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A Personal Note

A chain of events happened today where I learned some girls I knew 10 years ago or so are with us no more. I had always meant to look them up and never got around to it.
One of my fondest memories of Margot and Maggie Marcotte was when Maggie and I drove down to Asheville to pick up Margot. We drove Maggie’s bus, Althea. Maggie had just rebuilt the engine.
Driving down to NC, Althea was not having a good time of it. Seems the rebuilt oil filter was just not meant to be. We broke down in southern VA. Maggie had AAA Plus so we were good for a long tow. The first stop was at a VW dealer. They all stood around the 72 bus in awe and wonder. Shiny new Jettas and Foxes were all around us. The boys hemmed and hawwed and admitted they had never seen anything so old and could not help us.
So we called AAA again, for another tow.
This time we got a roll back from TN, and an older man who was quite chatty. We got Althea on the back and started down the road. Now the road from VA to where Lisa lived outside Asheville got narrower and narrower, and hillier and hillier as we grew close. Each time we turned on to a smaller and hillier road, our driver would ask , “How much ferther is we going here?”
It was a long drive. Maggie slept in the front seat and I sat in the middle. He told me he reckoned he had to pull over for some push water. “Push what?” I said, not sure I was understanding his accent. “Push water!” he repeated. Seeing my blank look he spoke slowly in that southern drawl. “Ga-as. We gotta get us some ga-as.”
As we finally made it up in the hills that evening, the driver was only too happy to see us go. He let loose the chains that held Althea and didn’t even venture down the last dirt road to Lisa’s. He left us on the side of the road eating his dust.
In Asheville we had a wonderful time. It was April-ish and spring was coming. Lisa lived up in the hills, like I said, and we hiked around the woods to find old homesteads. I drank the best coffee there, with chicory and it still ranks as the best cofffee I ever had. We went to downtown Asheville, Steve, Lisa’s partner, driving *his* bus down the rolling winding roads to town. We visited Lisa’s friends, favorite spots, and a large warehouse full of material for her business. As she and Margot oohed and aahed over all the rolls, I stared out the large windows overlooking the street from our second story perch. Asheville reminded me of Ithaca.
Which reminded me — I had to get back. We called the store where we both worked and made arrangements. i would take the greyhound bus back; Maggie and Margot would figure something out and get back up asap. I took about the longest bus ride back — took 28 hours to get back to NY from NC and most of the first day was spent driving around NC. Maggie and Margot ended up buying a car and driving it back up. They had that car for a couple years. Steve took Althea and sold her for parts.

Maggie Margot and I ended up drifting apart. Maggie always travelled around and we lost touch. Margot I would see here and there around town and at festivals.
I got a full time job, moved out of Ithaca to hide in its own hills and slowly got into farming. Margot kept at her hats and would sell them at festivals around. Last time I saw her it was a picture in the paper, she was driving tractor at an organic farm outside town. She always inspired me because she enjoyed doing things her own way. She made her own clothes, supported herself with her business, and had time for fun too. I think that is why I still look for her because I always looked forward to touching base with her again, to share what we had both learned on our journeys.

I was in touch with a person from NC just this morning. I related to her a very very short version of this story (imagine, I told it to her in just 2 lines!) and she replied back that yes, she knew Lisa and her bags and her store. She gave me a URL and I read Lisa’s story and I smiled and remember her getting her start. I imagine her store is inside that warehouse we visited 14 years ago. Thoughts of her led me to thinking once again of Margot and Maggie and where were they now. By chance I entered her name in google, and found a page her brother has put up for her.

Explains why I haven’t seen her. I cried and cried for about 20 minutes. Hard. I’ve cried a couple times now telling you all this story.

Here is a link to Maggie’s obit:

I don’t know if this story even has a point. I guess the world is small and things tend to come full circle. Cherish your memories but even more importantly, cherish today. Enjoy yourselves.And if there is an old friend out there whom you haven’t spoken to in a while, look them up. Touch base. Don’t wait like me.

Posted in Personal.

One Response

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  1. Inki said

    I knew Maggie way back when she was still in Fayetteville. We became friends not long before she moved to NY. We wrote for a while but then stopped- got busy or whatever. I remember when her hair was bleached white! I found your site after looking for some people I had lost touch with, including Maggie. Unfortunately, this is what I found. Thanks for your memories. I’ve got some funny memories of Maggie as an elf, if you’re interested.

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