The news business makes it very hard to ever feel sorry for myself. No matter how hard I ever think my life is, sure as shooting someone else’s is harder.
• Pam Welch, who until last week was a receptionist at the Standard-Examiner, once sold golf carts to Elvis.
Steve McQueen, too. And Elizabeth Taylor.
Pam left Wednesday to go to Phoenix for the thicker air. In the 1960s, she and her husband set up shop in Palm Springs, Calif., making golf carts that looked like ’58 Chevy and Mercedes-Benz cars.
She thinks the fiberglass she and her husband used to manufacture the carts is what caused her lung problems.
These weren’t kits. They built the bodies from raw fiberglass.
“We’d buy the front grill and tail assemblies from a ’58 Chevy, make a mold, scale it down and build it from there.
“From the front and back, it looked like a ’58 Chevy, but not from the side, of course, it was a golf cart.”
They had a showroom where movie stars would come kick the tires.
“For decades, those golf carts were a cash cow,” she said. “We sold eight to Elvis. Steve McQueen bought two. We sold one to Elizabeth Taylor.”
She said Steve McQueen and her husband were both into motorcycle racing, so Steve often stopped by to chat.
Times change. Her husband had a stroke and seizures, the income stopped and the savings went. He died four years ago.
She moved to Utah to be near the grandkids, but her lung problems worsened in Utah’s thin, dirty air. She darn near died a couple of times this year.
So while the rest of us were enjoying Thanksgiving, Pam was loading a U-Haul and driving south.
She has no family or friends in Phoenix — it’s just a place to go where she can breathe, “and Palm Springs is too expensive.”
And I was worried the turkey wouldn’t come out edible.
• Rayna Fisher called about a dog obedience certification class her group, the Golden Spike Dog Obedience Club, put on.
As I took the information for a story announcing the class, she kept stopping and digging for words because, she apologized, a while ago she was in an accident where she got hit by a drunk.
The accident rattled her head and broke her back. The recovery has been long, but “I’m a nurse, I used to work in the oncology (cancer) ward, so I know how lucky I am.”
Lucky she only had a broken back?
Makes me feel silly for complaining it is too cold to ride my bicycle.
• Earlier this year, I told you about a friend whose husband just lost his job. Her comfortable two-income family suddenly had to struggle on the remaining smaller income.
I am happy to report this friend’s husband finally found a job, in his field, and the family is feeling a whole lot better this holiday season.
Interestingly, this friend said her kids don’t want to splurge on toys for Christmas. During the eight-month siege, they cut back so far that even new clothes and basic necessities took a pass.
“So they’re saying, ‘Mom, just get us new clothes,’ ” she said.
Nothing like a brush with poverty to make your kids appreciate new underwear for Christmas.
And socks? Yes, please, new socks!