If you are one of the blessed human beings on this earth to actually know Phyllis and the bundle of energy and activity that she is, then you have at least a glimpse of the adventurous person she is. If you are of the population that does not know her and continue to read this short series of entries then hopefully you will gain a little insight into the wild world of Phyllis Schehl.
I should note that we have changed a few names (pretty easy to figure this out) to simply protect the innocent.
As best I can figure, it was late March 1947. Phyllis Schehl has been teaching in the lovely community of Sheridan, Oregon for a short while. It’s spring break and time for an adventure. Prior to beginning her teaching career in Oregon, most all her life had been contained within the borders of the great state of Illinois, but now there is much of the Pacific Northwest to be explored. Without a great deal of planning, in fact, spontaneous would be the most appropriate word her, Phyllis decides a great way to end spring break week would be by catching a bus, a train, and finally a ferry to explore Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. Ah, nothing like exploring Vancouver in the Spring…seeing the water, the flowers, the beautiful gardens, the cuisine, the people, the culture, the history and not nearly enough time to experience it all. Phyllis did her best to use every minute of her time away, and now that last minute has arrived to catch the very last ferry in order for her to report for “duty” to her classroom Monday morning at Sheridan High.
Turns out, even back in 1945, one would do well to have a reservation for the ferry out of Vancouver. When Phyllis arrived at the terminal to purchase her ticket home, even with her Illinois charm, she could not convince them to make room for just one more person. There now exists the very real possibility of her students sitting at their desks with no Miss Schehl to guide them.
Truthfully, the details get a little hazy here – or – Phyllis has selectively chosen to leave some out. All that I have been able to puzzle together is that somehow, some way, somewhere shortly after leaving the ferry terminal, she meets two young gents who happen to be enlisted in the US Navy. Petty Officers Martin Fenrik and Seaman Jeremy West. I don’t know if it was over a meal, over beers, or just what exactly, but what is important is that Phyllis has the opportunity to share her current crisis of needing to get back to Sheridan, Oregon by Monday morning. You have to hand it to a couple Navy guys to use all the resources that are available. It doesn’t take long for them to share with Phyllis that the airlines give those serving in the armed forces special rates and available spaces on most all their flights. Again, a little hazy on the details, but later that evening….”Ensign Phyllis Schehl” is on a flight to Portland, Oregon (I find it interesting here that her Illinois charm was not lost with a couple of the US Navy’s finest). Phyllis then catches a bus back to Sheridan with plenty of time to arrive for her Monday morning classroom duties. In fact, it was a much shorter trip than if she had gotten on that ferry.
Until next time, go out and have a “safe” adventure of your own. Oh, and it might need a little salt!