N. Ray Maxie
Gotten up and Moved"
talks. I love it. Doing traffic and automobile safety talks to civic
organizations, high school Drivers Ed students, auxiliary clubs, the
PTO and various public events around the state was fun. It was our
driver safety awareness program and a favorite part of my job. Anytime
I could talk about automobile driving safety, I enjoyed it. Maybe
by teaching safety, I could help prevent someone from having a serious
auto accident. Thus avoiding damage, injury or even death on our Texas
highways. Safety pays, you know.
One such talk was scheduled to be made before the local McLeod,
Texas, Ladies Auxiliary Club. Their meetings were held in the
highschool cafetorium. All speakers were asked use the stage with
a microphone while addressing the group. I was told there were usually
40 to 50 people present for this meeting.
On the day of this particular meeting, I wanted to arrive early and
scope out the situation in their cafetorium. So getting there a little
early, I immediately went to the stage. I had been told that after
my introduction, I would walk from behind the side curtain out to
the microphone. So, I laid out my exact footsteps on the floor across
the stage. I marked each step with a chalk mark on the floor, right
up to the microphone. Simple! Just follow the chalk marks; step by
step. I had scoped this one out precisely. I was ready.
Everyone was gathering. The time for their meeting came, 1:30pm. Nervously,
as I waited backstage, I heard the group president give me a long
and eloquent introduction about all of my experience and accomplishments.
Then she called out my name. My cue !! So I slipped out from behind
the side curtain and started my steps exactly as I had marked them
on the floor. Very good ! Heading for the Mic, I said, "I'm coming",
which were the opening words of my prepared speech; i.e; "I'm coming
to bring you a talk about automobile safety." Right then, I missed
my step. So I backed up, got myself back in step and started over
again. I said, "I'm coming" and I clumsily missed my step again. (I
thought; what's wrong with me today?) So I backed up again, got back
in step and started over again. (Third time's a charm, they say.)
I said, "I'm coming" and this time I hung my right toe on the back
of my left shoe heel and tripped. I stumbled and fell right off the
stage; right out into the laps of several little old ladies sitting
right down there on the front row. (Wow ! What a stumble-bum !)
Well, what could I say ? So startled ! So embarrassed and ashamed,
I got up off the floor and lavishly apologized to these dear little
ladies. Desperately, I was hoping that no one was seriously injured.
They weren't and I was extremely glad. I was straightening up my clothes.
I was helping little old ladies get up off the floor and straightening
up their clothes. Oh ! I was SO embarrassed ! This had never happened
to me before. I was picking up chairs and purses and apologizing profusely.
Then one little old lady said, "Well, I should've gotten up and moved.
You told me three times you were coming."
N. Ray Maxie
"Ramblin' Ray" June