SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Drunk Country Clubbin', West Fork Shuffle

By Bob Weaver

As a practicing alcoholic in Weston, your friendly neighborhood undertaker, I was upwardly mobile, with a few delusions of grandeur in the late 1970s.

A community group had organized a new endeavor, the Deerfield Country Club, with more holes than you can count golf course, and I wanted in on the action. Managing to come up with a few thousand dollars (which I didn't have) to become a founder and stockholder.

With my stock certificates in hand, I went shopping for a set of golf clubs, bag and cart, golf clothes and shoes, to engage community folks in the fine sport of golfing.

Traveling to the newly opened country club bar, I stepped in for a drink, a drink that had another drink, and that drink had few more drinks. As an alcoholic, one was too many and a thousand not enough.

It would be accurate to say I never made it out of the bar to play a single round of golf.

Driving my new Mercury Marquis from Jane Lew back to the funeral home, highly intoxicated, I hit the brakes and rolled the vehicle almost into the West Fork River, catching on a stack of rocks.

With clarity of mind I found myself tilting toward the murky waters, fully aware that the police, ambulance and fire department would be arriving soon.

I knew I had to get out of the vehicle and hide, but there was a problem. I couldn't make by legs to connect with my brain, likely because I added a few Librium to ease my tensions. I just sat there, and all the responders came, in addition to Channel 5 News.

In doing the Hur Herald for 25 years, intoxicated folks who quickly flee wrecked vehicles in southern Calhoun have been referred to as doing "the West Fork Shuffle," those smart folks knowing what to do, while those in northern Calhoun just wait for the cops to come.

But I was in luck. The police chief of Weston climbed down to drag me from the smashed car to his police cruiser, obviously saving me from a DUI arrest.

He took me to his house, cleaning up and getting a little sober, after which he dropped me off at my residence.

My wife Dianne inquired about what kind of day I was having, after which I replied, "Not bad, pretty good day."

She then said, "It couldn't have been very damn good, I saw you on Channel 5."

A couple years after this incident, I got sober in 1979.