Woody Wede



Woody Wede on Oldies at Large

Oldies at Large


Well, hey there… Woody here. I'm told Oldies at Large has been going on and off since 2005 and that's pretty cool in Internet time. A while back I was asked to join this neat bunch of people and I figured that was cool too.


Woody's peace sign


 So, I was asked to tell my story. Tell my story! Are you kiddin’ me? I purely didn’t even know where to start. They said to go way back as long as I could remember. Way back!  Anyway, here's what I came up with...



       Back around the time of Woodstock in ’69 I was still in High School. It was just me and my old man by then; and I used to help him out with his business after school. He could fix just about anything - mainly electrical stuff like radios and TV’s and he was the only one in our town that did it.

Anyways, me and a pal of mine were just itching to go on over to Woodstock because we had heard that it was going to be something else. Of course our parents said no, as parents do I guess, and we were plain royally… very annoyed about that. So, we snuck off anyway, but when we got there you couldn’t get anywhere near the place and we decided we didn’t want to hang around so we drove in his dad’s station wagon until we found a place to camp for the night. Next day we took a roundabout way of getting home and boy, were we in some big trouble when we got there.

       Next up came college, and seeing as how it was only over in the next county I could get home often and I think the old man was glad I did. He was real lonely, I think, and that is why I felt real bad about telling him I had to go. But, I’m ahead of myself here.

I can’t say I hated college because I purely didn’t, but it sure was different to High School. I don’t know, I just didn’t click with it all, and there were way too many stuffed shirts around for my liking. Let’s just say it was a very traditional place and when we were hearing what was happening in other places it sure became boring after a while. Most of my friends went to another college and they seemed to have a whole heap of fun and I didn’t. So I went home. Just like that – I went home. The old man didn’t stop yellin’ for two days.

      When things settled down I convinced him I could keep on helping him out with the business. That worked OK for a while and I even had a new girlfriend called Penny. Penny and me had some pretty fine times, especially on week-ends and we went to all the dances and to the movies and such and life was sweet for a bit. Until my draft papers came. I’ll never forget that day. We had heard how bad things were in ’Nam and Bill Madison from across the way… well, he didn’t make it home, you know. Always liked Bill, and it was a pure shame what happened to him. His old lady was never the same again.

       I had already decided I wasn’t goin' no place like 'Nam and some of the guys from town were talking about Canada. Don’t know how I did it but I got up enough courage to go to the old man and tell him what I was thinkin’. I remember he was sitting at his work bench and he never looked up once. When I had finished he just stopped what he was doing and handed me the keys to Lil’ Lisa Jane. Lisa Jane was the van he used for deliveries and pick-ups and even though we were in wartime he was still getting a good amount of work and I said he’d need the van but he just shook his head and went back in the house.

     That night I told Penny what I was doing and she acted like she was mad as hell at me and I figured there was nothing I could do about that. I never saw Penny again after we broke up like that but I heard that she married some salesman dude and moved to California. Leaves blow on the wind, I guess. I hope she's had a good life.

So, that left me and Lil’ Lisa Jane to hit the road. It was a warm July morning when we reached the highway and we just drove for a bit until I realised that we were going in the wrong direction for Canada. Man, my head just wasn’t where it was supposed to be, know what I’m sayin’? 

I stopped at a little old gas station and I bought a map. We rolled along a ways down the road until we seemed to run out of road and there just seemed like there was a little goat track up ahead. I couldn’t figure out the map so we drove up to a farmhouse we could see from the road and asked for help. This nice lady said if I kept on driving I could either get the ferry to Claver’s Landing or I could drive some more to the next big town and then some beyond that. I couldn’t see this Claver’s Landing on the map but I figured if it was out in the boondocks that might be just what I needed in my circumstances.

       So, we drive down the track and I see the ferry dock and I get out and this guy in a funny hat grins at me and asks if I want to go over. I was to learn that “going over” is what the locals mean by going to the island of Claver’s Landing. Or going from Claver’s Landing. So I ask the guy what is on this Claver’s Landing and he says there’s a really neat town there. He was pretty smart this guy, because he said he had sized me up from the beginning and he said to me, “But you’re going to have to go somewhere out of town and stay there for a while.” And that’s how I met Tom Danders. Over the years we’d get to be good friends and later on I learned that him and his family had helped others like me too.

       But, Tom worked for the ferry guy and he had a job to do, and I just didn’t have enough money left for even “going over” either whichway. So Tom told me to keep on driving and that there may be work in the next town. That was lucky too because right quick I landed a job doing dishes in a restaurant owned by an old lady who reminded me of my grandma. She didn’t ask any questions and I just did my job. She gave me a room out back and it was hot as all else there but at least I had a place to sleep and when I thought I had enough money I headed back to Claver’s Landing and Tom said he thought he’d see me again.

       So, that is how I came to the island. In those days the town would have been considered pretty good, I guess, but things have gone downhill real fast since then. Tom’s old man told me there was an old farmer out beyond the edge of town who might let me work there and so I went and asked and sure enough, Old Biff, as he was known, gave me a job and I felt safe there.

Biff had a big old barn with all sorts of stuff stashed here and there and that’s how I started tinkering with radios and stuff that he had just tossed aside. Just like my old man. Then down the road I found out about computers and the rest, as they say, is history. Biff died a while back and left the whole kit and caboodle to me and I was purely grateful for that. Some friends have helped me create Woody’s Place. I can’t say I make a great deal from what I do but I get by. That’s all anyone does here; but I don’t think anyone is even a tiny bit bothered by all of that. As far as I am concerned life is pretty sweet. I still like tinkering and I go over to the radio station sometimes and fill in there.

       My old man told me later on that by some miracle no one ever came looking for me and so after all the bad stuff ended I just assumed everything was OK. I even went back to visit the old man a couple of times but by then I had decided I wanted to stay on Claver’s Landing. I asked him if he wanted to come too, but he said he needed to stay where he was, and so we figured all that stuff out in the end. I think my story is not very usual for people in my circumstances but hey, who am I to worry? I pay taxes like everyone else and if folks can’t spell right that’s not my problem….

       So now I am officially a permanent long-term resident of Claver’s Landing. My place is a sort of a drop-in place for geeks, I guess. I’ve met some pretty cool dudes over the Internet and I am told that some more will be coming to visit soon.

      As far as Oldies at Large is concerned, I get to choose some of the content and I ask some of the others in town about the really old stuff. They all think this is a good idea and I'm not going to argue with that. I’m happy enough for people to just drop by and have a chat now and then. We can talk about the old stuff or computers or whatever takes your fancy. See you down the road…. Woody Wede





Page Date: 9th June 2017
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