A Very Merry Road Trip // How Kentucky Ate My Wallet And A Deputy Sheriff Thought I Got Murdered, Plus Some News
Guys. If you couldn't tell from the title, this is going to be a really weird and meandering post -- mainly because I'm going to try and squeeze a couple of announcements into it while also sharing a bizarre and heartwarming road trip story with you. All these things happened within the same day, so, in my mind they're connected, but they otherwise have basically nothing to do with one another. So, yeah. You have my permission to skip the business news section and go straight to the Kentucky story, because it's really damn good.
The last week or so of my life has been insanely busy. The couple of weeks leading up to the holidays always are. I'm up to my ears in portraits, last-minute holiday orders, and trying to do my own holiday shopping. Bah. Holy crap. It's intense.
But I also got some really fun news in the last few days of scramble-hustle-craziness before heading out on my annual holiday road trip.
First of all, out of the clear blue sky, I found out that a dear woman I'd met at Porter Flea this year decided to mention us in an article she wrote entitled "10 Last Minute Gift Ideas You Probably Won't Find On Amazon." And where was this charming list published, you ask? Oh, my sweet reader, it was posted on Huffington Post. And of course, I immediately left my body. A huge, heartfelt thank-you to Rebekah Illif for the kind words, you made me happy-dance, for sure!
Secondly, I also found out that my interview with Ryan Kairalla, entertainment lawyer and host of the Break The Business podcast, went live this past Sunday. We had a fun little chat about my role in helping to establish The Other Nashville Society, and about the unique take on licensing music that I and my company, Sorted Noise, practice. I think we chatted about some interesting stuff, if you find music industry tips and tricks interesting, as I do. So have a listen, if that's your thing, and I hope you walk away wiser.
Ok, so, on to this (long, but ultimately) heart-warming road trip adventure story that I promised you.
Working title: "How Kentucky Ate My Wallet."
Rewind to maybe a month ago. I'm home alone binge watching The Crown on Netflix and drinking undisclosed amounts of boxed wine (as you do) when I decided to call my mom for a chat (as you also do, and then usually come to regret.*) In this conversation, I believe I cavalierly mentioned the fact that I would be driving home for the holidays this year, just me and the dog, and wouldn't it be so cool if you flew down and drove with me so I don't get murdered? Come the next morning, I've completely forgotten that I even mentioned this, and Mom has booked a plane ticket. That's just how Mom rolls.
*Here, I should mention that I do not regret this particular decision to drunk dial my mother, and you'll soon learn why.
So mom flies in, we throw this holiday party I was hosting at my place, everything is awesome, I'm loving life, etc. Next morning, I packup and we set off through the Great American Midwestwith my big fat dog and all the presents. I'm feeling super grown-up and responsible and shit, because I've just hosted this big, fancy party, I got all my orders out on time, I changed my oil -- look at me, Mom! I'm an adult! Hooray!
An hour or two into the drive, we're on this one super desolate stretch of highway in Kentucky, right before Cincinnati.
We've been listening to the Break the Business podcast (see, told you it had something to do with this story), and now Mom is, like, totally obsessed with podcasts and wants to hear more. So, we browse for a while before finally settling on one I'd never heard of called "My Favorite Murder." (And now all of you MFM fans who came here from Google are shaking your fists at me. I know, I'm late.) So, basically, we're driving this highway, while the hosts describe in detail the bizarre and fascinating ways in which murderers do their thing and then ultimately get their asses caught. We're thoroughly engrossed, and I'm sufficiently creeped out. Also, I have to pee.
We stop at the first Wendy's we've spotted in an hour, just outside Cincy in an unincorporated, nameless blip on the map (seriously), and I jump out of the car. But because of all the murderiness on this podcast, and because I'm a *responsible adult*, I think to myself, "You know what, I should take my wallet." I don't want it to be stolen out of the car (duh), but alsoooo, if I get murdered in this Blip Town parking lot, as least I'll have my I.D. on me.
I get into this Wendy's bathroom and put the wallet on top of the toilet paper dispenser to do my business. (I can hear you all groaning right now. You know where this is going.)
SO. So. So. Flash forward to 3 hours later, we're wellllll outside of Blip Town at this point, and on a quarter tank of gas. We pull over, I get out of the car, and I pull out my wallet.... Oh, no, wait, I DON'T, because WHERE THE HELL IS MY WALLET?! You know what this scene looks like: Panic, panic, panic, yell a bit, tear apart the car, wrack your brain, yell some more, and then realize that it's in the bleeping Blip Town Wendy's godforsaken effing toilet stall, because you're NOT a responsible adult, as it turns out.
(This is the point in the story where I mention how GRATEFUL I am for that drunk dial to mom, because without her, I'd have been stuck there with no gas, no money, three hours away from my credit cards and drivers license, with 4 more hours of road trip ahead of me. Not a fun place to be, so thank God for moms with frequent flier miles.)
So, after my panic attack, we manage to dig up the receipt from Wendy's. I call the (very sweet and helpful) manager there, who looks all over the place, but ultimately let's me know that it's not there. Big bummer, of course, and now I'm super upset. I hustle around to cancel my credit cards, apply online for a duplicate driver's license, etc. But eventually, everything gets handled and it's really not a huge deal.
The only thing that I was really heartbroken over is that the prayer card from my grandmother's funeral was in that wallet. Nonny passed away this Fall, and I had a big trip to London and Croatia planned just afterwards. I took her prayer card with me on the trip and lit a candle for her in every cathedral we visited. (Nonny was a devout Catholic.) That card, while of course not financially valuable, meant a lot to me and was, and is still, a big part of my healing process. I was very upset about that, most of all.
So, moral of the story: the world sucks and is awful and trust no one.
(No no no. I promised it would get heartwarming. Here it comes.)
Flash forward to maybe 3 days later, and I'm browsing a Barnes & Noble in New Jersey with my Dad. I've managed to replace my credit cards and nothing was withdrawn from my accounts, which is great. I'm still pretty heart-sore over losing the prayer card, but at the end of the day, I'm ok. Everything's Kosher.
Then, my phone buzzes, and I look down and see that someone is calling my Wink Wink Paper Co. business line. I silence it because we're closed for the season and, hey, I'm shopping, here.
Less than a minute later, it buzzes again. Same number.
I decide to get over my millennial fear of talking to strangers and answer the phone, since they're being so persistent.
The details are fuzzy for me because I was so confused, but basically, on the phone is Deputy Sheriff ____ McHale (???) from Blip Town, Kentucky. (Meanwhile, I'm like "Holy shit, who died and why am I getting this phone call? Did I break the law in Kentucky? I don't think I broke the law in Kentucky...")
Deputy M continues. He found my wallet and a bunch of its contents strewn across some field near a trailer park on the outskirts of Blip Town. He's calling to track down the owner.
Me: *blink blink* Uhhh.... that's me. And wait.... you found my wallet... in a field?
Deputy M: Yes, ma'am. Are you Holley Maher?
I mean, maybe I'd been listening to too much My Favorite Murder..... But it kind of dawns on me at this point that Deputy Sheriffs probably don't make a habit of tracking down out-of-towners like they're the Blip Town Lost and Found or something. This sweet Deputy somehow noticed my wallet in a freaking field in the middle of this town with no actual name, decided to get out of his car, traipse around said field collecting the once-contents of my wallet, and then (I can only assume) Googled my name, found Wink Wink Paper Co., and decided to give me a call to be like, "Hey, lady, you alive?"
He was probably trying to make sure that this wallet's owner wasn't similarly strewn across some other Blip Town field!!!
I'm sure I came off as a total stone-cold bitch on the phone. I was flabbergasted. I just kept saying "woooooow" in this monotone Owen Wilson voice.
Deputy M begins listing off what he'd found in the field: my credit cards, license, (no cash, they took that, obviously), an old already-deposited check, some receipts, a strip of photo booth pictures of my friends and I.... and my grandmother's prayer card.
It was at that point that I kind of snapped out of it and remembered to thank sweet Deputy M. I told him that the rest of the contents of the wallet had been replaced, but explained the significance of the prayer card, and Deputy M offered to ship it to me.
Cue me standing in a Barnes & Noble about to cry like a baby.
There are good people out there in the world, guys.Honestly -- bless you, sir. What a gem. It's so nice to know that if I'd been killed in a field in Kentucky, Deputy M would be out there trying to figure that shit out, Serial style.
So, yeah. That's it. That's the story about how Kentucky chewed up and spit out my wallet like a piece of gum, and how an incredibly thoughtful Deputy managed to spot it from the road (How?! How.), collected my shit, Googled my number, and restored my faith in humanity. Apparently, Nonny wanted to make sure that my prayer card made it back to me, and that Mom was there to make sure I got home safe for the holidays.
Merry Christmas to all, and don't get murdered.