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Lawton, Texas | The Dreamweaver


I was with my grandparents and two other couples, friends of theirs, at a locomotive museum in Lawton, Texas.


The museum was located adjacent to the Lawton station and the harbor from where cruise ships launched to sea.


I was invited to accompany my grandparents on a cruise to the Scottish Highlands.


I arrived at the station with my mother and we met up with my grandparents.


We agreed that we would meet back at the ship before embarking on our cruise at ten minutes past two in the afternoon.


Meanwhile, my grandparents and their friends went into town for lunch and window shopping, while my mother and I walked around the museum.


After a while, I checked my watch—an old timepiece embedded into a Swiss Army knife my father had given me as a child—to make sure I'd keep track of time.


About an hour later, my mother and I were seated in a small crowd of museum guests listening to a woman tell about the history of trains in Lawton. I recognized the museum employee as Mary Beth Whiting, a woman I used to work with at a restaurant back in Chicago during my college years.


After a while, I removed my knife from my pocket to check the time and had a sudden revelation that I had forgotten to reset the watch for daylight savings time and I wouldn't have time to get back to the station for the cruise.


Both relieved and saddened about not being able to go on the cruise with my grandparents, I resigned myself to the fact that I would be staying behind.


Just then, Mary Beth, who was in the middle of her presentation, held up a large photo album with my picture and asked if Richard Morris was in the audience and if so, please meet his party at the cruise docks.


I pretended to be lost in thought, but a middle-aged woman sitting in front of me turned around and saw I was the person they were looking for.


Rather than speak directly to me, the woman walked over to Mary Beth and pointed at me.


Mary Beth excused herself to the group of tourists and walked over to where my mother and I were sitting.


She asked me if I was Richard Morris and, acting surprised, I said, "Mary Beth, don't you remember me? I'm Richard, from Bub City!"


She said of course she remembered me and I introduced her to my mother.


Then, she said that a group of travelers had put out a bulletin and were looking for me and that I needed to hurry to the cruise docks or I would miss the boat.


I thanked Mary Beth and rushed off with my mother.


We finally caught up with my grandmother and her friends and I apologized about being late and told her the story about how I had neglected to re-set my watch for daylight savings time and thought I had plenty of time to kill.


While there was still a little time to get the boat, it appeared my grandfather, thinking I wasn't going to make the boat, decided to have a walk down the high street and as he didn't carry a cellphone, there was no way to get a hold of him.


Just then, a uniformed porter, a short, older man with a mustache, approached us saying that he had overheard our conversation and due to a delay we still had enough time to board the ship.


My grandfather appeared and we quickly told him what had happened, said goodbye to my mother and began walking briskly towards the docks.


When we arrived at the ship, the gate was closed and we were unable to board.


After telling our story to the porter at the gate, he felt bad and told us to follow him around to a side door used for the ship's crew and for loading supplies.


We reached the side door and the porter, wearing a white uniform with shorts, climbed up a ramp, crouched down in such a way where everyone was able to see his buttocks and had a bit of a laugh at the man's expense.


The man returned and told us he was sorry but there was no way for us to board the ship.


Noticing a great similarity, I asked the man if he had been related to the late actor and singer Jim Nabors. The man smiled and said no, but he played Jim Nabors in musical reviews on cruise ships and everyone asked him the same question.


In the end, we decided to change into our bathing suits and go on the water slide having accepted free tickets from the Jim Nabors lookalike.


Waiting for my grandparents at the top of the slide, they arrived a few minutes later, my grandfather in a full-body wetsuit. Suddenly, I was concerned that perhaps my grandfather was too old and fragile to navigate such a high water slide.


Then I woke up.

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