After their devastating crash, in which their beloved little Hyundai Accent, Goldie Hawn,
was destroyed by a huge, 18-wheel tractor-trailer rig driven by a sleeping trucker, Baby Bequita and Ryan Chase slept in horrible pain
for what seemed like more than a day in their Motel-6 room bed at Roscoe Boulevard and
the 405 in Porn Valley.
When at last they awakened in terrible agony from their near-lethal injuries, they did not feel like they were alive anymore.
They felt dizzy, discomboomerated and detached from their physical bodies – like spirits
drifting aimlessly through space.
They were so depressed and wracked with pain that they nearly had lost the will to live on.
They struggled desperately – in vain – to become humans again.
They were injured strangers in a strange, forbidding land.
With their final few shekels left over from earlier panhandling, they booked one final extra
night at the Motel 6.
Their cats – the sweet Smoky and the evil Spunker Steege – were not feeling very well either.
The red Steege was whining and yowling, while the tabby Smoky bore his pain in stoic,
As the next morning dawned, it became pitifully, brutally hot outside in Porn Valley, when at
last the two prepared to leave the motel.
They decided to hitchhike to Winchell’s for one last breakfast of Bismarck rolls, loaded with
Bavarian creme or lemon filling.
Then they went to pick up their cats and their stuff at the motel. Their time had run out there.
Bequita had acquired some metal crutches before fleeing the hospital.
She began to painfully maneuver her aching, shattered bones across the street
in front of the motel. There was a payphone there, along with a place to hitchhike.
She put her arm around Ryan’s broad shoulders to assist her as she limped agonizingly
across the baking-hot Roscoe Boulevard.
In the shimmering waves of heat, Ryan and Bequita were close to losing consciousness.
They felt like ghosts – except for the searing pain reeling like daggers through their
Their caged cats were absolutely miserable.
Steege was screaming in pain as usual, while Smoky twisted silently in agony inside
cage. There was nothing to protect them from the cruel, brutal sunlight, except for
Ryan’s shirts that he had wound across the top of the cage.
Ryan and Bequita were hatless and suffering terribly from heatstroke in the horrid,
furnace-like hell of L.A. – which often gets like that in late April, as it also does in October.
Ryan plopped the wounded Bequita down onto the curb on the side of the shimmering
boulevard, which was jammed with snarled traffic, as always.
Then he limped back across the street to the motel room and began dragging and hefting
their luggage across Roscoe. It took him three trips. Then he came back to the lobby front
desk one last time, to return the room key.
When he returned to the suffering Bequita and the agonized cats, he was appalled at the
state of their exquisite suffering.
In panic, he realized that his lady love and their pets could not last more than an hour
longer in the stifling malaise.
His hands quivering with pain and impending heatstroke, he reached desperately into his
pockets for the few remaining quarters inside.
He had Bequita call her mother and then her sister, but both refused to help.
Then he called his own insane sister, who screamed indignantly over the phone at him:
“Whaddya callin’ me for, you bastard! You just want me to send you more money for
some of your damned crack.” She slammed the phone down hard in his ear.
At last, Bequita and Ryan were down to their final hope for survival.
They realized that they had to call Brad, their boss at Pizza Hut, and lie that they had
decided to swing over to California after seeing Bequita’s ailing mother in Minnesota.
During the phone call, Ryan told Brad: “We drove over to the West Coast so I could take
Bequita to Disneyland, since she never had been there before, and we got hit by an 18-wheeler and our car was totaled. We’re hurt bad.”
Ryan and Bequita crossed their fingers, blessed themselves and hoped against hope that
Brad might actually help them.
On the phone, Brad thought about it all for a few agonizing seconds.
He decided that he was short-handed at Pizza Hut because of the absence of the pair, so he replied,
“I will send you money for a Greyhound and food, but I can’t do it till tomorrow,
so you will have to find someplace to stay for the night.
Sorry, but I can’t do anything more right now. I’m at work and my hands are tied.”
Brad told Ryan: “Tomorrow morning, you will have to get to a Ralph’s grocery store and
call me from the Western Union office that they have inside. Then I will send you $300
Ryan thanked Brad profusely and set the payphone receiver down softly back into its cradle.
The seemingly doomed couple had received their first faint ray of hope to live onward.
Bequita, with her shattered ankle, sat on the curb and stuck out her thumb.
Ryan limped around and panhandled furiously, with little hope.
Most of the motorists seemed to not even see the couple.
The passing pedestrians ignored the pair, and acted like they could not even glimpse the
hurting Bequita and Ryan.
Bequita suddenly blurted out to Ryan: “We must be ghosts now!
No one can even see us here! We’re invisible! Our bodies are liked empty shells!”
Ryan agreed with her, but he persistently and gloomily went on trying to panhandle
At last he spotted a station wagon filled with young Okie redneck drifters, who had stopped
nearby on the side of the road for the injured couple. The old, battered station wagon
sported Oklahoma license plates.
The young, beautiful girl in the passenger seat yelled out: “Climb in the back, ya’ll, and
we’ll try to take ya close to whar yer goin’.” She motioned to her wagonload of companions
to help the impaired couple with their belongings and cats.
The Okies were appalled and compassionate when they saw the hideous extent of
Bequita’s massive crash injuries.
Their hearts melted and they decided to take Ryan and Bequita wherever they wanted to
go, and to help them in any way they could.
The driver reached into his overalls pocket and pulled out a $20 bill.
He handed it to his girlfriend in the passenger seat and she passed it back to Ryan.
The driver said, “I know it ain’t much, but at least it’s somethin’ to help you get through.
We ain’t got much – it’s pretty much all we have.”
Ryan and Bequita thanked the Okies profusely and gave them hugs.
Bequita cried when she witnessed their tender mercy flowing from their kind,
Ryan then inquired: “Do you know anywhere where we could stay for the night?
We are lost and helpless out here.” Becky began to sob pitifully again.
“Don’chall worry none,” the driver responded.
“We will take you straight to the Hollywood mission and drop you off, and tomorrow
morning, we will come back and pick you up and take you to get your money or do
whatever else you have to do.”
The battered old Ford wagon – jammed elbow to elbow with people – pulled to a halt
outside of a plain white building behind a storefront in North Hollywood.
The Okies assisted the ailing couple by carrying their stuff and their cats into the
Then they warmly and tightly hugged the grateful, appreciative Ryan and Bequita.
Inside the nondescript old building, the cats were an immediate hit with the shelter’s
inhabitants and workers. They loved those cats so much.
They took the cats out of their cage, petted, fed and watered them, and let them roam
around the big storage room, so their kids could play with them.
Tears of joy, relief and thanks poured down the faces of Bequita and Ryan.
They felt it was a succession of miracles from Jesus that was saving them from utter
Bequita said, “I want to give thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ for saving us from death.”
She clasped her hands in prayer as her tears rolled down her cheeks.
(Continued in Chapter 26)