Little kids are always getting lost. Usually in department stores and/or supermarkets, mostly because they wander away from their parents. But sometimes, us grownups get lost, too, even in places we’re familiar with. That’s what happened to me once.
When I was a teenager, I’d go with my parents to what was called the Danbury races. Danbury, Connecticut had an oval-shaped raced track where old jalopy-type cars would race, usually on Saturday nights during the summer.
Just before I joined the Air Force, I stopped going. Then after four years, I came home, and started going mostly to bars. But every once in a while, on a Saturday night in the summer, I’d head for the race track.
The track had two entrances, the main one directly off of Route 7, plus a back entrance that came off a narrow winding road. Usually, I took the back entrance to come and go, which was always less jammed with traffic.
But this one night, I don’t know what happened. Maybe I was thinking of something else instead of where I was going. All I know is that, after driving a short distance, I saw a sign on the side of the road that said—Welcome to New York.
You see, Danbury was one of the towns in Connecticut that bordered the New York state line.
I probably should have turned around at that point, but instead, I kept going, thinking that, if I made a left turned somewhere, I’d be back in Connecticut. I was for a very short time, but then once again, I saw a sign for New York. Now, for sure, I was lost. There were no town signs, plus it was late at night, and I was surrounded by woods. But I did have one saving grace.
That night, there was a clear sky with a full moon hovering to the east over Long Island Sound. Hoping I didn’t run out of gas, I pointed my car straight at the moon. I figured that if I kept driving towards the moon, eventually, I’d have to come out somewhere on the coast. The one disconcerting part was that I kept seeing signs for both Connecticut and New York. Of course, I had no idea where I was in either state.
Finally, after about an hour and a half, I emerged from my lost journey onto Route 1 in Darien, Connecticut, which was the next town over from the town where I lived. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, I turned my car North, and headed for home.
Over the years, I’ve regaled many a listener with my little tale of woe. Usually, they laugh along with me, but to be honest, even as an adult at the time, I was scared!