Oregon Detour

Photo: Dennis Nyback. CC-BY-SA.

Jane Smith was driving south on Broadway. Approaching Burnside she became distracted. Her thoughts had drifted to the Jesus The Light of the World sign. When she was little girl it loomed over the intersection on top of a building on the south side. She wondered when it had been taken down. The light was green, so she turned up Burnside without watching cross traffic. She was jolted back to reality when she struck a woman riding a bike, who she thought had no business being in her lane.

Luckily, Jane had not been going fast. The woman did not shatter her windshield with her helmet but had gently rolled off the hood. Jane stopped the car and walked to the prone figure. The fallen woman looked up with very blue eyes and said, “You should watch where you are going.”

Jane groaned and replied, “Are you OK?”

The woman said, “I feel fine.” She then looked at her bike and it appeared to have weathered the collision with no harm.

The woman picked up her bike as though she was going to blissfully ride away. Jane stepped in front of her and said “You are not going anywhere, except to a doctor. What is your name?” The woman said her name was Anemone. Jane asked how to spell it. The woman said “I don’t know how to.”

Luckily, the Medical Dental Building was nearby. Jane and Anemone entered the building. They went into the first doctor’s office they came to. No one was waiting. The doctor came out. He looked like an ex-hippie, with long blonde hair, in a single braid down his back.

He took Anemone and Jane into the examining room. He shined a light into Anemone’s eyes. He said “This looks like a case of mild aphasia. It will pass in a few days.”

Jane asked the doctor if he remembered the Jesus The Light of the World sign and did he know when it was removed? He said he didn’t recall when it was removed. He added “You can read about it in the 1930 book Oregon Detour during your recovery. At the end you will be able to spell your own name.”

Categories Fiction

Dennis Nyback is a legendary independent film archivist and historian. Formerly of Seattle, he now resides in Portland, OR with his 13,000 film collection and a clear conscience.

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