The Georgia Motel Story
Written in 2010 and rewritten 2/12/2016 unedited
A true story and a good lesson for every married man
It was December of 1963, my new wife and I were headed down to Miami Florida from Westville Connecticut. I had been asked to help a friend of mine to manage an auto wrecking business he owned in Florida, located on North West 46 Street near 37 avenue in Miami in Florida.
We had just gotten married in November, so going to Florida was to be like a honeymoon for us.
My friend Lou Gladstein had lent me a nice 1959 Plymouth to make the trip in, and the first day driving went well. By evening we had reached Georgia, and as it was getting dark, we thought it was time to look for a place to stay for the evening.
My wife suggested we find a name brand hotel, however I was determined to show my wife that I knew how to save money, so I carefully watched all the roadside signs for a good motel deal.
All along the road, the signs advertised that the bigger hotels wanted $35.00 an evening, but I saw a sign advertising a family motel for only $11.00 a night and the sign said the motel was only twenty miles up the road. According to the picture on the billboard it looked like a pretty good motel, pool and all.
It was about 10 in the evening when we finally reached the place, and I pulled in. It appeared we were the only car there, and it was a nice motel with about 20 individual. So I just pulled up to what appeared to be the manager’s house that was in the rear and not attached to the motel rooms.
It was December and a pretty cold evening so I grabbed my overcoat, didn’t put it on and ran up the stairs to ring the doorbell. The door opened, and an elderly gentleman stood there, a blast of heat from the fireplace lit in the house hit me in the face. I told him we wanted a room, and he waved his wife over, I could see she got out of an old worn out armchair in the living room. I filled out the form she brought, and while I was standing there outside freezing. Juggled my wallet around and I gave him the $11.00 plus tax. I saw him carefully put my money in a little metal box, ours was the only money in the box. Seeing that, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, but he gave me room number six and said all I had to do was turn on the gas heater.
I put my coat on and we backed up and I parked in front of room number six. My wife was already bundled up as we knew the room would be cold and it would take a while for the room to heat up.
I looked at the gas heater in the room, and I have to admit I had never ever have seen a contraption like that before. I tried everything I knew but the gas heater wouldn’t light up.
I went back to the owner’s house and he dressed up with his wife’s assistance and he came down and started the gas heater working, and he said it would take about thirty minutes to warm the room.
Hearing that, my wife said she was hungry, so I suggested we drive up the road a ways, and find something to eat, it was now about twelve in the evening.
We must have drove for miles, but finally I found an all-night hamburger joint, it was the kind of place that sliced each hamburger off a roll of meat like it was liverwurst. We got our order, but as we looked around at the off the wall characters sitting there, we decided to take the food back to our cozy room, and eat there.
When we got to the room, the heater was off and it was still freezing cold and my wife just stared at me.
But I had an idea, why don’t we just sleep in our clothes, I said, after all we will be hitting the road an only a few hours. By now I really knew the whole thing was a bad idea but I had to save face somehow.
Without saying anything my wife went to use the bathroom, and she called for me to come and look, there was a towel hanging on the wall with a big hole in it.
About a minute later, I heard the toilet flush and then my wife screamed, the toilet had overflowed onto the floor. As a man of action, I took the towel, the one with the hole and put it on the floor but it didn’t help, but that’s when I saw a carpet on the floor, it was partially under the bed. I quickly grabbed it and pulled it out intending to use it to sop up the water. When the carpet came out there was some ones pair of polished men’s lace up dress shoes sitting on it.
By now my wife was crying uncontrollably. I ran up to the owners house and demanded my eleven dollars back or I was calling the police.
I really had no phone to call with, and for all I knew this guy was the sheriff, but he opened up the metal box and gave me my money back.
It was now about 3 or 4 in the morning, and by the time I found a Holiday Inn hotel for thirty five dollars an evening, it was later, but my wife finally stopped crying, the room was warm, and there was even a coffee maker there.
I know there was a lesson to be learned here somewhere.