I am beginning to think I should have titled this grouping “the worst experiences in a town I have been in on business,” because the town’s experiences are typically so intertwined with the place to try to sleep.
So, I pulled into Bridgeport, Nebraska to stay for three days while making presentations regarding cafeteria plans to a company with locations scattered around that part of Nebraska. I passed the motel several times without seeing it and finally had to pull into a gas station to ask for directions. It was behind a truck stop/diner and you checked in at the truck stop.
The problems with the rooms were the approximate 1 1/2 television stations (and even these were fuzzy), the abject lack of internet, the noise level, and the fact that dirt seemed to blow under the door and into the room. The people in the truck stop were nice enough, but I never got the knack of the town.
There was a place called Aunt Bee S, which served down-home country food and was pretty good, when I caught it open, and a steak house whose hours of operations are one of the great unsolved mysteries of the universe, but when I pulled into town the first night—fresh from Bill, Wyoming—I looked into the cafe at the truck stop, thought better of it, and went into town to find something.
I ended up in a bar because the bartender said they had food. He handed me a menu, which had things like Philly Cheese Steak, Burrito, Cheeseburger, Hamburger, and so on. I asked for the Philly. He opened one of those small freezers—like those used in a dorm room—behind the counter and told me they were out. I asked what was in the freezer, and all that was left was a burrito and a burger he said had been in there for months, so I ordered the burrito.
While he was cooking it—zapping it in the microwave—a pretty young thing sat down on the stool next to me. Now, I need to tell you that Bridgeport, Nebraska claims a population of about 1,500—where they all are, I do not know—and there were probably 500 in the bar that night because it was dart night. So she sits down and I look at her and she is really nice looking—too nice looking—and I look at the bartender and motion towards her. He says something like, “Brenda, leave this guy alone and get back to the games,” which she does.
The burrito was cooked to perfection and he gave it to me and poured me a free Wild Turkey and told me to eat up and get out because Brenda played this game called “Get my boyfriend jealous and watch the fight,” and it seemed like I was her current target. He suggested that if I was staying in town, to make sure my car couldn’t be seen from the highway because he wasn’t sure what Brenda was going to tell the guy and he was not beyond breaking down the motel room door.
I thanked him for the advice, gulped the Turkey, grabbed the Burrito and headed for the car, driving south to Sydney for a few hours before slinking back to the room and hiding out. The door looked all the more fragile that night. So, maybe the motel was decent enough, but the town affected me.
I believe the picture is of the motel I stayed. It is still there, I think, and it looks better than I recall.