It was a Friday night at the Auto show and I felt good. I was pleased with myself because I had managed to volunteer my wife into helping me. Every year, the Kiwanis Clubs in SW Washington and Oregon go together to buy a car to raffle off for Doernbecher Children's hospital. This year Kiwanis purchased a new red Mustang convertible. It was a beautiful car. The wheels and tires were donated by Miller's Tire Factory, and were their best and most expensive models. Stripe Line of Oregon supplied black racing stripes. The inside of the car had plush leather upholstery and the stereo system was valued in the thousands.
The car was not just beautiful, it was simply gorgeous.
"Help children get well….All the money goes to Doernbecher Children's Hospital; $5 will help a child." We would stand behind our table with our arms outstretched singing our sirens call hoping that someone would buy a raffle ticket.
I love talking to the people who come to our Doernbecher booth. We often meet someone whose child was a Doernbecher patient. Ever so often we will get an older person who was once treated at Doernbecher.
An older man driving an electric mobility scooter pushed his way through the crowd to our booth. He wore an embroidered baseball cap displaying "WW II VET - US Navy."
"Ill buy a book of tickets" gasped the man. "That hospital helped me when I was a kid. I'm alive today because of them."
"Tell me about it" I encouraged
"It was during the great depression and I had Rheumatic fever. My mom brought me to the hospital and they cured me;" responded the old timer. "My heart became strong enough so that when I got older, I was able to enlist in the Navy. I served from February 1942 through March 1946"
"You know," whispered the old timer. "That hospital never did ask my mom if we had money to pay."
"Did she pay them?" I asked
"I don't know," grinned the old timer. "No one had any money during the Great Depression."
A middle aged man bought some tickets. His daughter was treated for a type of leukemia. "She has been cancer free for over nine years now. God bless Doernbecher."
He told me that he was writing a graphic novel. He had some panels in his back pack depicting strangely dressed people battling grotesque monsters.
"It takes place one thousand years in the future. My character has to go back in time and save humanity from being invaded and enslaved by aliens from outer space."
"Cool" I remarked. "I love the artwork."
"I hope you sell lots of tickets" said the man.
A woman with twins in a double stroller approached us. "Both of my twins are Doernbecher babies. They both had to have heart valve replacements."
"How are they doing now?"
"The doctor seemed to think that their hearts should be good for at least seventy more years."
A blond haired lady come over to our booth and told us that she would help us sell tickets. "I'll give a hug to anyone who buys a ticket, and I'll give a kiss to any one who buys two tickets."
I bought a ticket and the lady gave me a hug.
My wife looked daggers at me.
"Hey it was only one ticket. I didn't buy a book."
My wife was not impressed.
A man with a beard walked up to my wife. He had a deep gravely voice. "Hey, sell the Wolfman a book of tickets. The Wolfman likes to help kids."
He looked and sounded really familiar. "Wolfman, Wolfman Jack?" I remarked.
He grinned "That's my name, and I got da Wolfman fame."
He handed my wife a $20 bill and started to fill out a book of tickets.
I had to butt in. "I remember listening to Wolfman Jack when I was a kid. He broadcasted from Mexico. The station was a clear channel powerhouse and could reach almost all of North America."
"That was XERF" growled Wolfman. "It broadcasted out of Cjudad Acuña, Coahuila Mexico. We called it the mighty 1090 and we had 250,000 watts of power. Five times what the US stations were allowed to pack."
I looked at the man. He looked just like Wolfman Jack. He sounded like Wolfman Jack. The big problem was that this man did not appear to be any older than fifty. I knew that the Wolfman was older than me.
I looked at him and said: "I thought that Wolfman Jack died in 1995?"
"Look at me" Growled the Wolfman. "I'm alive and I'm broadcasting…"
"Is this how you want your ticket stubs filled out?" asked my wife. "You don't have a full name. The only name shown is: 'Wolfman.'"
The bearded man smiled, started to walk away; then stopped and looked over his shoulder at my wife "That's my name, I'm the Wolfman."
I found out later that he really was the Wolfman. He not only looked and spoke like the original Wolfman, but had purchased the rights to the name. Wolfman Jack continues to spin records and work all over the country playing vintage rock and roll.
Every year my wife and I volunteer to help sell Mustang raffle tickets at various auto shows. Every year we meet new and different people, and every year, we hear new stories about how people are helped by Doernbecher our very own Children's Miracle Network hospital, and we get to say. "Buy a ticket; help a child, all of our proceeds go to helping sick children get well.
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