all day likely contributed to my "funny" feelings about the town. The fact that I was told all the motels were booked in town made me feel less welcome in the town. When I think back upon the situation, it was merely an unfamiliar place to me and I could have thought the same thing about any town I could have stopped in.

It wasn't the first time a town left me with a bad impression, either. When I was nine years old and I was traveling with my family to Pendleton, Oregon we stopped in LaGrande for the night. We went to a pizza place. At the time most restaurants didn't offer free refills on drinks. My mother gave me a dollar to get another drink and I went up to the counter. After I asked the man for a refill he took my glass and refilled it. When I offered to pay for it he told me there was no charge. So what was the problem, you ask? I didn't expect it to be free and expected to pay, so after I asked him if it was free he said, "yes, now get out of here, kid!" I haven't been to LaGrande since (24 years ago), but I'm sure I wouldn't have this same experience again (hell, the jerkwad who helped me is probably dead by now and the pizza place has probably changed hands several times, if it's even there at all anymore).

I'm sure my own town has its share of crazy and rude people, as does any town, and I am sure some people have left my locale with a bad taste.

In short, I want to openly apologize in return to the person who rightly felt he needed to defend his community, which I am sure has many fine citizens as well as good services and activities to do.

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Stay happy and thickly diapered!

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