Monday, July 8, 2013
High Acres, a Holiday Inn?
Visiting High Acres was not for the faint of heart. Although it was a great place to relax and get away from it all, Daddy always wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of. He loved High Acres and loved nothing more than to share it with friends and family, making sure everyone had a great time. And this would start with Bloody Mary's as soon as you rolled out of bed ('Hair of the Dog' as Daddy called them) and the consumption of libations continued until bedtime.
Regular guests learned early to pace themselves, lest they suffer undo bodily harm. It was not unusual to have some one fall off a horse when the horse was standing still or worse yet, fall off the back deck and roll down the mountain through the apple orchard. Yes, it happened more than once but we would always send the jeep to procure them. But, I digress.
Daddy had this, apparently, God given talent to be able to drink all day and rarely get drunk. There were a few people who had the reputation of keeping up with him and their reputations preceded them. Every guest may as well have accepted the fact that there was going to be at least one great embarrassing story at their expense. If they couldn't handle it, probably they would never feel comfortable coming back. And, we would never want them to feel uncomfortable, but then chances were they would not want to come back.
While most guests wanted to be included on Dad's outings, there were those less adventurous souls (usually the dull spouse of some real fun guest) who just stayed around the house reading or doing needle point or watching TV, keeping Mama company, or, more often than not, driving her crazy. She valued her "quiet" time on the farm because she always had her list of projects she was working on for the house.
One of Dad's best friends, Douglas, had a wife, Mary, whom Dad best described as having the personality of a brick wall. From the first time they came up to the farm, she was not a happy camper. "Why wasn't the house finished? Does everyone start drinking in the morning? What is there to do? No, I have allergies and don't care to go outside." At one point, Daddy had had enough to drink at supper that he started explaining to her that they had tried to copy the rooms at the Holiday Inn, but they would not sell him the furniture and besides, he and Mama were not sure where they would put the front desk.
She thought he was serious until another guest started questioning whether the bright green and yellow neon sign placed out by the gate would bother the cows. The conversation went downhill from there. Comments were made that they had done a super job transforming the great room into the hotel bar and it was too bad they couldn't get the furniture. A question was asked about which room would be the presidential suite.
Mary's attitude never changed. And, every time Dad invited Douglas up to the farm, we prayed that Mary would decide not to join him. But, alas that always seemed to be the case. And, Mama dreaded those trips. She tolerated the house parties because Daddy did all the entertaining. However, Mary became her new "best friend". Eventually, Douglas would come by himself and offer some lame apology for Mary not being able to join us. Of course that apology was never as lame as Mama's, "Oh, Douglas, I'm so sorry Mary could not come, Bless her heart."